words and photos: Mary Walsh
No one ever compared Cole St. Martin to a tortoise, but when it comes to winning snowboard contests, this Plymouth State Snowboard Club alum ascribes to the “slow and steady wins the rail jam” mentality. Ending a decade-long gold medal draught, CSM stood atop the podium on Saturday, November 26th at Loon Mountain, the victor of Loon’s annual first event of the season, Cease and Desist (or as locals call it, TEFKATJ).
Cease and Desist has a rare heritage, an early season rail jam that takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving ever year, with low-consequence features built to catalyze fun to kick off the year. The prize money is mellow; the winner most years takes home a few extra Benjamins along with an entire Butterball turkey. There are no finals, just an hour-long jam to impress the judges. Homemade cookies and pretzels circulate among the crowd, a boisterously excited group who are fresh off the slopes and out of the Bunyan Room, there to watch friends and see who will earn the prestigious victory at a decidedly homegrown event.
Due to all of these things, Cease and Desist is a beloved contest and over the years, New England’s finest have strapped in on the drop in for a chance to win their very own Hungry Man frozen turkey dinner. Eugene Stancato, Mike Ravelson, Johnny O’Connor, Parker Szumowski, Brendon Rego, Dylan Dragotta, Tim Major, Ian and Brendan Hart, Merrick Joyce, Rob Hallowell, Gravedigger, and many more have competed over the eleven years Cease and Desist has been the start of winter at Loon. It’s as much a reunion as a contest and every year, riders return to both snowboard and spectate.
This year, the eleventh annual iteration of the event was rife with impressive November jibbing from a cornucopia of the East Coast’s established rippers as well as up and comers. Jed Sky and River Richer were sending. Cole Navin and Johnny O’Connor were poaching laps. Merrick Joyce, Brendan Hart, and Jack Kohan were ripping. Bo Warren, Morris Gifford, Kyle Cross, Noah Guariello, and Tyler Vallieres were also making quick work of the set up. On the ladies side, the ranks were small in number but high in talent. Previous podium pundits Ashley Giangregorio and Athena Comeau were joined by Caroline Patton in annihilating the tubes and boxes. And Cole St. Martin was just sending. After his first few drops, park staff, homies, and even the judges were watching the khaki-panted manboy wonder stomp trick after trick. He toppled expectations, showcasing the metal mettle that everyone knows he possesses and emerged with his first Cease and Desist title, a fitting beginning for what could potentially turn into the #winterofcsm.
As Lincoln collectively headed to the Mexican restaurant in town to celebrate with Cole (and where he donated 100% of his winnings to his friends), we had a chance to catch up quickly with one of the East Coast’s favorite boarders.
Congratulations! This is a late career success for you. To what do you attribute your aptitude on the rails tonight?
Probably Danger Beach. I did a couple push ups because Dylan Dragotta made me do them before I did the contest. I did twenty.
Is he contracted as your coach?
Moreso he provides a little extra guidance when I make bad decisions.
What was the dopest trick you performed tonight?
I don’t know. Probably not hurting myself? That’s probably the best trick I pulled. I came away unscathed.
Rumor is this is the first contest you have won since you were thirteen years old in USASA?
It’s actually the first contest I’ve won since I was fifteen. It was a Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge Rail Jam in Vail, Colorado on a battleship rail. This is the first one back home I’ve won, I don’t know, in a decade.
You’ve started off the season with a win. Where you going to go from here?
I’m just going to keep boarding and hanging out with my friends. Hopefully find some cool chicks to hang out with, too.
First – Cole St. Martin
Second – River Richer
Third – Jack Kohan
Honorable Mention – Jed Sky
First – Caroline Patton
Second – Athena Comeau
Third – Ashley Giangregorio
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