Not competing in the 13th annual Nate Chute Hawaiian Classic might have been the worst decision of my life. What the heck was I thinking? The US Open wouldn’t take me. Trying to get in the Baker Banked Slalom lottery? You have a better chance of making out with married Torah Bright, or having Ethan Deiss call you back. And I failed my Olympic pre-qualifying drug test, so here we are in Northwestern Montana, eating a deer that Jason Forrest shot in his backyard, drinking Kokanee, making puzzles and shredding the shit out of Whitefish Mountain Resort in lovely, picturesque, Whitefish, Montana. Never been here? Snows all the time, there are no lines, rad terrain, tons of friendly smiles. Never been to the Nate Chute Hawaiian Classic? Straight blowing it, son!
After awaking Saturday morning to an unnamed Volcom rider rolling deliriously drunk around the floor, unaware of his surroundings and unfamiliar with his cohabitants, we, along with him, made our way to the course for the banked slalom competition. The field was stacked — Blair Habenicht, Ben Lynch, Travis Parker, Tucker Andrews, Curtis Ciszek, Jake Price and a tangent of Whitefish locs all brought their game faces and their jazz hands to a gnarly ditch with many a banked slalom.
As Brooke Geery’s official wax technician for the competition I took my job very seriously. She berated me in the parking lot and pushed me to work faster and harder, because we were all moving like a bunch of gimpy invalids after three days of riding powder. The boss lady is serious about banked slalom. She’s a ferocious competitor. She was out for blood, just like the rest of the competitors, and if you’re not first in Nate Chute, you’re last.
Blair Habenicht would go on to kick the competitions ass with a time of 1:30.58. He could do no wrong. He made Nate Chute proud yesterday. He made us all proud. We laughed, we cried, we puked with joy — the after party at the Bierstube went off. We even saw a local get 86’d for life while we took shots of fireball whiskey, smelled each others farts, and generally tried to make asses of ourselves on the dance floor to the seductive punk sounds of The Runs.
This morning was a blur as we had to “spring forward” and such with the damn clocks. Can we get rid of this stupid time change thing? Nobody works on a farm anymore, needs the sun up or early or whatnot, we need to sleep the hangovers off, get coffee and such, stretch, pop a gang load of Advil, and make it to the course on time. Anyways, boardercross went off — bodies co-mingled and fell down before the first roller, people rocketed around icy banked corners and tried to stay on their feet and keep peoples edges away from their precious little faces.
But anyways, that’s enough with the competition, if I talk about it anymore I’ll just piss myself off for not participating and just standing around like a goon for Yobeat. Don’t end up heartbroken like me. Commandeer a car. Commandeer a plane. Commandeer a train. Come to Whitefish. Come to next year’s 14th annual Nate Chute Hawaiian Classic. We’ll eat dead deer from the Forrest’s backyard, have fat old men tell us to come earn riches in the oil fields of North Dakota, we will ride amongst the snow ghosts, heckle each other in banked slalom, Chinese downhill, high Ollie challenge, drink tons of Kokanee, fall down sloppy drunk on the floor of the Bierstube, ride the tightest trees of your life, and do it all with your best damn friends in snowboarding.
Nate would be proud.
Overall Open Mens
1. Hugh Black
2. Matt Sadler
3. Baylan Connoly
Overall Open Womens
1. Sarris Mccomb
2. Jamie Warner