The Eastern Snowboard League (brain child of The Program* brands, Holiday Valley Resort, big boulder PARK, and 7-Springs Mountain Resort) ripped into Ellicottville, NY with Holiday Valley Resort playing host to the first official stop of its introductory season. Riders from all parts of southern Ontario, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and New Jersey were greeted by cold temps, and the ever popular lake effect snow squalls upstate New York is famous for. With enthusiasm at an all time high, the stage was set for riders to have a contest ran with their expectations and competitive identities in mind.
Registration for this debut event ran strong, with 90 riders signing up to throw down on the custom venue built by the 42/78 Parks crew. Many riders drove from great lengths throughout the night, bringing back a contest feel reminiscent of the 'old days', where camaraderie and a passion for the sport were at an all time high. Adding to the stoke of the day, nearly
a dozen female riders signed up, prompting Eastern Snowboard League organizers to create an 'Aura' (women's) division, which will be a mainstay at events moving forward.
Upon the completion of registration, the snow subsided, prompting event organizers to run the big air portion of the contest. With prizes like a trip to Superpark 15, and Woodward at Copper on the line, riders in the Destroyer and Youngblood divisions went head to head, making powerful statements right from the opening bell. From the start front runners emerged, with Kade Madsen, Dylan Thomas, Elf Hamill, Marcus Stephens, Ron Forth, and a mysterious Yeti all dropping hammers. Not to be outshined, the ladies of the Aura division began throwing down as well, with riders Maggie Eshbaugh and Ashley Vander Meer bringing a variety of stylish spins to the table. Judges had their work cut out for them, with deteriorating weather plaguing not only their visibility, but riders' ability to stomp their landings. With the lake snows increasing, the focus of the event shifted to a compact rail venue: a hubba featuring a down C box, triple barrel down, down-flat-down, as well as a mini quarter complete with two poly wedges and a poly cube to test the creativity of the field. Riders in the Youngblood division came out swinging, with riders like Tyler Ravelle, Ethan Pardowski and Steve Rosato doing some serious work. The Destroyer division featured non stop bangers from riders like Cody Voit, Peter Pape, Jarrod Barto, and Travis Jones. Riders in all divisions hiked the venue with a sense of urgency, all pushing each other until the end of scoring.
With two qualifying rounds in the books, judges set to work to hand out jerseys to finalists, with ten riders being selected from the Destroyer and Youngblood divisions, and three from the Aura division. The weather continued to deteriorate, forcing the finals to essentially be in the rail venue yet again. A thirty minute jam session was held, and upon completion, the judges turned in the final results..
Stop 1 Results:
1. Kade Madsen 2. Peter Pape 3. Cody Voit
1. Dylan Thomas 2. Tyler Ravelle 3. Steve Rosato
1. Maggie Eshbaugh 2. Ashley Vander Meer 3. Justine Nadherney