Archive for the 'Events' Category
Since I talked to you last wednesday I have been on the road.
I was in LA for Levis for the 3rd annual Powersliders competition. That’s right powersliders. You’ve heard of it right? Probably not but you have done though in its beginner form. Sliding on your ass down railings is what you have done. Powersliding is what you have not done. Extreme ass sliding is what powersliding is. Levi’s built a massive powersliding terrain park at the Santa Monica pier in LA. They had a full on contest. The course was pretty gnarly. Huge and difficult with regards to sliding, plus there was a brisk wind. The powersliders went for it and it was sick! Check it online. I was judging with Kendra from the “Girls Next door” and Wee Man who I am convinced is the same volume as Kendra’s boobs. The band that played was this two man, actually one woman one man band called Matt and Kim. Matt plays keyboard and Kim plays drums and smiles a lot. I like them here they are on the Faction:
Matt and Kim
She is a pretty and punky chick who is super fit and wails on a modified small drum kit . She sings at the top of her longs in sync with Matt but she does not use a mic. At one point she stood on her base drum singing and pumping up the crowd. I loved her. Matt is tall and skinny and leads the band with the singing from behind the keyboard. He keeps the crowd fired up with his music and his story telling. In this particular show he explained how he had just gotten scabies. Crude but it was entertaining especially because it embarrassed Kim. I guess they are a couple. Bottom line is I had never heard of them or seen them and I was impressed. Great live show. Here is another band along those lines, with a song you may have heard:
MGMT song called kids.
My whole trip was a celebrity fest. I hung with Wee man who I had never met and is cool as shit. In my hotel I got a picture with Rachel Hunter who I always liked as kid. She is older now but still way hot. She looked like she was just running some errands but when I got the picture with here you could tell why she is a super model. Her face pops on camera of course. Later that day I was having lunch on the third st. promenade and I got a picture with Audrina from The Hills. She was cool, and looked the same as she did on TV. She was having lunch next to us with her sister or something. Then of course I spent the rest of the day with Kendra from “The Girls Next Door” where she played one of Hef’s girlfriends. I actually watched that show a bit back in the day and I liked her the best I guess because she was sporty. She is now engaged to a football player and has left the mansion . I asked her immediately if she banged Hef, but I never really got an answer. Wee Man was super cool and entertaining and the crowd loved him. He says he is rolling out some show right now but couldn’t tell what so stay tuned I guess. And to top it off on way home to the hotel I look over and it was none other than Jason Ellis. Ellismate was having some family time at a Mexican joint on the promenade. I rushed over to get my picture. He said no at first but eventually I convinced him by telling him I had a show on Faction which he was surprised to hear.
I did a bit of surfing in LA which was nice, even though I was smoked after a half hour. My upper body is so out of shape, and the period of waves was super tight in Venice beach but at least I got er done. I was jonesing to play golf after watching the masters last weekend. Did you see that. poor guy choke. Kenny Perry was winning that thing. But that is golf for you. It has to be one the hardest sports to compete in because as you start to get on top you want to overanalyze everything. Here is a small analogy. The other day I had a really early flight and I had to make it because had a paid gig on the other end. When I got home the night before I was going through my plan. Wake up call from the hotel at 4:20 am and the alarm on my phone. Of course I get my phone and set the alarm and double check everything. Long story short I wake up and its light out and I know I am screwed. Miss my flight and everything. I did not get a wake up call which is lame but not my fault. But with regards to the alarm on the phone, I had reset the time an hour behind somehow. The clincher here is that I had been using that phone and the alarm everyday flawlessly until that point.
Or how about the two foot put in golf? Normally an easier shot but when the pressure is on you look at the put twice as hard as normal and grip that putter and sometimes hose yourself. I think it is mainly because you want to be able to look back and say “I did everything I could”, but in the end that doesn’t really matter when you lose unless you count your mental sanity as important which you probably should.
Right, ok, here are
Ok, so the rest of my trip. I flew from LA to San Diego, which took twice as long as if I would have driven with all the transitions etc. I was in SD in order to host ALT games. Essentially it is the College Action Sports Championships. College kids competing in Wakeboarding, Snowboarding, Skiing, Beach Volleyball, Eating, and the signature sport Flowboarding. I have talked about Flowboarding before when I tried it back in the day and got my ass handed to me. Serious whiplash. I have never seen a sport that looks so easy that is so hard. Basically, it is a standing wave created by shooting water out of jets at a padded structure shaped like a wave. It is called a “waveloch Flowbarrel” in case you want to look it up. It is located in San Diego at an outdoor bar on mission beach called the wavehouse. It is a great spot and it was packed all weekend. Spring break and the beach was just slammed. Shoulder to shoulder. Great people watching. Of course there were all the girls in bikinis, but my favorites were bodybuilders and their chicks. Bulging out everywhere and the best part was they never sat down on the beach. I was hosting the show doing a bunch of stand-ups with my co-host Adrianna costa, so we watched these weightlifters for awhile and they never sat down. In the evening, the flowboard finals were closed out with a show by Rebelution, a reggaeish band that has a incredibly large draw. People were packed out onto the beach where they could barely see the band. The cops were freaking out about it all. San Diego is pretty rowdy. Here is that band Rebelution:
That flight that I missed earlier was supposed to get me to Squaw for a party for all the passholders. I made it somehow and it was a perfect day at the top of the mountain by the pool. Hot and sunny. At the end of the day I skied down and had some beers at the Chamois. Skiing is still great up there right now and San Diego is nice but it is hard to beat a nice warm day skiing followed by some beers. Although the other day I did have at day the beach in Bolinas, here in Northern, and that was pretty sweet. 88 degrees, Not crowded, good little waves for long boarding, great scenery, crispy cold water and did not see any sharks. I bought a beach tent like sun shade, that I highly recommend. Especially if you have a kid, its like having a cabana at the beach.
Later everyone, here is some Michael Franti:
Last Friday I flew home from a week at Wiegeles in BC for some heli-skiing. Great conditions, skied every day. The following Sunday was Shane McConkey’s memorial in Squaw. Everyone came out to honor SuperShane. Many stories were told. His mom told one about Shane as a two year old getting on the chairlift and getting tossed into a snow bank hard. They thought he was hurt bad and she was trying to get him to point out where it hurt. He had is arm straight out and so they assumed it was his hand or wrist but then they figured out that he was pointing at the stopped and swinging chair crying because he thought he had missed it. His mom showed him that he could take the next one and he stopped crying immediately.
Jt Holmes talked about how Shane was always into “the old” meaning, the old steal your money trick until you absolutely needed it. Jt spoke bluntly about Shane’s atheism and how he did not believe in any “crap” like “everything happens for a reason”. Therefore it just sucks that he died. He told the story of when he was bringing Shane’s stuff back from their tragic trip in Italy. Jt thought he had lost or had stolen his $650 dollars. Of course, he looked in Shane’s stuff and found his money. “Could it be that on the day Shane died he was playing “the old” steal your friends money until he needs it trick?” asked JT.
They all had said that they were Shane’s best friend which Scott Gaffney pointed out was kind of funny and spoke to how much love and respect they all had for Shane and how he showed them the same. The endearing part was when Shane’s wife took the podium and said in her cool, sly South African accent: “listen boys, he was my best friend”. I was really moved by their relationship, which seems incredibly genuine and powerful.
As a dad I really lost it when Shane’s dad Jim spoke. He was brief but was overcome. I cannot even imagine what it must be like to lose your son. It makes me cry right now just thinking about it. Jim was a legendary skier in his own right and of course knew the risk Shane was taking. But from my experience knowing Shane, he was a meticulous and careful person so I am sure his dad, as did all of us, never believed anything would happen to Shane.
I first met Shane in a Squaw gondola. I had not done much in the ski world yet and he was the man. He had long hair in a pony tail and Oakley blades on. Our conversation was short. It was not until after I won the Olympics and got invited to go on a Matchstick trip in Canada with Shane, Davenport and Morrison, that I got to know Shane. Killer right. Check it off the list. It was awesome. In one particular scene Shane skied a thirteen stager where he lost his ski on one of the 20 foot cliffs in the middle of this crazy line. He snapped in back on and shredded the rest. You can see it in “Ski Movie”. It was at this point that I reconsidered my thoughts of getting into the business where Shane and Seth made their name. It was humbling and great fun and an honor to ski with him. I drove the getaway car for him when he a based a building in Vancouver which was a total rush. I was already a fan of Shane’s but from that trip on I became a super fan of Shane’s and just like so many others loved being entertained by him. I did some more skiing with him over the years and spent some time with him. I was incredibly impressed when he competed in the gravity games in the big air contest with a switch back flip and a switch back full. I loved his skiing technique. I had always heard he was a former racer that was recruited by Burke Mountain Academy when he just 14. He was so crisp and over his skis all the time.
Most recently I had been getting some late night emails from Shane where he had dug up some ballet skiing and was giving a general heckle to the whole sport. Of course, he looked a little closer and found me in one of them and re-sent the link around with a note that said, “ my favorite part is 2:07” the time code where I appeared. One of last times I was at his house was to buy a pair of Spatula’s off of him. He had just moved to K2 and I wanted a pair of his signature game changing skis that he invented. I not only wanted them because they were the best things at the time to ski pow with by far, but I thought it was cool beyond belief that he had seen and responded to an issue and problem in skiing that existed for so many years and essentially solved it. I gladly paid about $450 for those skis and I have and still use them. I took an interview for my radio show during that time as well, which I will replay now.
Playlist: Van halen, Gnr ,Scorpions, nirvana
Up here in Squaw Valley. Dumped overnight. 16-20 inches of nice snow. Over the weekend we shot, I skied with some friends and my brother Rick. My brother Rick is my favorite person in the world but he is a real character. He taught me everything I know and chaperoned me around the world competing in freestyle. He was a better skier for sure. He won all the alpine races as a kid and was the top moguls skier as well. We did Nor-ams and World cup together in freestyle. On Nor-ams we were 1-2 all the time. Rick did one year of world cup and then quit because his back was always jacked up and could not sleep well on the road. He went back to school to be a Mechanical engineer. Anyway, he has never cared about ski equipment was always been sponsored his whole life including a run with Nishizawa, anyone remember those guys. Now Rick gets his skis from me and recently I gave him a brand new pair of Head Mojos with new binders. So when I saw him this weekend I asked where his skis were and he said he can’t find them. This is the problem with getting free stuff. This is true in life. Easily earned=easily forgotten.
This past weekend in Squaw was Olympic Heritage weekend in Squaw. It was the kick-off to a slew of celebrations upcoming next year here in the Squaw and around around the North side of the Lake to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley. In addition it will be 60 years since the founding of Squaw Valley. I did the microphone duties for the gala to raise money for an Olympic museum and for the celebration next year. We had a room full of Olympians including a woman who carried the torch in 1960 and skied the downhill in the 1964 Olympics in Innsbruck. We had Tamara McKinney there who until recently was the most successful American female ski racer ever. Only recently Lyndsey Vonn has tied her.
Sunday morning we hit Silverado at Squaw for some Warren Miller shooting. Got a couple shots off and then the storm came in. Snow was good and I was happy to get something. Last time I went up we froze behind a rock for and hour and went home because the light was no good. We are headed back up there tomorrow, should be really good after the recent dumpage. Saw a bald eagle this morning.
Spent a few days in Utah. Skied Canyons early morning with a fa mily that won a day of skiing me with via a Sprint sweepstakes. The kid was good, so it was easy for me. We tore up the mountain. Text Snow to 7777 if you are interested in this one day. Canyons is a decent mountain. Lots of traversing around but it has some good stuff. We skied some trees which were fun. Snow was good, old pow, chopped up a bit but still soft. I was in Park City for the Freestyle world cup which consisted this time of moguls, dual moguls, aerials, and superpipe. Aerials was first night and and it was pretty exciting I must say. I am doing the color analysis for NBC so I was paying close attention to the event. Although Aerials can sometimes getting boring after awhile because everyone seems to be doing the same trick, I figured out that the best thing to do is pay attention to the competition. What I mean is that it is more exciting to look at the performance of the individuals under pressure. See if they choke or not. I guess this is what FIS/Olympic committee figures is a more universal attraction than the actual sport, because if they were concerned with the sport getting stale on its originality they would surely change the rules. More on this after we hear some Damien Marley:
With regards to judging we can look at the world cup superpipe. The event was held in Park City in one the world’s only 22 foot superpipe. Conditions were perfect and there was a good crowd. The field was strong but the big names were absent. Tanner Hall and Simon Dumont decided not show for whatever reason probably because SIA was the week before and X games was the week before, I am sure they were spent. I was a little surprised they laid off because the show is for NBC. The fact that is a world cup though does little for them because the event is not in the Olympics and won’tbe for quite some time, if ever. Prize money was good but not enough to motivate them if they were burnt.
However, X games champion Xavier Bertoni from France, Canada’s Mike Riddle and Colby West were on hand. Bertoni Qualified first but it would be his teammate Kevin Rolland who killed it in finals. Rolland had learned the whiskey flip in practice at X a week earlier and busted it out in the finals. The whiskey flip is essentially a double back flip with a 180 or what is know as a flare. Sick trick originally done by Peter Olenick. Kevin stomped that trick off the top hit huge and then rolled into a series of impressive combos including a super styley 1260 in the middle of the pipe with huge amplitude. I really liked his run. Xavier laid down a nice run too with a very cool flatspin which I really love even though it is only a 360 it is very difficult to do well from what I have seen and heard. But in the end Xavier was not boosting out like Rolland and did not have the double so Rolland took it, Xavier was third behind Walter Wood. I have to check that but I think that is right. Wally threw a 1440 at the end of his run which was the first one ever done in a contest. It was fun to watch, everyone was talking about the caliber of the competition. Colby West, an X games bronze medalist 3 times was somewhere around fifth or so. Speaking of judging, this is my point here, that pipe contests have five judges: amplitude, difficulty, execution and two overall impression judges which make up forty percent of the score. Overall impression is what moguls and aerials needs. Otherwise everyone just does the same thing over and over again because why wouldn’t if you got no extra points for originality?
More on this after we play some pennywise.
I went to a TGR show here last night in Marin, CA to support Demo Ski, our local shop. It brought back good memories from when I shot with them in 1999 for “The Realm”. We were were holed up in Girdwood for 3 weeks. It dumped for two straight days so Jeremy Jones, Micah Black and I skied blower pow off the chairlift every day and partied and ate caribou meat with locals at night. A couple of other guys came and went disappointed that there was no blue. After 2 weeks, the sun broke and we had 4 epic days of shooting in the Chugach from the heli. Here is my segment:
The stars of the latest Warren Film (Grete Elliason, Lynsey Dyer and Rachel Burks) return from Crested Butte after oversellingout two shows and leaving a trail of inspired kids and hopeful dudes.