Grenade Games 2011: Bear Mountain

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This quarterpipe had to go to the clinic again after Dustin Craven hit it a second time.

Words & Photos: T Bird

It may not have gone down on 4/20 this year, but the 7th annual Grenade Games drew stoners, boners, derelicts and degenerates to Big Bear yet again. Danny Kass and his RV full of alpine antagonists pulled in to Big Bear Lake, California under sunny skies, but when the smoke cleared at the end of the Grenade Games, there were still vapor trails visible from San Bernardino. The Grenade Games has become a gathering more so than an actual contest, and the Grenerds, as they're so aptly titled, certainly love a good ol' fashioned barn burner. This year was no different.

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Bear Mountain local and living legend Chris Bradshaw has cut his teeth on these very slopes, and the benefits of growing up on the slopes of Big Bear are quite evident.

Roped off from the general public (and for good reason), the Grenade Games course, built by Clayton Shoemaker and the dedicated pushers at Bear, left little to be desired, and allowed the participants to have free reign over the entire venue in an all-out jam session where no feature was ever technically closed. Because of this, the on-hill assemblage (including the likes of but not limited to Dustin Craven, the Dingo, Louie Vito, Keegan Valaika, Eric Messier, the Midget Mafia, Chris Bradshaw, Lucas Magoon, Zak Hale, Chris Brewster, Harrison Gordon, Shane Fortier, Brian Regis, Johnny Miller, Cody Rosenthal, Dylan Alito, Johnny Lazz, and the dreadlocked hero) had their way with every single feature all day long, with no strict regimen of who needed to hit when, when, and why. It was chaos, and truth be told, our kind rather enjoys chaos, controlled or not.

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Lucas Magoon hates snakes, but he's not afraid of King Cobras. Seriously. He has one tattooed on him.

A channel gap, quarterpipe, mini pipe with all the fixins, big kicker, little kickers, dual slalom course, mogul field, and pond skim. Those were the features. At any given time, there were three to four session happening at once, with Mr. Danny Kass himself stepping away from his duties as a competitor and stepping up to the microphone as the main heckler. Danny's a funny guy. At one point, I made sure to jot down what I believe to be his best line of the weekend: "I was on stage with The Game last night and I’ve never been so stoked in my life, and 12 hours later I sharted in my pants." Now that's just gold.

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Now this guy, he's a legend. His name is Mike Brokeoff, and he rides Big Bear religiously. By "riding" Big Bear, we mean doing backside rodeo japans off of any and everything. No joke. If there's a jump, regardless of how sketchy it is, Brokeoff will throw this trick down. Speaking of which, take a minute to donate money to Japan.

Personally, my favorite event to watch was either the Chinese Eyed Downhill on the mogul field or the final day's event, the Dual Slalom in which participants were pitted head-to-head and pointing it down a boardercross-style course consisting of rollers, gaps, and rails, and finishing at the pond skim. There was serious carnage, and I took morbid pleasure in watching the contestants eat massive loads of shit. Regardless, it was my first time at The Grenade Games and there's no way in hell I will ever miss another one. From Dustin Craven's on-hill and off-hill exploits to the return of Bobby Meeks and Brian Regis (those dudes are still sick), and the dreadlocked hero who flung himself off of every feature with no regard for his or anyone else's safety to the disclaimers in the lodge warning parents with small children of the event that was in progress, it was one of the best things I've witnessed at a ski resort in a long, long time. I'm riding on a contact high that I won't soon forget.

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The eyeball jump had to go to the clinic after Dustin Craven hit it.

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Now that's a pretty proper handplant.

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Mason Aguirre, lazy style on the eyeball jump.

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The dreadlocked hero. I never got his name. I didn't really want to. I just wanted to remember him as the guy who took out a wind flag mid-backflip and rode away to tell about it.

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This is out old intern Mark. I told him that I was going to Photoshop a certain thing near or around him in the photo. Unfortunately for him, I lack the Photoshop skills required to do it. Still though, this is a weird position to shoot photos from in a male-dominated sport.

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This photo needs no explanation at all.

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Johnny Lazz came all the way from Lake Tahoe, California to compete in the Grenade Games. He still doesn't know where Lake Tahoe, California is.

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The return of Bobby Meeks! Á la Robot Food backside 180.

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Who has one thumb and likes safety meetings? Chris Bradshaw.

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This dude had a cool ship captain's hat on. Aside from that, there's not all that much I could tell you about him. He had good style, too.

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The Chinese Eyed Downhill was a crowd favorite. What more could a terribly tattooed, severely intoxicated spectator ask for?

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Louie Vito recently started his own company called LV. We're still trying to figure out what it stands for, but it has a nice ring to it.

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Zak Hale got high on trees at the Grenade Games. No, really. That wasn't a joke. He did.

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In my opinion, this dude should've won the "Most Boned" award for this method. Either him or the dozens of girls who went to the after party last night.

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This quarterpipe had to go to the clinic after Dustin Craven hit it.

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Eero Niemela's nickname is NAMBLA. Don't know what NAMBLA is? Google it. Not from a work computer though. Trust me…

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Louie Vito, high on the eye. Sorry Louie, you're deserving of a better caption than that. I'll make it up to you in print.

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The claw daddy, Mr. Evan Lefebvre.

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Harrison Gordon made waves at the Grenade Games.

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Danny Kass caps off the event with a little water-walkin'.

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I shot this with my camera phone. I just found it really, really funny.