Seattle, WA – July 22, 2009 – For three years now we've been running Gromfest. From Gromfest Qualifiers at over 18 resorts each winter, to Gromfest Special Events year round, to the Gromfest Finals each July at Whistler, British Columbia. Each and every year has been unique, progressive and that much bigger and better, but the most amazing thing time after time is watching the level of riding progress.
From July 13th-16th, Camp of Champions once again opened its doors to Gromfest and allowed us to set up and run the only 18 & under, international, summer, amateur snowboard event. Riders who had qualified from all over North America descended on Whistler to ride one of the best summer parks under blue skies and 80-degree days.
If you wanted to place you had to be ready to compete in various disciplines including slopestyle, rails and even a mini-pipe. Top that off with a best-trick competition on a massive hip and you had the layout of the 2009 Finals. Everything was once again run in a jam style format with judges from Roxy, Quiksilver and POW Gloves taking the opportunity to drop and ride with the competitors rather than sit in a chair with a clipboard all day long. From 9-year-olds from Calgary to 17-year-olds from Oregon, the list of competitors was a hodgepodge of talent and everyone had to bring their A-game in order to head home with one of Gromfest's Trophy Boards.
Gromfest kicked off this year with a massive evening skateboard event aptly titled, the "Late Night Shred." Held at Whistler's skate park, the Late Night Shred brought together skaters from up and down the Sea-to-Sky Highway for skate competitions, a BBQ, car smash, and live music from DJ Lon, Animal Nation, and The Turn. One of the biggest hits of the evening, however, was the "First Annual International Kick Flop Championships." This skate event was only for those new skaters who couldn't even kickflip…a best-of-the-worst if you will. Winner took home not only a set of prizes, but also a one-of-a-kind trophy board painted up by this year's Gromfest artist, Joey World Famous out of New Jersey.
The other evenings included a Gromfest BBQ at Rainbow Park and a Movie Night at the Millennium Place Teen Center. With films from Family Tree Land (www.familytreeland.com), Knife Show (www.knifeshowinc.com), and Stepchild Snowboards combined with free popcorn and soda thanks to Jones Soda, the line up to get in was once again a testament to how much people enjoy watching snowboarding as well as getting out and doing it.
So why was this event so different than any other? Besides the laid back, no pressure approach that Gromfest uses, the 2009 Gromfest Finals were once again a fundraiser for board sport non-profits whose goal it is to help youth. For 2009 Gromfest donated $1,000 to both the Snow Days Foundation and the Patrick Kerr Skateboard Scholarship. Each and every competitor who attended the Finals not only had to qualify during the winter, but then had to fundraise during the year in order to be allowed to compete. Two Kelowna-based participants, Nic and Ben Cousins, really got into the spirit this year and raised $1,350 in one month.
"They were just so into it, which is great, " said Gromfest founder and director Ryan Simpson. "We're trying to set the bar for snowboard competitions…we want to be something that's unique and different and Nic and Ben really got that message and ran with it."
It was a tough event to judge and choose winners for, especially when you not only had great prize packs up for grabs, but also one-of-a-kind trophies, and three bids to Snowboarder Magazine's "The Launch" event in 2010. After much debate, the results panned out like this:
OVERALL GROMFEST WINNERS
1st – Matt Penny
2nd – Gareth Armanious
3rd – Ben Cousins
12 & UNDER WINNERS
1st – Ben Cousins
2nd – Jack Collins
3rd – Sam Anderson
1st – Matt Penny
2nd – Gabe Anderson
3rd – Brad Tiefenthaler
1st – Gareth Armanious
2nd – Jesse Gouveia
3rd – Tyy Clark
1st – Shayna Goodwin
2nd – Adriane Cairns
BEST TRICK WINNER
Best Trick – Brise Lively
BIDS TO "THE LAUNCH"
Special thanks to all of Gromfest's sponsors, including but not limited to Whistler, Camp of Champions, Whistler Youth Center, Ride Snowboards, Dakine, DC, Quiksilver, Roxy, Jones Soda, Stepchild Snowboards, POW Gloves, Snowboarder Magazine and Transworld Snowboarding.
Check out info, pics, videos and more of Gromfest at www.gromfest.org
Gromfest started in 2006 as an amateur skate and snow competition that gives kids 18 & under the opportunity to be in the spotlight and show off their skills. No crazy rules, no crazy requirements, just crazy riding. In addition, Gromfest donates proceeds to non-profit, alternative sports programs that benefit kids. By doing this, Gromfest is assuring bright futures.