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Snowboarding is slightly obsessed with Banked Slaloms these days. From the Dirksen Derby, to the Sugarloaf Banked Slalom, the Nate Chute Classic to the ARob Smash Life Banked Slalom, everyone’s got the chance to get in some timed right and left turns these days. But the biggest and arguably the best of all Banked Slaloms is going on at Mt. Baker right now, and as the original banked event, it’s only fitting that in the midst of the Slalom-obsessed industry, they’d add a nice freestyle element this year.
After all the qualifers were qualified (Travis Rice laid down the fastest time for pros, and Maelle Ricker bested everyone in the women’s field, including herself, with her second run today) the masses flocked to the new Raven Hut lodge for the annual Salmon BBQ, and were in for an extra treat. Anyone who wanted to could throw themselves at a makeshift quarterpipe, vying for a bid into next year’s race.
For over an hour, handplants were thrown, as well as a few methods and transfers for good measure. Zak Marben was an early stand out, and managed to throw down approximately 57 different variations over the course of the contest. The entire Birdhouse gang was out in force, and even did a heartwarming backflip doubles line. Other stand outs included Tim Eddy, Forrest Bailey, Tucker Andrews and Ben Lynch, who can all plant some nice hand. Ben Lynch actually went the fastest of anyone in the handplant contest, and while it was a close race, Marben’s incredibly flexibility earned him the slot in next year’s race. For women, Colleen Quigley and her new 160cm Salomon got the invite and Kealle Cole took it for the groms. There was also a slot up for grabs for the ams, but I was not able to track down anyone aware of who got it, however, for my money it should have been this guy:
An hour or so of abuse left the quarterpipe looking like something built by neighborhood children, and most of the crowd disbanded as it started to get dark. However, it’s entirely possibly Ben Lynch is still there sessioning it by himself. Tomorrow is the finals, when we’ll finally find out if a roll of LBS duct tape is in Travis Rice’s contract with the devil, or if Temple can hold off the field for another couple seconds. Or maybe some other random 17 year old will show up and make everyone else look bad again. Until then, check out some more plants in this gallery.
If you want more results, go peep Terje’s instragram.