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Words: Pat Bridges
Photos: Ryan "Huggy" Hughes (unless otherwise credited)
I have been to 4 of the 8 Grenade Games. I didn't make the trek to Washington for the edible induced mayhem they had on tap at The Summit At Snoqualmie. Nor did I take time off of work for the very commercial though still highly debaucherous Whistler iterations of Danny Kass's shred centric love in. It was at the 4/20 inspired June Mountain events where I became taken with the Grenade Games charms. This was also where I began to look forward to the event as a reunion with the original Grenerds. Though Bear Mountain's version of the Grenade Games downplays the events stoney side it still lives up to its billing as a celebration of snowboarding's rebel roots.
The Grenade of 2012, which includes a Fuel TV show, MMA affiliations and a die cut on every pickup at Camp Pendleton, may not resemble the endearingly anti-establishment stencil schtick of 2002, but when you step back and look at the players who made Grenade blow up at the onset of the new Millennium it is hard to not get nostalgic. This sentimentality is what makes my annual pilgrimage to the Grenade Games among the most memorable laps I take each season. Being able to strap in alongside those same Grenerds who made Main Park at Mammoth seem like home to me for five seasons is reason enough to ignore the bullshit surrounding what it has all become and simply drop in.
Danny once again brought a lot of the band back together for Grenade Games 8. While riders like Erik Leon, Mads Johnson, Dustin Craven, Scott Blum, Harrison Gordon, Brandon Hobush, Zander Blackmon and Spencer Schubert were surely doing stunts stellar enough to turn every head on the deck at Bear Mountain, it was Brian Regis's backside rodeos, Colin Langlois's alley-oop line in the pipe and late 180's over the nipples, Dave Schiffs braces and Shane Flood's everything that got me hyped. While blackouts were abound everywhere you looked last weekend I was the one who was time traveling. Sadly that last part isn't truly the case because if I had that ability I would be at Grenade Games 9 already riding with Sketchy, Schiff, Shane, Colin, Regis and if I'm lucky Casillo, Beaman, Clancy, Leach, Rice, Keenan, Lane, Giaccomo, Rahm, Bobby, Reilly, Scotty, Morace and the rest of 'em including Matt!