words: Mary Walsh
photos: E-Stone and Mary Walsh
If you have been following our daily updates (check them out here: day 1, day 2, day 3, first and second video updates) of the fourth edition of the Holy Bowly, you are already aware that the Mammoth Bowly lane is littered with every type of transition imaginable—right and left corners, massive snow jugs, a veritable cluster of miniature boobs, hips, waves, berms and a cradle. The set up, meticulously brought to life by Snowboy Productions and the Mammoth Unbound crew, is the catalyst for a gathering like few others in snowboarding and prompts a limitless creativity that is found far too seldomly in more traditional park set ups. The collective energy of the crew then fires up more and more with every lap that goes down, as lines and tricks continually are enhanced as the tracks get etched deeper and deeper into the snow.
So this is to say that the individuals that make up the invite list of the Holy Bowly are just as vital to the event's success as the stuff that they are riding on. Just a sampling of the list of riders denotes the variety of style and takes on riding that are present at Mammoth this week: Mike Rav, Lucas Magoon, Ryan Paul, Danimals, Sean Genovese, Chris Beresford, Spencer Whiting, Ted Borland, Jesse Burtner, Austin Hironaka, Nial Romanek, Jaeger Bailey, Jake Kuzyk, Alex Lopez, Jake Olson-Elm, Chris Bradshaw, Deadlung, Jake Blauvelt, Judd Henkes, Mitch Richmond, Tucker Andrews, Max Tokunaga, Jacob Krugmire, Brandon Davis, Kohei Kudo, Chris Grenier, Vinny, Scott Blum, Parker Szumowski and many, many more.
On Bowly day number four, we watched in awe as legendary rider Chris Roach craftily buttered all surfaces in sight. Roach's riding, which helped to spur snowboarding on in its early days and which has re-emerged the past few years as a welcome addition to the current crop of non-standard tricks typifies the spirit of this Snowboy Productions event. Lucky for us, Roach is as eloquent off hill as he is smooth on snow and gave us his insight on why Holy Bowly is not only so much fun, but why it is so integral and important in snowboarding.
Why do you think the Holy Bolwy is such an awesome and unique event?
Well, I think it shows who our inspirations come from maybe. If we come from our surfing background or our skateboarding background, we should probably be snowboarding something that shows that, you know? So, I feel like Holy Bowly is the present and the future of what snowboarding needs to follow. I don't have anything against the big jumps or anything—they're fun, but I think this is a direction we need to look at right away.
Tell us a little bit about the lines that you have been choosing and what you have been riding the last couple days.
For me, I like to flow all around and kind of link all of the features together because that's the flow part that I like to feel. Just doing frontiside ollies over the gap and then there's transition on the other side, so you can go out into a noseslide, straight into one of the best hips I've hit all year. To me, it's super exciting to have all these multiple lines and then with all of the people in there it's like skateboarding. I dig that. It's a little bit chaos with a lot of flow. That's positive and creative energy. All these guys are gnarly and they're eccentric and this is what brings out their snowboarding.
What are some of the things that you have seen over the past few days that have inspired you?
I saw a backside 180 off the hip that was pretty mindblowing by Zak Hale. That was pretty sick. I was stoked to see that. And then I was having a little sesh with Ted Borland and he was doing some good noseslide stuff. Then, he did something that I had in my head that I hadn't tried yet and I was just stoked to see that this little progression of wizardry. Krush's mind is pointed in the right direction and this is super fun stuff to be involved with.