words: T. Bird
Over the last two decades, Superpark has cemented itself in the snowboarding subculture as the premier platform of progression in freestyle. The event has ushered in names like Travis Rice and features like channeled out stepover-style jumps and C-boxes and the result in those evolutions have helped launch careers and educate builders across North America in order to enhance the everyday rider's on-hill experience. Now, in its 21st year, Superpark is bigger, badder and better than ever before.
Our host resort, Mammoth Mountain, California has pulled out all the stops and with the help of four other build teams from Boreal, California, Mount Snow, Vermont, Loon Mountain, New Hampshire and Seven Springs, Pennsylvania, they have amassed one of the biggest, safest and most spectacular Superpark setups that we have ever seen, thanks in part to Mammoth's monumental snowfall that they received this winter, accumulating almost 700 total inches of snow since opening day. All of these factors add up to what is sure to be one hell of a week to stay tuned to this site in order to witness some of the best snowboarding that will go down this year.
Superpark 21 has lured in some of snowboarding's elite, with a roster that reads like a list of first ballot Hall of Famers as well as some of the most promising upstarts in our sport. From Pat Moore, Chris Grenier, Bode Merrill, Sage Kotsenburg, Scott Stevens, Elena Hight, Halldór Helgason, Desiree Melancon, Torstein Horgmo, Ståle Sandbech, Scott Blum, JP Walker, Kazuhiro Kokubo, Iikka Backstrom, and Kimmy Fasani to newcomers Brandon Davis, Yuki Kadono, Redmond Gerard, Brock Crouch, Judd Henkes, Toby Miller, Tomoki Wakita, Hans Mindnich, Garrett Warnick, Ozzy Henning, Lyon Farrell, Chase Josey, Chandler Hunt, Dru Brownrigg, Drayden Gardner, Dylan Alito, Erik Leon, Frank Bourgeois, Hailey Langland, Jake Pates, Jason Newman, Johnny O'Connor, Justin Fronius, Kevin Backstrom, Maddie Mastro, Mikey Ciccarelli, Miles Fallon, Nik Baden, and many more, the list of pros and ams is the most stacked it's been in almost a decade and judging by the looks of the features built by Mammoth, Boreal, Loon, Mount Snow and Seven Springs, it's going to be a long but insane week of riding.
The morning started off slow, with registration funneling people through a table full of waivers and high fives and as the low clouds that sat on top of the Superpark 21 setup began to lift, so did the anticipation of what lay in wait, as the course was unveiled for the hundreds of riders in attendance and upon the first few laps through Superpark, jaws dropped and heads turned on the lift as everyone realized how big the footprint of Superpark 21 really is. To put it bluntly, it's kind of ridiculous how much terrain there is up there to tear apart, but check the photos and video from day one to truly see what we are working with above The Mill on Chair 4.
Day one is usually pretty slow going, but seeing as SNOWBOARDER registered 450 (yes, you read that right) riders, industry and media this morning by 11:00am, the conglomerate of riders descended upon Mammoth and started sessioning immediately. The first feature was the Loon Arrowhead jump, which is a three-sided beast with a thirty-foot tall take off and Zaugg'd quarters on either side. Riders on the quarterpipe who were standouts were Scott Blum, Jed Sky, Cody Warble, Mike Rav, Parker Szumowski, Reid Smith, Nils Mindnich and many more while the jump featured Judd Henkes, Grant Giller, Red Gerard, Zach Normandin, Tim Humphreys, Tyler Flanagan, Halldór Helgason, and a slew of others. The Arrowhead proved to work perfectly and we're sure there is going to be plenty more action on that feature during the rest of the week.
Immediately after that died down, the Boreal Tree Island started to go off and it was one of the most memorable sessions I can remember on any day one of Superpark. Halldór Helgason kicked it off with some upside down 360 methods that were as inexplicable as they were unexplainable. Following in Halldór's footsteps were Garrett Warnick, Ethan Morgan, Tyler Chorlton, Tyler Flanagan, Zak Hale, Judd Henkes, Yuki Kadono, Tomoki Wakits, Zach Normandin, Justin Phipps, Jaeger Bailey, Iikka Backstrom, DC Brand Manager Bobby Meeks and a handful of others. The day ended as the sun started to set and Day One came to a close, but worry not, because we will be up there all week long documenting what is sure to be one of the craziest weeks that terrain park snowboarding has ever seen. Stay tuned to snowboarder.com for all the action.