Recap: T Bird
Captions: Pat Bridges
Let's face it. Contests generally aren't that fun. Especially contests held in the rain, but then again, contests don't happen in the rain because event organizers take weather days. Well, at America's Next Top Pro Model, we here at SNOWBOARDER don't heed weather days well. We figure that an event set up in order to rationalize sensationalistic data like, "Bryan Fox has the fastest snowboard in the world," or "Chris Bradshaw's pro model is the most popular board in the world in the 13-18 year-old range" should go on, even in the rain, because, well, Terry Kidwell and Kevin Jones don't strap in for just any old contest, and thus rain or shine, the show must go on.
And so it was on the High Cascade lane. Rain pissing on the riders and turning the summer snow to wet, heavy slush. However, all the riders in attendance didn't bat an eye at a little wet weather, and the first event of America's Next Top Pro Model 2011 kicked off. It was the High Ollie event, and bets were hedges on everyone from Bradshaw and Bode to Kidwell and Jake OE. It's a one shot, one kill scenario. Once the contest is on, the riders have one chance to…uh, raise the bar (yeah, that just happened) and if they fail to do so, they are eliminated. On that note, those who put down paper on Kidwell were surely disappointed when he was bumped from the field early, but we all must remember that he was handplanting a Tahoe City dump snowbank when the rest of the field was barely in diapers (or better yet, born). Lane Knaack, Lauri Heiskari, Iikka Backstrom, Kyle Clancy, Kevin Jones, Aaron Biittner, Dylan Thompson, Takaharu Nakai, Eddie Wall, and a grip of others popped as hard as they could, but when the smoke cleared, young Forest Bailey was crowned ANTPM High Ollie champion with Chris Bradshaw, and Marc Swoboda in second and third respectively. Personally, I had five on BShaw, but I failed recognize how much snap Forest had in his Park Pickle.
After the High Ollie, we made our way over to the HCSC medium-sized jump for the Spin To Win portion of the contest. The format for Spin To Win is simple: each rider gets three frontside (or switch backside) spins and three backside (or Cab) attempts. Their highest-rotated spins from each are added up (for example, two 900s=1800 points) and the rider with the most points wins. Fox was a favorite. So were Lane and Clancy. Bode was too, of course, and obviously Kevin Jones was in the running. The dude reinvented spinning off the toes. Still riding in the rain, the ANTPM participants spun away into the fog, and between me, you and the internet, style was at times put aside in lieu of simply landing, but it was one of the most fun contests I've ever watched. Two of the favorites topped the podium (Bode Merrill and Kevin Jones) and Forest Bailey finished out a great day for himself by rounding out the top three. As of now, Forest is clearly in the lead to take the overall, but we still have Highest Air in the pipe, Longest Rail (on the Boxes for Days setup being constructed as we speak), the Chinese Downhill, and the Charity Auction, so stay tuned to snowboardermag.com to keep up with all the action in the coming days. The 2011 ANTPM is proudly brought to you by High Cascade Snowboard Camp, The House, Timberline Resort, and all the companies who support the place of signature models in snowboarding culture.
1 Forest Bailey
2 Chris Bradshaw
3 Marc Swoboda
Spin To Win
1st Tie Kevin Jones, Bode Merrill
3 Forest Bailey