Words and photos: NJ Petersen. (Except the funny ones we stole from Instagram)
If you like rail jams where flips, 720s and carnage are almost guaranteed, then you should have been at this one. Hot Dawgz and Handrails is one of the most bizarre snowboard events of the year. The 9th year of this over-the-top spectacle was chaotic, to say the least. The crowd was eclectic and vulgar and the excess of exposed under-aged stomachs, fake boobs, mohawks, neck tattoos and repetitive whooping of dubstep that consumed the base of Bear Mountain was a perfect match.
The street-influenced setup the Bear Park Crew put together was excessive in almost every way — over 130,000 tons of ice was trucked in from LA. The general consensus from most of the riders was, for a pre-season contest, this setup was big, sketchy, and intimidating. At the end of the day though, someone’s going home with $10,000, which meant everyone was going for it.
The course consisted of two main zones, which both demanded lots of speed. In the upper zone, a bomb-drop-to-billboard wallride was well over head high. The jump, from lip to knuckle, was about 25 feet, with close-out rails to add to the consequence of the already sketchy feature. Off either side of the wallride were separate drop-ins for matching reverse closeout downrails.
The lower zone was a long, wide box with banked sides that dropped down onto dumpster replicas. This “garage” feature was limiting. It wasn’t long before everyone had done their variation of a layback tailpress along the top or gapped to the dumpsters. It’s pretty hard to make sliding a 10-foot-wide flat box seem like a trick, so it didn’t take long for everyone to figure out flips in and out of a giant platform were pretty easy and a crowd pleaser. Jesse Paul’s gap to the narrow top of the dumpster was a highlight, as well as all the 360 disasters into the dumpsters. Aside from all of the jumping, the “garage” also forced lots of carnage — including numerous head injuries, whiplashes, sore knees and Cole Linzmeyer’s broken collarbone.
Every type of snowboarding was represented at this event. Right after Pat Moore would do a giant FS wallride to FS 540, Brandon Hobush would do a perfect switch BS lip next to him. Spencer Schubert did every type of 360 onto the downrails, while Jordan Small would Rocket Air Backflip the jump. Speaking of flips, I’ve never seen so many in such a short amount of time. The guys you’d expect, such as Ryan Paul, Jesse Paul, Jaeger Bailey and Scott Vine, certainly got upside down, but so did everyone else.
“I’ve never flipped onto anything, ever,” Jonah Owen said. But that didn’t stop him from front flipping onto the parking garage.
There was way too much great riding to list, so all you need to know: everyone stepped up to the challenge. With so many hungry and talented snowboarders in the lineup, the top honors of HDHR were well deserved.
Ian Sams came in third place with a consistent bag of tricks including hardway BS 270’s and BS 180 switch nosepresses on the downrails. Jaeger Bailey held nothing back and his loose approach awarded him second place.
Given his surprised reaction when his was name called, Johan Owen was the only person who didn’t realize he’d earned the grand prize. Though the contest lasted over four hours, Jonah never stopped hiking. He showed that he could land a BS 540 off of a wall ride into a choppy landing that most couldn’t even straight air. Right after doing a method over the jump, he would front flip into a laidback tailpress over the “garage.” Then he would move onto well-executed tricks on the downrails, before doing 360 disasters into the dumpsters. By the end of the day, Jonah was covered in sweat, dirt and hay, but always had seemed to have energy for another drop. He earned every penny of the $10,000 prize and everyone else was happy to take part in his 10% donation of his winnings at the after party.
Overall, the 9th annual Hot Dawgz and Handrails was a clash of amazing snowboarding on big features. It was much more than a rail jam — it was a circus. There was bad music, injuries, backflips, broken boards, big air and most importantly, all of the freaks certainly came out for this one.
1. Jonah Owen
2. Jaeger Bailey
3. Ian Sams
1. Desiree Melancon