words: T. Bird
photos: E-Stone, T. Bird, and Aaron Blatt
After five days of what was one of the greatest on hill gatherings that I have been a part of in my eight years at SNOWBOARDER Magazine and my seventeen years as a snowboarder, I've realized that Lib Tech's Holy Bowly certainly isn't a contest, and it's not even necessarily an event. It's a celebration, of our culture, of our enthusiasm, and of our lifestyle, that quality of existence we have all dropped everything else to achieve.
Park City, Utah was the host of something special over the last week, as the Holy Bowly wrapped up yesterday and today and the riding was all-time as fifty lucky kids were handpicked to ride with the hundred-plus participants who had been lapping all week, but again, the riding will be showcased in the photos and videos. What I want to emphasize with these words is simply how much fun the crowd, the media, and the riders had at the 2014 Holy Bowly. It's truly unlike anything I have ever witnessed in my tenure. What Krush Kulesza and Jeremy Cooper have created is something that will resonate with all who were here for a long, long time.
At the end of today, small tribes were huddled in the parking lot's asphalt and dirt sipping cold beers and reminiscing about five day's worth of riding that felt like five weeks. There was a lot of laughter, red, windburned faces, chapped lips, sopping boots laying out to dry, and in the air, mixed with the cigarette smoke hung loosely that commonality of why we were all here, and that was simply to turn our snowboards in, on, and through the funnest park feature any of us had ever ridden. Well, cheers, Krush. You really made a lot of memories, and we all can't wait to experience it again next year.
As a special little tribute to how incredible The Holy Bowly was this year, I took a chairlift ride with the legendary Jamie Lynn and I asked him if I could record our conversation. He said it wasn't a problem, and I wanted to share it with all of you. If there's one thing to remember as a snowboarder, it's that if Jamie talks, you should listen, so here's your chance to hear what Jamie has to say about The Holy Bowly, his road trip down to the event with his buddies, and what snowboarding can learn from the past five days. Ladies and gentlemen, a quick chairlift chat with Jamie Lynn about Lib Technologies' 2014 Holy Bowly:
Jamie, you've ridden a lot of features in your day. What are your thoughts on The Holy Bowly setup?
I think that hat we're getting a chance to experience here is a culmination of the last two years that we've had this event over in Japan. With it being over in Japan, there was a certain restriction in the size of the setup and we can get around that here in the States. It's just the variety of features in the course here at Park City that's amazing, and having it in the States with the field of participants that we have is a unique opportunity, and hopefully it's setting a precedent for others to let them know that it doesn't take much to enjoy a day of snowboarding other than strapping into your snowboard, making some turns with your friends, and finding new lines to ride.
Does it feel like a little nod to the days of old when events felt more like simply sessioning with your friends on a relatable setup? Parks now are bigger and hold more consequence than ever before but this setup seems to be progressing snowboarding in a totally new way.
The way that Krush and the rest of the Park City crew have laid the course out, it's kind of a blank canvas. They can use their creativity and draw lines that are unique and individual and I think that stands exactly for what snowboarding is all about. It does harken back to the days of expression sessions. You can feel that energy and that stoke in this event and hopefully those reverberations will be felt.
I think snowboarding as a whole can learn a lot from The Holy Bowly.
If anything, this trip for me has reinforced the belief that it's still possible to jump in a car, truck, RV, whatever it is, hit the road, and just experience what's around the next corner. You know, we've kinda taken it as it comes on this road trip to The Holy Bowly and when it feels good, we stop and set up camp and when it feels like the wind is blowing us out, we break down and hit the road again. It's been an amazing experience and I'm really fortunate to have the opportunity to do it with these guys.
My pleasure, T. Bird.