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Yobeat’s Year in Review: February 2014

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As we learned in January, lots of stuff happens every day, all winter long in snowboard world, and February was an especially exciting month because, Olympics! If nothing else, it gave us lots of competely absurd things to post about as the mainstream media picked apart our fair sport. Most importantly, this video went viral!

As for those Olympics… Everyone hated the slopestyle course, but not as much as the halfpipe. It sucked, really bad, and we’re still talking about it. In the end, Shaun White disappointed his country and Jamie Anderson and Sage Kotsenberg became overnight celebs. Conan even came down with a case of Sage fever and ya boi ended up on a Wheaties box.

What else… Tim Eddy’s house is really fucking cool. Ski ballet is amazing. Syncronized Snowboard is defintely poised to be a new Olympic sport.

The legendary Banked Slalom happened and while there was snow on the streets in Portland, there was mostly ice on Mt Baker, so we didn’t make it, but lots of people did. Don’t feel bad for me, I got to go to France.

Michigan became a “place to be” thanks to Hawk Island Snowpark.  Kas Lemmens became our favorite Euro and we decided we like Freddy Perry too. Mark McMorris released a Walmart clothing line.  Big Head Boarding also went viral!

And the most interesting story of all – Inside Edition reported that skiers and snowboarders were getting STONED, on the slopes! This later lead to the explosion of Leo’s Smoke Shack and a pretty epic parody.

Don’t miss a damn thing -follow us on our social networks including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and Snapchat (@Yobeat.)

 

A Backbreaking Olympic Ride with Eric Willett

When Shaun White pulled out of X Games slopestyle, the first thing that came into my mind was, “Aww man, that’s a bummer for whoever was next in line.” There were no alternates sitting by waiting in case someone got hurt. Strange as it may seem to not have a back up, these are prestigious spots.

It’s easy for those of us on the sidelines to take Shaun dropping out and think about how “someone got screwed out of their spot.” I actually think Shaun is a bad-ass. There are so many logistics to the Olympic process that you can’t place blame. But still, it sucks for those who could have been. While on one hand, Shaun’s focus on pipe (where he is the “favorite”) gives the US a solid medal chance, the loss of a slopestyle rider for team USA also could hurt their medal count. So my first thoughts were about who could have been there?

Ryan Stassel ended up with the fourth spot on the slopestyle team and made it to Sochi. But early on, Eric Willett was considered a favorite to be on the team. And were he to not make it onto the four man team, he could have easily been that could-have-been alternate guy, sitting at home, very pissed off. And then he broke his back at the Copper Grand Prix.

With Eric’s hopes dashed Eric Beaucheman, Kyle Mack, and Brandon Davis also would have been next in line. There is a process and there are technicalities. A committee to choose. But regardless, one of those dudes could have been at the Olympics. Now you could even argue should have been. And to a lot of people, that’s a very big deal.

I wanted to find out more about one of the guys who might have been there, and get his take on what’s going on in Sochi. So here’s Eric Willett, a man who literally broke his back on the road to Sochi.

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Elegant Selfie!

Have you ever thrown one, thus creating “A flying tomato?”
I would love to try and throw the real flying tomato, but I’d probably get tackled by Bud or one of his other 20 security guards.

Is there a part of you that’s relieved not to be in Sochi? Or is it a let down? I mean, there’s some let down I’m sure. But people are tweeting about terrible hotels and bad water. Surely Breck is better than that!
I’d love to be there. I think the riders actually get treated really well. I’ve seen photos and stuff and it looks pretty sweet! But nonetheless, I’m glad my water doesn’t look like piss, and I can sleep in my own comfortable bed, instead of a prison cell mattress.

Let’s be honest those Ralph Lauren sweaters the team has to wear… missing that part isn’t bumming you out is it?
Hahaha, that stuff is funny. I’ve gotten a kick out of the photos I’ve seen. Who thought those were a good idea? Do you see people walking around the street wearing that stuff? No, they’d get beat up.

There’s a lot that goes in to making the team… it must require a lot of focus on that one thing. Are you the super-focused guy, or the “If I make it I make it guy?
I just kept doing my own thing. It’s worked for me in the past, and I wasn’t going to change how I do things just because its a “bigger competition”. Sure we did a couple things that were focused on Olympics, but I wasn’t going to let it stress me out.

When you’re on the path to something like the Olympics. What’s it like being alongside someone like Shaun. There’s not any news to be found about who could have been there. There’s only news about Shaun dropping out. Do you guys sort of just put all that aside and try to take it for what it is?
Yea I could really care less about the Shaun drama. There’s always something with him. On a positive side, the more media attention he brings to himself, ultimately brings more attention to slopestyle as a whole. The whole thing about him pulling out of slope because he thought the course was difficult or intimidating, just made the other riders sound even better. They were still going to put down their best runs on a course that “the best snowboarder in the world” couldn’t ride.

Putting breaking your back aside, you were right there in the mix, and either would have been on the team or next in line. There’s are no alternates, sitting there to take over when someone drops out, right? When a guy drops out – putting injuries aside obviously – that to me is a huge bummer for whoever could have been.
Yea for sure. It just sucks, that because of Shaun, the US is only has 3 guys now. It’s like he cock blocked his own country, that’s not cool.

In that situation, assuming you’d be kind of pissed, who do you even get pissed at. Do you get pissed at Shaun, or pissed at the process?
In this situation I’d be pissed at both. It’s funny, my wife, back at Thanksgiving said, “I bet you Shaun makes it for slope, and then pulls out of the contest when he’s there.” And bingo bango she was right. I don’t know why they don’t bring an alternate for those kind of situations. I don’t know the whole situation, but it seems if Shaun would have made up his mind the night before his announcement, they could have gotten someone there in time. He waited till the day before the event. Kinda lame. It’s not like X Games where someone drops out and you put the next alternate in, he pretty much just took away an Olympic spot for the USA. That’s stupid.

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Olympic types ride pow, too.

When you’ve got your sights set on something like the Olympics… are you fully living for that? In other words, when you break your back leading up to it, is your first thought “fuck, I think I’ve just broken my back” or “I’ve got to wait another four years?”
This year fully revolved around Olympics. I’m not gonna lie, when the doctor came in and told me this was going to take me out of the Olympics, me and my wife broke down and cried for a while. It was a crazy feeling, to have something taken away from you that quick. Something that you could possibly only experience once in your life, and something only a handful a people will ever get to be a part of. A took a while to get over the fact, and I still get bummed every once in a while, but I will still live to snowboard another day, and that’s what’s most important!

Obviously you and I are sitting far away from the slopestyle course. But there’s been a lot of back and forth about it being too gnarly. It took out Torstein, and likely weighed into Shaun’s decision. What’s your opinion? Some might say “It’s the Olympics, it’s supposed to be gnarly” and others might say “It needs to be changed for the safety of those in the competition.” Obviously a snowboard course is not as defined as a gymnastics set up, where it’s a regulation set up.
I’m sure it’s gnarly, but so is every other contest course. X Games, is insane! That course is the furthest from mellow. But you have the best in the world riding, so they obviously can ride it at their best ability. At the Olympics, you have 30 riders from all these different countries, some of them are still considered amateur. They aren’t the 30 best riders in the world. They are just the ones their country has. If the countries had no limit, you’d probably see 8 riders from Norway, 6 from the US, 6 from Canada etc. SO of course you are going to get people that think its gnarly and “unsafe.” And, the media likes to blow up anything they can, so whatever.

Have you heard Shaun’s band?
Yea, Bad Things, or something like that? I want to hear Shaun sing! Now that would be funny! Does he wear his facemask on stage too?

Who do you think is most likely to pull a Scotty Lago this year, and get into a compromising situation with his or her medal?
Forget the medal, but the US Slopestyle coach Bill Enos will definitely be that guy! I can’t believe they let that guy loose with a bunch of Olympians in Russia! And I know Sage Kotsenburg will be right there to cheer him on! Love ya’ guys.

Is anyone going to go to Russian prison?
I sure hope not, dude that would be sketchy, I don’t even want to jinx anyone. But Sage and Bill might go in as a duo, but they would probably have a blast.

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Eric is definitely NOT grabbing his boot here.

What if you were to make full recovery from your back injury, but for whatever reason you could only grab your boot.  Do you just roll with it?
I’d go with it! Heck, you can make a career out of grabbing your boot even without a back a injury.

At this point do you even think about 2018 or do you just take things as they come and see what happens?
I would love to go in 2018. I’m going to give it my best shot. I love it. I love competing. It’s always been fun, and will continue to be fun for me! I have to give it another try, I can’t let a stupid broken back ruin it!

Assuming you’re going to be watching, who are you pulling for?
For sure Chas and Sage, it would be so sick to see those guys on the podium! Could you imagine Sage on an Olympic podium!? I wonder if he’d cry. I’d like to see Staale podium to, that guy is crazy.

The Official Olympic Snowboard Schedule

DATE EVENT START (ET)
Thurs., Feb. 06 Men’s and Women’s Slopestyle: Qualifying 1:00 AM
Sat., Feb. 08 Men’s Slopestyle: Semi Final 12:30 AM
Sat., Feb. 08 Men’s Slopestyle: Final 3:45 AM
Sun., Feb. 09 Women’s Slopestyle: Qualifying 12:00 AM
Sun., Feb. 09 Women’s Slopestyle: Semi Final 1:30 AM
Sun., Feb. 09 Women’s Slopestyle: Final 4:15 AM
Tues., Feb. 11 Men’s Halfpipe: Qualifying 5:00 AM
Tues., Feb. 11 Men’s Halfpipe: Semi Finals 10:00 AM
Tues., Feb. 11 Men’s Halfpipe: Final 12:30 PM
Wed., Feb. 12 Women’s Halfpipe: Qualifying 5:00 AM
Wed., Feb. 12 Women’s Halfpipe: Semi Finals 10:00 AM
Wed., Feb. 12 Women’s Halfpipe: Final 12:30 PM
Mon., Feb. 17 Men’s Snowboard Cross 2:00 AM
Wed., Feb. 19 M/W PGS: Qualifying 12:00 AM
Wed., Feb. 19 M/W PGS: Final 4:00 AM
Sat., Feb. 22 M/W Parallel Slalom: Qualifying 12:15 AM
Sat., Feb. 22 M/W Parallel Slalom: Final 4:15 AM

 

The reports coming from those at the event say the powder is good and the slopestyle course is scary. Torstein Horgmo already got broke off, but the FIS says they’ll have it fixed in time. We assume that these events will not be aired live, but good luck finding any actual information on the NBC website as to when they will air.

Yobeat’s Exclusive Olympic Coverage: 4 Ways Russia is Gonna Blow It

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It’s an Olympic year, which means even we at Yobeat, who normally don’t give a fuck about contests or National pride, are getting caught up in Olympic fever. Don’t pretend like you’re not paying attention and trying to secretly figure out which snowboarder is going to win a Gold medal and then make out with the Silver Medalist in protest ala the black panther solute of 1968. (We’re gonna go with the Boardercross chicks.) After all, It’s always the snowboarders that make the news. Ross Rebagliati and the weed thing (luckily that’s ok, now) Scotty Lago letting a chick suck his medal, Kazu Kokubo sagging his pants and pissing off all of Japan (The Japanese are normally extremely polite people so the fact Kazu is a rebel is even better!) But I digress.

Given our heightened state of awareness of the real world, we’re actually kinda worried about Russia and their general ability to pull off the snowboarding portion of the event specifically. Here are some potential issues we see:

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1. It’s warm in Sochi. Way down south in Russia against the Black sea, it’s not just temperate like Vancouver, it’s “sub humid tropical” with palm trees and all. Sure the snowboarding will be held in a higher elevation, in a newly built Austrian-style ski town, but with all that global warming nonsense and rumors of midwinter temperatures in the 50s this year during January, things are not looking very promising for a wintery scene.

2. Vladimir Putin is a skier. And as we know, skiers and snowboarders have had some issues over the years. Since he also seems like a jerk, who knows if they’ll even let snowboards into the country.

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3. They don’t know anything about snowboarding. We’re not saying no Russians snowboard. In fact, lots of them do. But apparently rather than using an experienced team, such Arena Snowparks again, who built the perfect courses for the Vancouver games, Russia has decided to go with “local contractors.” We can only assume these people will know nothing about snowboarding. And ya know, building a perfect halfpipe is an art form and it takes years to learn. Not to mention the slopestyle course. How sick would if  people couldn’t keep speed mid-run? It would make it pretty tough for  Shaun to nail his boot grabs!

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4. And seriously, what about the gays? Illicit snowboarding pointed out that the anti-gay thing is an issue for Opening Ceremonies flamboyant pageantry, and if they can’t have the Opening Ceremonies, they can’t have the Games at all.

So what we’re trying to say here is Russia, get your shit together. We can’t wait to see if Lindsay Jacobellis can finally win a medal, or if Shaun White learned to hit slopestyle rails and we need the Games to actually happen!

US Snowboarding Names its Teams

In an announcement that will have absolutely no effect on who goes to the Olympics for the US, the US Snowboarding development team has been made! Who wants to take bets on which of them are actually going to make it to Sochi?

US Snowboarding named its 2013 Slopestyle and Halfpipe teams at Copper Mountain, Colorado on Saturday. The announcement comes at the start of a critical season for riders hoping to make the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. Being part of the team means riders have access to the USSA’s Center of Excellence training facility in Salt Lake City, plus coaches and physiotherapists. However, the team still has to qualify in FIS events along with all the other Olympic hopefuls between now and January 19, 2014, the cut off for earning points.

The 2013 US Snowboarding Slopestyle and Halfpipe Pro Teams. PHOTO: Courtesy US Snowboarding

“The US Team has been a huge support and a contributor to the success of my snowboard career over the years” said Vancouver 2010 Olympic halfpipe bronze medalist Kelly Clark. “I am excited to be named to the team again, and am looking forward to this next season.”

“Snowboarding is about having fun and being on the team brings a whole new element of fun for me,” says Eric Willett, who made the Slopestyle team. “It’s great to have teammates who are also your friends to ride with all the time and they push you to progress in competition too. Stoked for another season with coach Bill!”

The team’s competition season starts with the Dew Tour at Breckenridge December 13-16 and was supposed to be followed by the pipe-only US Grand Prix in Park City, Utah from December 21-23 but the event was bumped to February 1-2 over concerns of the quality of the pipe. Now the Grand Prix at Copper, which makes its debut as a FIS World Cup and 5Star World Snowboard Tour event on January 9-11, will be a big chance for pipe and slopestyle riders to earn points towards Olympic qualification.

Contests leading up the cut off for qualifying are crucial because if the US has four men and four women in the top 40 men and top 30 women in halfpipe or the top 30 men and 24women in slopestyle, then they could potentially start up to four men and four women in each discipline. The more spots filled, the greater the chance for a medal.

Here’s who’s on the team.

* Previous Olympian

2013 US Snowboarding Halfpipe Pro Team
Men
Greg Bretz (Mammoth Lakes, CA) 12/19/90 *
Matt Ladley (Chicago, IL) 5/17/91
Scotty Lago (Seabrook, NH) 11/12/87 *
Benji Farrow (Ludlow, VT) 3/8/92
Louie Vito (Sandy, UT) 3/20/88 *
Luke Mitrani (Bondville, VT) 7/20/90

Women
Gretchen Bleiler (Aspen, CO) 4/10/81 *
Kelly Clark (West Dover, VT) 7/26/83 *
Elena Hight (South Lake Tahoe, CA) 8/17/89 *
Ellery Hollingsworth (Darien, CT) 9/2/91
Hannah Teter (Belmont, VT) 1/27/87 *
Maddy Schaffrick (Steamboat Springs, CO) 4/24/94

2013 US Snowboarding Slopestyle Pro Team
Men
Chas Guldemond (Reno, NV) 4/22/87
Sage Kotsenburg (Park City, UT) 7/27/93
Eric Willett(Breckenridge, CO) 1/2/88

Women
Jessika Jenson (Rigby, ID) 8/7/91
Jordie Karlinski (Snowmass Village, CO) 8/24/89
Ty Walker (Stowe, VT) 3/3/97

2013 US Snowboarding Halfpipe Rookie Team
Men
Taylor Gold (Steamboat Springs, CO) 11/17/93
Brett Esser (Dubuque, IA) 10/12/92
Ben Ferguson (Bend, OR) 1/21/95
Arielle Gold (Steamboat Springs, CO) 5/4/96
Kyle Mack(West Bloomfield, MI) 7/6/97
Serena Shaw (Stratton Mountain, VT) 1/22/95
Spencer Shaw (Stratton Mountain, VT) 1/29/93
Gabe Ferguson (Bend, OR) 4/16/99

Coaches
Mike Jankowski, US Freeskiing and US Snowboarding Head Coach
Rick Bower, US Snowboarding Halfpipe Coach
Tommy Czeschin, US Snowboarding Assistant Halfpipe Coach
Bill Enos, US Snowboarding Slopestyle Coach
Spencer Tamblyn, US Snowboarding National Development Coach

The 2011 Isenlympics

Now this is some Olympic coverage we can get behind…

With all this constant babble about the Olympics and the big bad FIS and all that other stuff that we don’t really care about we decided to host our own shmolympics.

The whole gang was at the Pleasure Jam at Dachstein this autumn and it was no easy match for all our nerds to compete in the über-serious events like “Strip Snowboarding”, “Homo” or “Beat The New Guy”.

Shaky follow cams, lame tricks that qualify as fun snowboarding, bluebird and a bunch of highly motivated super-athletes is what you’ll get from this freakshow of a contest who’s rules where made up on the go.

Presented by Christobal Patsch with some whistleblowing by Fips Strauss.

Athlete roster:

Alex Tank – GER
Benny Urban – GER
Tobias Strauss – GER
Peter K̦nig РAUT
Daniel X. Rajcsanyi – YLF
Colin Frei – SUI
David Bertschinger Karg – SUI

Filmed and produced by Alex Schiller and Lukas Tielke
Edited by Alex Schiller

Olympic Snowboarders Visit the President

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Yesterday, United States President Barack Obama welcomed the US Olympic Snowboarding Team to his home. The job of translating bro talk, navigating cultural differences and documenting the event was given to Yobeat. Out of respect for this historic moment Yobeat has decided to publish our account almost completely unedited. Any and all editing was strictly saved for increased readability and information facilitation.

After arriving in Washington D.C. the group headed to President Obama’s home. A brief security check awaited us. Once cleared of bombs, guns, anthrax, knives, bombs again and finally any bottled liquid or gel containing more than 3.4 ounces we were given a green light to proceed. Once past White House security eight Olympic snowboarders were ushered past a small army of well dressed heavily armed men. Scotty Lago liked their weapons–fully automatic machine guns and pistols of a high enough caliber to cave your chest in. Nate Holland, who wore a superman suit, took this opportunity to be a jackass, “You call that a gun?” The group winced, hoping the cyborg-esque man before us had not noticed. He had, “I will end you.”

While waiting for the arrival of a ninth Olympian we were given a tour. Elena Hight loved the tapestry of the dining hall, but kept her head down after being scolded for touching. Kelly Clark was also given a warning after blowing her nose into Eleanor Roosevelt’s handcrafted table cloth. This led to a heavier surveillance for the remainder of the tour. The next 23 minutes were painfully quiet, the only sounds coming from the clicking and clanking of Louie Vito’s chains.

Our first peak of the President came when he came through the front door, “Goodbye Michael Jordan, Lebron James and Jesus.” The President, dripping with sweat and in athletic apparel, was caught off guard by our presence, “Hello, who are you people?” Nate Holland opened his mouth but was quickly throat punched by the Secret Service officer he had previously insulted. Louie Vito spoke, “Obama, we are the Olympic Snowboarding Team. We are supposed to meet you today.” The President eyed a guard, “Do not call me Obama. Now, I just finished a game of hoops, excuse me.” Everyone stood awkwardly except for Nate Holland, he was unconscious.

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Nate Holland really wants to be the fastest boarder on earth.

A well dressed, freshly showered President returned moments later. With the help of 37 aides we were given a serious once over. “I was not aware you would all be here. I only wanted the Flying Potato. Where is he?” Silence ensued. “Fine, to the Oval Office.” Lindsey Jacobellis took off running for the door, and the group pursued. Lindsey fell just before the door. The rest of the group past her as she lay crying in the hallway.

Things began to relax inside the Oval Office. Much of the group stared at historic relics, photographs and books while the President searched through a trunk. “So, what do you guys think, of my new Health Care bill?” Everyone agreed it was good, except Nate Holland. “That Shi…” came out of his mouth, and again he was knocked unconscious. The cyborg-esque man almost grinned. The President turned to face us, having found what he was looking for, “Now, does anyone want to play dominos, while we wait for the Potato?” Louie Vito looked up excitedly and backflipped off the couch, “Obamms’ I got you on dominos.” “Do not call me Obamms’.” “Sorry.”

Domino’s were played. Louie Vito was the Presidents only competition. “You have some skills, but can you land a backflip off my desk?” In less than a second Louie was standing on the leader of the free world’s desk, “Check it out Barack!” “Do not call me Barack.” Then Louie flung his head back and leapt. “Wow, incredible, what do you call that?” “Double Cork 1260.” “I have a trick of my own.” “Do it O-man!” “Do not call me O-man, and DOMINOS MOTHER FUCKER!”

Walkie-Talkies began to make noise. “Code Pink, second story kitchen counter.” Three men, guns in hand, sprinted out of the room. I realized Scotty Lago was no longer with the group. “My main man O, what’s a Code Pink.” “Do not call me your main man O.” The President looked to his aide, “When will the Potato be here.” Running could be heard upstairs. And then downstairs. And then in what sounded like the wall until a trap door burst open. Scotty Lago had rejoined the group. Resting against the trap door he caught his breath, “Oh hey guys. Great secret tunnels Mr. President, what’s everyone doing?” The President looked sternly in Scotty’s direction, “Code Pink?” Scotty made the “not me” face. The President winked at Scotty, “Call off the Code Pink.” The Oval Office was then bombarded by men, each with an orange wrist band. Four men in suits followed, single file, through the front door while three others, dressed for urban combat crashed through the windows. Aides shrieked, the Secret Service had been disarmed and the President pounded down on his desk, “What the fuck! Michelle will kill me over those windows. Who are you people? Do you have the Potato?” A man, followed by three more men, answered, “Calm down Mr. President, we are Shaun’s people, this is a simple security sweep ensuring Shaun’s safety.” “Oh, well fine, sweep away, and where did you get your guys?”

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Scotty Lago and a maid running from well dressed men with guns.

“All clear.” Boom! The door flew open, a red carpet rolled in through the open doorway, a constant flashing bulb sent Nate Holland into a seizure while Led Zeppelin deafened the rest of us. A blur of red slid through the smoke and down the red carpet. After a moment of air guitar Shaun White stood up, “Obama my man! Sorry I was late. Got hung up in Europe ‘cuz of that volcano thang. All good though. My old pal Richard Branson hooked up a space flight and we just skipped the pond man.” The music began to fade as the fog cleared. The red carpet and Shaun’s people had vanished, also; the windows were fixed.

“So B-man, I caught up with Jesus and Jordan at SuperStarbucks. They say you schooled ‘em, nice work.” The slap of a high-five could almost be heard, but ears were still ringing. Their conversation continued. The rest of us regained our balance, and began to take our seats. Tension in the room was growing. Kelly Clark was visibly upset, “I have Gold medals too! Why is Shaun so special?” Greg Bretz spoke up, “What? You’re not Ross Powers or Gian Simmen.” Vito fell over in laughter. Gretchen whispered to Greg, “That’s Kelly Clark, she’s a chick.” “No fucking way.”

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Hate Shaun White all you want. He’s still having more fun that you’ll ever have.

Joe Biden and some other politicians entered the room. “B-man, we heard the Potato is here!” “Joe, I’m sorry, Shaun has not arrived yet.” “Shit really? We just bailed on Congress for this.” “Gotcha!” Shaun pops up from behind the desk, “Biden, other old white dudes! What’s good bros?” More talking ensues, and everyone sits down. I hear the President mention Code Pink. A roar of laughter and high-fives ensue, and Scotty is asked to join Shaun and our leaders. I take a pee.

The soap made my hands smell funny, and there was a condom in the waste basket. I find the wrapper, it’s a Scotty Lago edition, made by Rockstar Energy Drink. I leave the bathroom.

Vito had now joined the popular table. Nate Holland’s blood began to boil, “I’m the fastest ripper in the world. How could they not wanna’ hang with me! Fuck it, I’m going over. Yo dudes, did I ever tell you about the time I was going really fast?” Something wizzed by my face. Nate, having only taken two steps, hit the ground face first. A small dart was protruding from his neck. The President looked at an air duct, “Thanks Tom.” Nate was dragged off, not to be seen again.

The rest of us sat in relative silence. Elena had fallen asleep. Lindsey tended to her wounds. Rug burn. Earlier, she had tried to show off like Shaun, but her showboating ended in pain. Greg sat in disbelief, still starring wide eyed, directly at Kelly. An aide walked over, “Hi guys. So we need to wrap this up, but as a token of the President’s appreciation for representing our country in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games we are presenting you with not only these coupons for half off your cab fare, but these buy-one get-one passes to ESPN Zone, located just downtown.” The group looked astonished. Greg scooped up his prize, “Fuck yeah ESPN Zone, let’s do this!” I looked at the woman, “Media, can’t leave, have to observe, sorry.” “Oh, are you a new aide?” “No.” “With CNN?” “No.” “You’re with who exactly?” “Yobeat. I’m here to observe, translate and educate.” “I’ve never heard of Yobeat.” “You’re not alone.” And with that I was allowed to stay.

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Meeting the President is a big deal. Gretchen did all she could to impress.

I sat back, listening for quotes, “So Louie, let’s see your medal.” “Oh, I actually came in 5th place but.” “Get the fuck out.” Mid-sentence Biden had cut Vito off, I did not see Vito again. I kept listening. “So, Code Pink huh? That’s great work Scotty. Brings me back to the ‘90s with Wild Bill.” A tap on the door interrupted the flow of conversation. Gretchen Bleiler entered the room. The Vice President stood up, “Look, we’re really sorry but Shaun told us girl snowboarding didn’t matter, and this is kinda like man time.” Gretchen slipped off her coat. Biden’s jaw dropped,“But you know what, this country needs change, and it deserves change, so by god, let’s work together and hang up that coat.” Gretchen was back, but with no available chairs she was forced to stand. She stood there indefinitely, silent and awkward. She had become political eye candy, and the boys club carried on.

The President stood up, “Well fellow Americans, how do we feel about dinner?” Shaun whipped out his Blacker Than Black card, winked and whispered in the ear of an assistant. I have no idea where she came from. A moment later the chandelier began to rattle. “So hey, my boys Richard Branson and Steve Jobs are hovering outside in Rich’s new fighter jet. How about we pile in and grab some grub in China? I know this great place.” Biden interrupts, “The place with the tigers?” “You’ve been? Awesome! So you in?” Scotty scratches his head. I read his lips, “What the fuck?” The President stood up, “Shaun White, I don’t really like China, but I’ll make an exception for you.” The group headed towards the hallway. The President wrapped his arm around Shaun, “So Shaun White, why do they call you the Potato?”

As the chandelier shook for a second time an aide entered the room, “Do you need anything else? The President has instructed me to help you in any way that I can.” I asked if Yobeat could have a bailout package. She starred back blankly. “I’m ready for my coupon to ESPN Zone now.” As I looked around the Oval Office for a final time two men entered. They picked up Gretchen. She had a dart in her neck.

Yobeat’s Secrets for Going Pro

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Finally the Olympic shit show has ended and we can refocus on the important stuff–being cool, getting a sponsor-me-tape squared away and keeping current with snowboarding’s ever changing scene. Luckily for you a top secret Yobeat document slipped through the cracks yesterday, and before the blogging world goes crazy stealing our secrets and branding our research as their own we figured we’d just share our ultimate “How To” guide to becoming the best ripper ever. Below you’ll find a collection of top quality videos chronicling the steps to snowboard superstardom and even an extra gem on how to “live the lifestyle”. Missing from this collection is one thing, the pride Yobeat holds for Team USA‘s approach to the Olympics. GO AMERRICA’, Scotty Lago we salute you for using your Bronze Medal to receive public oral sex, Shaun White and Coaches, thank you for swearing on camera and letting everyone know who invented the worlds favorite word (aka Fuck), and ladies, thanks for blowing it on purpose, obviously that was to show the world real snowboarders don’t give a hoot about the Medal count or  that crazy competition NBC would have us believe is snowboarding’s holy grail. Let’s do this.

Rails: You need a solid rail game if you want to impress anyone these days. Jed Anderson said he first learned rails in the park, so that’s probably a good place to start. The video below demonstrates a quality beginner rail. 

Once you’ve mastered the mellower stuff it’s time to step up to a down rail, bonus points if it’s got a sweet donkey dick on the end. (Warning: The rider below attempts serious rail progression coming out of this sweet down bar, attempt at your own risk.)

Now that you’ve mastered the park it’s time to take it to the streets. Don’t be a fool, your first rail shouldn’t look like a Mack Dawg shoot, start slow and work your way up. Below you’ll find a great starter bar, although you shouldn’t bother filming seven stair rails and under no circumstances should your jump be taller than the height of one stair. 

Now that you’ve become a badass street slaying machine it’s time to step up to a doozy of a handrail. (Warning: The madman below again attempts serious rail progression on attempt #3, not everything needs to be double corked.)

Jumps: Ok superstar it’s time to learn jumps. Obviously the progression of riding these days is Rails first, Jumps second and then you can figure out the boring stuff like turning, powder and eventually stopping, but only if you haven’t gone pro yet. 

Now that you’re a bona-fide park destroying babe magnet you’ll need to take the final steps in total snowboard scene destruction. In other words, it’s time to hit the backcountry baby. (Warning: Start small Champ, take it easy out there, avalanches and death are possible when slaying the gnar. Find something easier to start out on, below is a great example.) Side-note: Remember to claim everything! Perfect example at :12 seconds in the video below. 

You’re done. If you haven’t gone pro, banged a model and begun fake tanning at this point you might as well hang up your boots, move to Oceanside and begin lecturing as many little kids as you can about your superior riding skills right away. The video below is where you want to be champ, and if you aren’t there after this tutorial follow the previous advice or just backflip onto a rail and pray your name blows up. 

Attitude: As we promised here is an example of how to best handle yourself on the mountain. Remember, being nice is for sissys and orange-slice-eating-no-good-mommys-boys. Get out there and kick some skier ass with a smile on your face. 

If you’ve followed the previous steps you should be an uber-pro with money raining down on you at a rate that even Lindsay Lohan couldn’t put up her nose. The only thoughts kicking around your mind at this point should be what size pants you are going to wear, what goggles to rock, how many tattoos you need for the upcoming season and what media outlet you want to release your next prerecorded outlandish activity to. Go get em kids!

Shaun White Takes Olympic Victory Lap

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As soon as his first run was complete, it was scarily obvious no one was beating the tomato, I mean, animal. So instead of expanding on that, Kazuhiro Kokubo’s japan Mctwist was the highlight of the Olympics and Scotty Lago took home a motherfucking medal! NBC blows, but we won with the set up pictured. Full story coming soon but for now, the results, complete with sweet mug shots:

1 5 United States WHITE Shaun 12 46.8 12 48.4 Expand
WHITE Shaun Judge 1 (JPN) Judge 2 (AUS) Judge 3 (SUI) Judge 4 (FIN) Judge 5 (CAN) Total
Run 1 9.4 9.3 9.3 9.3 9.5 46.8
Run 2 9.7 9.7 9.7 9.6 9.7 48.4
2 37 Finland PIIROINEN Peetu 11 40.8 9 45.0 Expand
PIIROINEN Peetu Judge 1 (JPN) Judge 2 (AUS) Judge 3 (SUI) Judge 4 (FIN) Judge 5 (CAN) Total
Run 1 7.8 8.0 8.2 8.3 8.5 40.8
Run 2 9.0 8.8 9.0 9.0 9.2 45.0
3 38 United States LAGO Scott 4 42.8 11 17.5 Expand
LAGO Scott Judge 1 (JPN) Judge 2 (AUS) Judge 3 (SUI) Judge 4 (FIN) Judge 5 (CAN) Total
Run 1 8.5 8.2 8.5 8.7 8.9 42.8
Run 2 3.4 3.1 3.8 3.5 3.7 17.5
4 27 Switzerland PODLADTCHIKOV Iouri 7 42.4 10 17.6 Expand
PODLADTCHIKOV Iouri Judge 1 (JPN) Judge 2 (AUS) Judge 3 (SUI) Judge 4 (FIN) Judge 5 (CAN) Total
Run 1 8.8 8.5 8.9 7.9 8.3 42.4
Run 2 3.7 3.4 3.6 3.3 3.6 17.6
5 3 United States VITO Louie 8 39.1 8 39.4 Expand
VITO Louie Judge 1 (JPN) Judge 2 (AUS) Judge 3 (SUI) Judge 4 (FIN) Judge 5 (CAN) Total
Run 1 8.0 7.9 7.9 7.4 7.9 39.1
Run 2 8.3 7.8 8.1 7.1 8.1 39.4
6 36 Finland KOSKI Markku 2 36.4 7 25.0 Expand
KOSKI Markku Judge 1 (JPN) Judge 2 (AUS) Judge 3 (SUI) Judge 4 (FIN) Judge 5 (CAN) Total
Run 1 7.0 7.5 7.3 7.0 7.6 36.4
Run 2 5.3 5.2 4.7 5.2 4.6 25.0
7 26 Canada LAMOUREUX Justin 1 33.8 6 35.9 Expand
LAMOUREUX Justin Judge 1 (JPN) Judge 2 (AUS) Judge 3 (SUI) Judge 4 (FIN) Judge 5 (CAN) Total
Run 1 6.6 7.0 6.9 6.3 7.0 33.8
Run 2 7.1 7.3 7.1 7.3 7.1 35.9
8 28 Japan KOKUBO Kazuhiro 9 30.5 4 35.7 Expand
KOKUBO Kazuhiro Judge 1 (JPN) Judge 2 (AUS) Judge 3 (SUI) Judge 4 (FIN) Judge 5 (CAN) Total
Run 1 6.2 6.2 5.8 5.6 6.7 30.5
Run 2 7.5 7.6 6.6 6.8 7.2 35.7
9 6 Japan AONO Ryo 10 32.9 5 29.1 Expand
AONO Ryo Judge 1 (JPN) Judge 2 (AUS) Judge 3 (SUI) Judge 4 (FIN) Judge 5 (CAN) Total
Run 1 6.8 6.8 6.1 6.7 6.5 32.9
Run 2 6.0 5.9 6.0 5.4 5.8 29.1
10 7 France CREPEL Mathieu 3 25.9 3 8.7 Expand
CREPEL Mathieu Judge 1 (JPN) Judge 2 (AUS) Judge 3 (SUI) Judge 4 (FIN) Judge 5 (CAN) Total
Run 1 4.8 5.7 5.3 4.8 5.3 25.9
Run 2 1.4 1.9 1.7 1.9 1.8 8.7
11 23 Finland MALIN Markus 6 16.7 1 18.6 Expand
MALIN Markus Judge 1 (JPN) Judge 2 (AUS) Judge 3 (SUI) Judge 4 (FIN) Judge 5 (CAN) Total
Run 1 3.3 2.8 4.1 3.6 2.9 16.7
Run 2 3.3 3.8 3.8 3.9 3.8 18.6
12 34 United States BRETZ Gregory 5 18.3 2 13.0 Expand

Here’s what’s official so far. The top 6 who get to bypass the semis and go straight to the finals (Shaun White, Ryo Aono, Louie Vito, I-pod, Kazuhiro Kokubo and Peetu Piiroinen) are going to make it really difficult for anyone else to land on the podium. Consistency and trick wise in qualifiers, they were all far and away from the rest of the field. But it’s not over yet (and we’re definitely not counting out Scotty!) Semis start at 5:15 PST. For real, real time results, visit vancouver2010.com. Read more

An Almost-Olympic Hump Day with JJ Thomas

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The top of the podium is a nice place to be.

Despite boyish good looks and solid snowboard skills, JJ Thomas has never been a Danny Kass or Shaun White type. He’s always been good, but just lacking that hype that creates true snowboard sensations. Maybe that’s why when JJ ended up in a 3-way tie for the 4th US Olympic team slot this year, it was labeled as a comeback. Of course, he’d spent the past few seasons filming, not pipe jocking, but if you’re not at every Burton-sponsored pipe fest every year, you must be washed up right? Over the years though, one place JJ tops the charts in snowboarding, is being a good sport. After all, some ten years ago he kicked off my snowboard journalism career by going on a “dream date” with me for my Snowboarder Magazine internship. And ten years later, he’s still winning contests and having fun snowboarding, even if he didn’t quite get the chance to go for gold in Vancouver.

So, you just won the Dew Tour and the Aspen Open… how does victory taste?

It tastes like Coors Light and filet mignon.

Did winning the Dew Cup make not quite making the Olympic team any better?

Yes it helped… it was a nice band aid.

How much did you win? What are you gonna spend the money on?

I think I won 40k that night. I think I’ll buy a summer’s supply of pizza and ice cream with it.

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Triple overhead. Photo Seth Hill

Are you pissed they picked a no-name kid over you for this year’s Olympics? Why do you think the reasoning behind it was?

I was mad for a day or so, but I’m over it. He rode well and out tricked me, so he deserves it.

Given the sorry state of the Olympic pipe, any predictions on what might go down? Are you a little glad you don’t have to try and ride it?

Yeah, when you have a pipe that is kind of crappy it evens the playing field a lot. I’d say anything could happen. I still think it’s Shaun’s to lose, but I could see Kazu doing well, or maybe some Euro dudes sneaking in and doing well, especially if the pipe is shitty.

You’re still an Olympian though… Are there any perks to the title? Did you ever get laid, or treated to anything nice because of your bronze medal?

HA! Yeah it’s cool. I mean I get free entry fees to the Grand Prix and yes, I still get lucky sometimes and manage to get laid.

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Even pipe jocks have fans! JJ’s Stepdad Bob and YeaNice teamrider Gabe.

How do you feel about being labeled a pipe jock?

I embrace it.

Do tight pants might it harder to ride halfpipe?

No, it makes you more faster. I think in the future we will all be wearing racing suits to get more speed.

You’ve had a fairly long career, and this year it seems like you’ve proved it’s not over yet. Why do you think companies don’t seem to realize you are amazingly marketable?

I like snowboarding and I still like to compete so that’s why I choose to keep doing it. I think getting written off in snowboarding is a common thing. Situations like that can also breed success. At the end of the day it’s just how you choose to take it and deal with it. You can use it to fuel your fire or you can let it bring you down.

Couldn’t you sell snowboards on your good looks alone? I mean, Zach Leach did it for years.

I’m not sure what sells boards anymore. I think it’s all about coming out with a sweet gimmick and then marketing the hell out of it.

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Getting Xtreme. Photo Zach Hooper

How long did it take to live down being named the “cutest boy in snowboarding” in 1999?

I think I shook that in ’02 or so.

Why do you think having people call you Jarrett didn’t catch on?

JJ it is. Unless my Mom is yelling at me.

Why did it take you so long to start concentrating on filming video parts?

I got into filming when I was burnt out on contests. Then I got burnt out on filming, so now I like competing again. Let’s be honest though, filming doesn’t really pay the bills, unless you’re Travis Rice.

Anything video-wise in the works for this season?

Bluebird movie!

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JJ knows famous people like Jeff Brushie, Tim Windell and his coach Ben Boyd.

Do you have a “retirement plan?” Perhaps get into boardercross?

No Boarder x for this guy.

How can you stand living in Summit County? Do you still summer in SoCal?

Summit County is great! I stay in Breck when I’m up there and then on days off I stay with my parents down in Golden. It’s a good winter set up. And yes, I still live in Southern California. I still live in the same town where we went out on that awkward date 10 years ago.

If you could be a pro surfer, but would never be allowed to snowboard again, would you do it?

No way. I like snowboarding way too much.

What about a pro golfer? (No guarantees your career wouldn’t pull a Tiger Woods either, and no more snowboarding, ever.)

Now this is a tough one… Golf is too hard though. I’d make myself go crazy and then I would probably pull a “Tiger Woods” too. I mean If I had millions riding on my golf swing, I’d do some stupid shit too.

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Flying high in the Colorado sky. Photo Zach Hooper


How is your music career going? Are you super famous in the free internet download world these days?

Yes , we rule the world or free downloads! Who pays for music these days anyways.

Thanks, shout outs, sponsor plugs?

Thanks to my sponsors. Oakley,Vitamin Water ,YeaNice, Tactics, Unity, Breckenridge, Celtek, Bluebird.  Thanks to anyone who reads this, and thanks to you Brooke for continuing to write about snowboarding for a very, very long time. Peace and love to all !!!!

Check out all of JJ’s projects:

www.yeanice.com
www.milehisound.com
www.celtekclan.com

2010 Olympics Live Stream?

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Olympic snowboarding started today with the Men’s Snowboardcross. Will the course spontaneously combust? (no) Will Wescott reclaim his medal? (yes) Will anyone do a stupid method on the last jump and blow it? (no) Only one thing is for sure: it would have been better if Palmer made it. Oh and another thing is for sure, NBC’s 3-hour delay on the west coast is bullshit. Thank god it’s 2010 and after clicking on about 100 links trying to get a $14 subscription fee, we finally found some Euro live stream here. Will they actually show snowboarding? Who knows. But the commentary sounds insightful (if we could actually understand) and it’s actually live. For the full Olympic snowboard schedule, Boardistan weeded out the bullshit. CTV has live results and allegedly a live stream, but I can’t get it to work. For real time twitter updates, Tricia Byrnes is your girl. Go AMERICA!

Official Men’s SBX Final Results

1. Seth Wescott
2. Martin Robertson
3. Tony Ramoin
4. Nate Holland
5. Rob Fagan
6. Lukas Gruener
7. Mario Fuchs
8. David Speiser

Help Name Shaun’s New Trick

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You may remember not too long ago Shaun White dropped his new trick: a double McTwist 1260. The timing could have been better, as the biggest threat to his Olympic gold had just fallen victim to injury, but “the kids” seemed pretty stoked on it. With the Games right around the corner, Todd Richards is up in Vancouver preparing for the announcing gig of a lifetime, and is unsure what to call this trick in lamens terms. The people want something catchy, not a mouthful of technical terms if they are going to discuss it over the water cooler on Monday!

Word is Shaun is requesting the trick be called “The Whitesnake,” but Todd has better ideas. So far Todd’s suggestions include: the Big Mac and the Double-Double Extra Tomato. But given Shaun’s past affiliation with Wendy’s, perhaps something off that menu would be more appropriate? So we’ve decided the YoBeat readers should have the final say* in what Todd will call Shaun’s stunt on national television February 17th.

[poll id=”145″]

*actually this poll will have no effect on what Todd says, but it’s still funny.

The Olympic Pipe Looks Good Now…

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The Olympic halfpipe competition starts in less than a week and good news! The halfpipe looks a lot like, well, a halfpipe. And according to Arena Snowpark’s Blog it’s 98% straw free. That’s more good news, because a certain blogger who remembers the olden days of snowboarding told us a funny story recently. Apparently, when hay gets wet, it can spontaneously combust. They then went on to share memories of an old-timey halfpipe contest where hay was used to bolster the walls of the pipe, and about halfway through the day the walls were filled with smoking holes (and not the mouths of hipsters, either.)

It sounded somewhat unbeleivable so we decided to go all Mythbusters on it (read: google “what happens when hay gets wet?”) Sure enough, one of the first articles to come up on the matter confirmed that unless hay is kept below 14 percent moisture, microbial activity in the wet straw actually heats it up. And if it’s stored compactly enough (like say, squished really tightly together by a ton of snow), heat can build up to the point of combustion. We’re not big on “science” but sounds like the 2010 Olympics could have a bit more excitement than just double corks. We can’t wait!

Exclusive! YoBeat’s Official Scotty Lago Olympic Interview

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We’ve got Olympic fever and it’s mostly cause Scotty Lago made the team. Not only is he a good ol’ New England boy, but he’s down for a good time, even while trying to make Team USA. If anyone can show the world what snowboarding is really about (hint: not double corks) it’s Scotty.

As the only Frend on the Olympic team, do you think not being on a Burton board had anything to do with you making it?

Naw, hahaha, but being the only one from the crew gives me more motivation to go and shred it

So given Kevin and Danny’s untimely injuries, did that help motivate you to get it done?

For sure it did! I’m super bummed on the injury status, and I just feel bad for em. I’ll try my best to hold it down, though.

What’s your take on your lumber jack outfit, I mean, uniform?

hahaha I love it…They wont let me drop in with my chain saw for the Olympics, so that kinda sucks.

Do you plan on doling out high fives at the Games like you did on your final run at the Park City Grand Prix?

Possibly, I had nothing to lose. If a kid can get through the insane security at X I’ll give him a hug, too.

Do you think with all the hype around the US guys, there might just be a Euro or Japanese kid waiting to come out of the woodwork and crush everyone?

Yup! There are a lot of contenders out there: Finland, Japan, Switzerland will all do well. I just hope we do better.

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Are you at all concerned about the lack of snow at the Olympic venue?

Not really, I’m pretty sure they will get it done when it comes time…but it has definitely crossed my mind.

How does it feel to be the official “snowboarder’s snowboarder” on the Olympic team?

I think I know what that means, haha. I just wish Danny was there with me too.

People seem to think you don’t train as much or as vigorously as some of the other riders because you like to party. Is that true, are you just that much better than everyone else?

I’m good…I’m real good, haha. No, I party when the time is right.

How did you manage to make the Olympic team without your own private pipe?

Because there was three more spots left on the team, haha

What’s more motivational for you: representing your country, or the opportunity to beat Shaun White out of a gold medal?

Representing the country! I’m a patriotic kid and I’m proud to rep. Beating shaun does not motivate me at all really. It motivates him though, maybe that’s why he’s the best..hhhhmmmm

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Special thanks to Grenade TM Jordan Brown for the photos and making the interview magic happen.

Exclusive! YoBeat’s Official Louie Vito Olympic Interview

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For all this talk about how little we care about the Olympics and what not, we’ve really been paying pretty close attention to it. When the team was officially announced on Monday we realized that maybe we are even a little bit psyched to see how big of a junk show Vancouver 2010 really ends up being (or not.) It also doesn’t hurt that a decent portion of team USA are not just lame pipe jocks, but snowboarders we actually kind of like. And since we could, we figured some quick, EXCLUSIVE interviews were in order (but only with the people we care about.) First up, Louie Vito.

Which experience is more pressure-filled: Dancing with the stars, or going to the Olympics?

Dancing for sure.  I mean, every week I had to go out in outfits that I wasn’t the most comfortable in, doing a dance I had no confidence in, in front of a live audience, spotlight, judges who I knew would rip me apart, and 22 million viewers a week.  Snowboarding, I’m wearing what I want, doing what I know how to do, so that’s a lot easier for me.

Will Chelsie be coming to Vancouver with you?

haha not too sure about that.

Do you follow the chatter on the DWTS message boards? Has your super-fame affected your journey to the team at all?

No, I don’t mess with those message boards.

Did your dance training help you with your double corks?

haha, Richards says I am air dancing now, so maybe.

Are you sick of talking about DWTS yet?

haha, it’s funny because it always comes up no matter what interview I am doing.

Your boss, Todd Richards, got 14th on his trip to the Olympics. Does the idea of besting his finish add any additional pressure or motivation?

Motivation for sure.  I would love to better his finish but then again, if they judged like they do now on the best run format, he would have won.

Are you at all nervous about having him announce the contest and what he might say about you, knowing all your secrets and what not?

I have known Todd for a long time.  No matter what the situation is, being on TV or not, I know there is a good chance he is going to say something to make fun of me.

Aside from getting to go to the Olympics, what’s the best part about making the team?

Just making it.  It was definitely a goal of mine and I think it’s harder to make it than to do well.  I just wanna enjoy everything and the experience.

Did you hear IPOD claimed is he going to crush Shaun on Swiss tv, do you think there’s any weight to his claims?

Did he really say that?? Let’s be realistic here.

What’s more motivational for you: representing your country, or the opportunity to beat Shaun White out of a gold medal?

Representing the USA.  I just wanna go there and land a run.  If I do that then I will be stoked!

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Special thanks to Jordan Brown from Grenade for the photos and making Louie answer our completely ridiculous questions.