captions and photos: Mark Clavin
How many laps could a park rat lap if a park rat could lap park? The Vans Hi-Standard Series finale at Sierra-at-Tahoe in California provided the answer: too many to count.
Previous stops on the series included China, South Korea, Canada, Switzerland, France, and USA.
Vans flew out the MVP from every stop of this years international series along with Vans Snow team riders Pat Moore, Hana Beaman, Chris Roach, Mary Rand, and Yawgoon hogs Marcus Rand and Brian Skorupski for an all out jam session of tweaks and turns at Sierra-at-Tahoe. Mixing in quickly with the local crew that showed up to shred, and keeping with the trend of weather, Tahoe went off.
Under grey skies and a little bit of sleet, Pat Moore could be seen towing riders in for extra speed as they dropped in on the biggest course from the Hi-Standard Series to date. The Hi-Standard is much less a competition, and more of a gathering to celebrate good snowboarding. With one jump up top, followed by berms, hips, and rails, there were multiple hits to get paid on and the riders took full advantage. If you aren’t familiar with the event, stylish tricks on a feature get you paid, and there was plenty of cash to give out for the finale. $3,000 was given out for landed tricks on the jump alone!
As skate legend John Cardiel ran the music, the sessions went down with tenacity. First there were judges on the jump, then an open course jam, and to finish up the day was the Van Doren Best Trick event on the rail features at the bottom. Free BBQ and waffles filled the air and stomachs as competitors and onlookers enjoyed the stylish show going down in front of them.
Local shred and VZ Wildlife rider Josh Naasz ended up snagging the MVP on the day after charging every feature and cashing in on multiple landed tricks including a back 720 tail grab that was sent to the moon. Naasz also gave our online editor, Mark Clavin, a ride back to South Lake in his van, so big thanks and congratulations to that guy.
Mt. Snow hero and Carinthia park engineer Sean Murphy took home the Van Doren honors with a hog of a trick, a frontside boardslide pretzel switch-up pretzel out on the down-flat-down rail. He then sent it late into the night in the South Lake casinos and increased his winnings at the roulette table on the famed “Black 17”, which somehow has a connection to the event but we never got the full story.
Caleb Bonaville held it down for the Best Trick 15 and Under field. His gap to back lip was impressive, but more impressive was the fact he drove overnight from SNOWBOARDER’s The Launch, in Southern California, after riding and boosting for four days straight and still took top honors.
Not listed in the official awards was the “Pat On The Back” to Matt Shaffer and whoever did the front board across the flat rail gap to down-flat-down. Pat Moore called them out to just put the world on notice. They were both animals on the course, specifically hogs if you were to ask Marcus Rand.
Big thanks to Vans for holding such a rad event. We can’t wait for next years series.
2017 Hi-Standard Series Grand Finale Results
MVP – Josh Naasz
Most Improved – Bruce Theile
Worst Bail – Luke Sheets
Best Trick 16 and over – Sean Murphy
Best Trick 15 and under – Caleb Bonaville