Words: Pat Fay photos: Erik Hoffman
If you’ve ever had the misfortune of watching MTV anytime between February and June, you know that college kids like to get into some pretty wild shit on Spring Break. This year, for my Spring Break (yeah, I go to college), I couldn’t think of anything wilder than some good, old-fashioned, honest journalism. Now, of course I had already pre-qualified for the final heat of the Carinthia Open Mega Plaza (C.O.M.P.), but knowing that the pen is mightier than the board I took a seat next to amateur contestant and fellow hater, Chewy, to watch some snowboarding.
The week leading up to the C.O.M.P. was just a build-up of excitement (but mostly tanks and tubes), watching the masterful Carinthia diggers (a group voted the East Coast’s best by TWsnow’s fans last season) push and cut snow into a pretty menacing plaza for some of the greater Vermont area’s finest to slide around on. In between park laps I was able to share some words with media extraordinaire Dylan Demers in the lift line. He was pretty sure he would “get some clips” but expressed his concern that “a lot of Joeys might show up”. On Saturday, however, this did not appear to be an issue.
The finals started off with zero hesitation as riders were raining hammers all over the plaza; it was one of those rail jams where you didn’t know where to look. Had I judged this, there probably would have been seven dudes (and one chick) on that podium, so honorable mentions go out to Casey Willax, Jake Gaudet, Brian Skorupski, Rory Bruder, and Ian Keay (who I thought was skateboarding – in a good way). Where the fuck was Zack Wilmot? Shaun Murphy got third which he probably isn’t used to. He hit everything in that plaza from all possible directions, and his handplant game is still top tier. Max Lyons is on the come up yobeaters, and I like where his heads at. In an exclusive interview Max told me that he did it all for the bitches, and you could tell. Levi Gunzberg was the crowd favorite going into Saturday’s action, which you already knew if you watched the latest C Sessions, and he more than deservedly took home the fattest check. This kid makes front flips cool, which I don’t think can be said for everyone. I was unable to get a word with Levi because Twiddle was playing over at Stratton, and if you can’t tell by the photos of him in this article, he’s not the type to miss a nearby Twiddle show.
As a side note, no rodeos were landed this year, though there were some possibly life-threatening attempts. No one was more angered by this fact than one man claiming to be the reigning rodeo hucker’s father, who told me “He’s gonna get a serious tongue lashing on Yobeat when the C.O.M.P. edit goes up”. Chewy and I were just worried about our own safety on the sidelines…for a while there it seemed like we might take a board to the face. Other competitor’s expressed mixed feelings on the subject. One anonymous rider spoke candidly, “He shows up once a year, does a rodeo, then leaves.” We’ll see you next year, Sporter.
The best thing about an event like this one is how local it is. I’m sure not many of the “core” kids from out west or up in Canada or wherever give a fuck about this article or the C.O.M.P. We all know that Carinthia isn’t going to get the coverage Bear or Park City or Troll will. Coming from the East Coast it’s nigh impossible for most of these guys to get the credit and recognition they deserve, and on top of that riding in Southern Vermont the talent here seems to always get overshadowed by Loon and Waterville, which is honestly fucked. Fuck all that. Saturday was amazing just for the reminder that so many of the kids who ride Carinthia kill it, regardless of their proximity to the corporate masturbation session that Snowboarding’s becoming. If you’re in the area next year don’t miss it, and keep an eye out for these guys in the C Sessions and this summer.
1st Levi Gunzburg
2nd Max Lyons
3rd Shaun Murphy