words: T. Bird
photos: E-Stone, Aaron Blatt, and T. Bird
Instead of giving you a play-by-play of the action on the hill and the debauchery off of it at Lib Tech's Holy Bowly, I decided to track down the man behind the event, Krush Kulesza and query him about the event itself. Sit back and listen to what Krush has to say about The Holy Bowly's past, present, and future. Enjoy.
So how did The Holy Bowly come about?
The Holy Bowly came about from a combination of two things: The vibe that we created at The Holy Oly Revival up at Snoqualmie Pass that we did for eight years and what made that unique was allowing local kids in the community to ride with people like Danny Kass, Wille Yli-Luoma, stuff like that, which was pretty unique at the time. We took that element of the vibe, and then I'd been enamored with snow bowls since I built my first snowskate bowl in the spring of 2001 and we did some others with SNOWBOARDER Mag and I just dug the whole scene. I ended up going out to Japan and seeing what was going on and the whole culture there with snow bowls that's been going on for about twelve years now. The name Holy Bowly sounded funny and I was like, "Maybe we could incorporate the two styles together." What I was trying to bring from what's been going on in Japan for the last decade or so was putting a little more emphasis on the freestyle side of it while still paying respect to the slash and the turn. Just compliment that with ridiculous freestyle and that's kinda where we're at now.
What's the difference in approach between building a stock terrain park with jumps and rails and building something like this?
I guess it could be viewed as tougher to do but then again, when people were starting to build terrain parks fifteen years ago that was pretty tough at the time, so it's just a different way of looking at it. It's tougher to maintain a park like this but I think there are elements that people could bring into any terrain park throughout the whole year and something like this could come together. At the end of the day, with the popularity of this event and others of a similar nature, it just makes people think about what they're doing a little bit more and it makes snowboarding less linear. This isn't better than anything else, it's just another option. People need to think more when they're riding this and that's cool.
With a lot of terrain parks now, people think bigger is better but with The Holy Bowly setup it may be smaller but it gives the rider more options which I think catalyzes a new form of progression by forcing the user to think outside the box.
I think you hit it on the head pretty well right there. This whole style of riding is attainable. It's an inclusive terrain feature. Pete Saari will go on and on about Olympic training facilities and that's where most parks have gotten to and I thought about that too. I don't like riding regular terrain parks but I'll ride this all the time. And what's cool about it is that if you're an intermediate snowboarder you can have a good time. Any kid can come ride here with Forest Bailey and Kazuhiro Kokubo and all these dudes that are just killing it. There's about ninety or a hundred other names I could list. But they can relate to what those guys are doing because they're riding the same bowls. They may not be doing the same line but it's attainable. So much of the other stuff, you know, twenty-two foot pipes and seventy, a hundred foot jumps, it's kinda tough to bring new participants into the culture of snowboarding when you look at that. It's tough to picture yourself doing that. Back in the old Open days, Terje was head high. You could picture yourself getting there. Now, with a guy twenty-too feet out of a twenty-two foot pipe, that's just not happening.
Well, keep doing good things for snowboarding, Krush. This event is amazing.