The Launch 2018 at Woordward Copper – Day 1 Photos and Highlights
words: Mary Walsh
photos: E-Stone, T. Bird, Mary Walsh, and Mark Clavin
It was greybird on Tuesday morning as the lifts at Copper Mountain started to turn. Big snowflakes filled the sky, polluting the first day of spring with the obstinance of winter. But the timing was perfect, as along with the influx of cold air, nearly 200 of snowboarding's youngest park purveyors had arrived in The Rockies for a week of lapping at The Launch, SNOWBOARDER's annual park shoot for the rising generation of freestyle phenoms. Eleven years ago, The Launch began as a gathering for up-and-comers to set their lines in a proper-sized park and since then, has evolved into a favorite annual event for the youngest standing-sideways talent. For the eleventh iteration of the event, Woodward Copper pulled out all the stops in creating an ideal setting for sending. Just down the fall line from the Union Creek chair, the Woodward park crew had pushed an enormous set up stocked with cheese wedges, hips, quarters, plenty of transition, and ninety-eight individual jibs, from DFDs to rainbows, a-frames, wallrides, and then some.
The park opened at 10am and true to form, The Launch attendees skipped the warm up laps and pointed it straight toward the plentiful, perfectly raked take-offs. Luke Winkelman and Storm Rowe instigated a session on the rainbow-DFD rail and DFD tube at the bottom of the park and soon the severed spine (which will undoubtedly see some creative transfers over the next few days) was getting planted by Keegan Hosefros, Sy Moran, Pat Fava, Xander Raith, and more. The double-sided hip was opened up by Miles Fallon and very quickly, he, along with Rakai Tait, Denver Orr, Lucas Foster, Valentino Guseli, Justin Phipps, Jack Wiley, Jadyn Chomlack, and Evan Werner were blasting high above the Summit County skyline. In the middle of the park lane, the Woodward crew set up a series of bright red and blue ski racing gates on a table, providing plenty of bashing options for the riders and opening up the SNOWBOARDER staff's forthcoming caption game. Watch the day one video for the best use of racing gates we've seen to date by Cody Warble, Ian Matteoli, Miles Fallon, Sy Moran, Asher Humphreys, Matty Cox, Luke Winkelman, Denver Orr, Alexis Rolland, and more. The lower flat gap to was the spot for a late afternoon session and the upper wallride and a-frame were opened up, too.
The bottom line is that the Woodward Copper set up offers up nearly endless options and day one is, by definition, just the beginning of a week of sessioning and sending by the rising generation. Stay tuned to Snowboarder.com for daily photo and video updates and follow @snowboardermag and @woodwardcopper and #TheLaunch2018 for up-to-the-minute updates from Woodward Copper.