Words: T Bird
Video Above: Gary Tyler McLeod
Video Below: Joe Carlino

A lot of contests these days just aren't fun to watch. The rapid evolution of snowboarding has made modern-day contest riding to seem static, in my opinion. Double corks are now stock tricks and style has been amalgamated and condensed. They all look the same. Set up turn, Cab 12 double cork; set up turn, back 10 double cork, so on and so forth. It just kind of bores me. But this weekend, up on the Windells lane on Mt. Hood, contest riding scored a big one in my book. The 14th Annual Bonfire Pipe to Pipe happened. It was hectic. It was loose. And it was really fun to watch.

The Pipe to Pipe is the longest-running summer snowboard contest in the world. For fourteen years, riders have gathered on the glacier overlooking the Timberline lodge and rode a fun, unique setups that lended more creativity than your average rail, rail, box, triple line courses. This year, the folks at Bonfire decided to tip their hat to the days of yore, deciding to pepper two mini pipes set back to back with jibs. It was a throwback to the old days on Mt. Hood, and the jam format made it even that much more exciting to witness. All day long, pros, ams, and industry (a new division this year) criss-crossed, planted, bonked, and nearly collided in a self-governing session that garnered as much laughter as it did stoke. Mike Rav, Justin Fronius, Marie Hucal, Sawyer Dean, Kyle Lopiccolo, Red Gerard, Robbie Sell, Dustin Anderson, Kohei Kudo, and more trickled through the pipe and were judged by Harrison Gordon, Jess Kimura, Bode Merrill, and Chris Grenier. The number of nearly-missed collisions was astronomical and entertaining, as the pipes set back-to-back made it hard to see who was in the other pipe, but in the end, it worked out to everyone's benefit, including the judges who were hooting as much as they were putting pencil to paper.

In the afternoon, everyone funneled down the 26 to the Windells campus, which plays host to what is one of the best skateparks in the country. Massive amounts of concrete, shaped and sculpted into bowls, bumps, and tranny wind through the property, emptying you out into the main park, which is where the second event was held. Hundreds of skate enthusiasts huddled around the park to watch what I considered to be more of a demo than a jam. The pro men were absolutely incredible, and at one point, I actually felt guilty that I hadn't paid to watch live skating at this level. A kid named Willis Kimball won. He's Scott Blum's homey, and possibly the best skateboarder I have ever seen in real life. Rumor has it he'll be in the Summer X Games, so if you're watching, root for this dude. He's insane.

The awards were handed out for both skate and snow, and now I'm plopped in a PDX terminal typing these words and fighting the urge to get back on a bus to Govy. I'd like to extend a sincere thank you to Brad, Amy, Java, Kevin, Kate, Rian, Dave, and the entire Salomon/Bonfire team. They put on a hell of a show, and all weekend made me feel like part of their little Northwest family. It's a long summer of making magazines ahead, but my respite rests in the fact that next year, I'll be plopped in a PDX terminal typing these words all over again, and reminiscing about a weekend well-spent at Hood.

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Pro Men Snow

1. Kyle Lopiccolo
2. Sawyer Dean
3. Justin Fronius

Pro Women Snow
1. Marie Hucal
2. Kelly Underwood
3. Laura Rogowski

Industry Snow
1. Dustin Anderson
2. Robbie Sell & Alex Lopez (tie)
3. Dave Doman

Am Women Snow
1. Noelle Edwards
2. Lydia Baldia
3. Karen Kobayoshi

Am Men Snow
1. Charlie Mayforth
2. Jeremy Nyland
3. Jake Mayers