Superpark 22 At Crystal Mountain Presented By Oakley—Day 4 Photo Highlights
words: Mary Walsh/Mark Clavin
photos: Andy Wright, E-Stone, Mike Yoshida, Oli Gagnon, Mary Walsh, Mark Clavin, Chris Wellhausen
Day four of Superpark 22 presented by Oakley started out early for the crew at Crystal. At 4:30am, the Chinook Express started turned and shuttled two dozen of snowboarding's most talented jumpers to Campbell Basin for a sunrise shoot. Low hanging fog filled the valley, but the park was above the clouds, and as the sun peeked through, the collection of early-rising riders started dropping rapid-fire into the 70-foot rider's right-to-left transfer. Tim Humphreys, Benji Farrow, Sy Moran, Asher Humphreys, Valentino Guseli, Justin Phipps, and more were sending the jump high above the horizon in the early morning air. Kyle Mack, Sean FitzSimons, Denver Orr, Grant Giller, and Keegan Hosefros were especially on a tear.
When 10am rolled around, the clouds burned off and the sky turned blue. Mike Rav was lapping the Diamond Peak lane finding his characteristic, creative lines. Dan Brisse was lapping everything in sight. Bode Merrill and Justin Keniston went over-under on the transfer and rail jump and they were backed up by Milo and Mac Malkoski, Finn Finestone and another ripper who sent it four-pack on the jump and rail right after.
Jibbers rejoiced today, as Carinthia erected a jib zone near the bottom of the Forest Queen chair. Ranks of rail riders hiked there all day. Benny Milam, Nate Haust, Nial Romanek, Max Warbington, Sam Blazejewski, Keegan Hosefros, and Jake Aaronsen were holding court on the rail while Austin Buza, Peter Line, and Kyle Kennedy focused on the tree jib.
Just as Bode was dropping in, we pulled him aside for a quick interview. Shockingly enough, he hit the jump and actually answered every single one of these questions before he hit the ground.
So, what have you been up to this season?
This past season I did a project with Desiree Melancon, Erik Leon and filmer, Paul Osbourne. We're calling it Contrast and it's going to be a short film, half day/half night. Doing a full night thing was pretty exciting, but we didn't use generators, lights or anything, just headlamps, and skate lights on the camera. We did a lot of follow cam street stuff. And that'll be mixed with backcoutry RED footage with this low light sensor on the RED cam that is absolutely gorgeous at night. We scored and only shot the backcountry stuff in two weeks—we got insane blower pow pretty much every day. I was pretty sick of travelling for the past sixteen years just non-stop, so we just stayed at home in Utah and pretty much rode Brighton every day, the streets of Salt Lake and Park City, and Grizzly Gulch. So, it's almost 100% Utah with a couple things here and there that aren't. It'll be cool.
Are you guys now wrapped with that now?
After Superpark we're going to go back to Utah and film a week or two of spring stuff, just to get a little but more and then going to Max's Quarterpipe Campout. That'll be the end of the season.
And right now, you find yourself at Superpark. Do you remember your first Superpark, where it was, when, etc.?
I do. It was 16 years ago at Mammoth. I was a little kid and I had just gotten on Nitro. Tonino brought me out there when he was the team manager and I just got in a van with a bunch of crazy people—the Nitro team was absolutely insane at that time. It opened my eyes to the world in a lot of different ways (laughs). I remember Superpark being big that year and scary, so I definitely scared the shit out of myself, just like every time I come to Superpark. It really gets the blood flowing. But, maybe the scariest thing was the drive to Superpark, sitting in a van in the backseat between Giacomo and Fillipo [Kratter] who were both in their tighty-whities on either side of me the entire drive just saying the gnarliest shit. So that was fun.
Now as a veteran of this event, what makes coming back and riding each year fun?
I've definitely transitioned out of parking riding pretty much altogether, except for riding the little park at Brighton and hitting mailboxes and 20-foot jumps and stuff. It's so goddamned fun to come here and hit perfectly-built jumps that are huge and safe. It feels so good; it jacks your heartrate up every time you drop in. It's sick to come and actually prove to myself that I can still hit the jumps with all the kids these days. It's insane seeing all these kids with no fear, just spinning and flipping off the biggest shit. It's cool to be among that still and trying to hang. (laughs)
Are there any kids in particular that you think have been killing it?
The kids actually this year that have really caught my eye are Denver Orr and Dylan Oak Tree, Those kids are really sick. Jack Wiley and the Grilled Cheese dudes are really fun to watch. There's so many kids who I don't recognize and I see and am like, "Who's that kid?! That was insane!" But yeah, it's cool to come here and see that snowboarding is still progressing and the future is bright. It's going to be in good hands.
If Superpark 22 for you this year was a song, what song would it be?
"Despacito". I came straight here from Mexico and we were just bumping that song non-stop, so it's been in my head all week.
To see the rest of the action on the day, watch the video from day two and three when it dropping soon!