Video: Jason Bayne, Darkside Snowboards
Many years ago, New England was home to the World Quarterpipe championships. It was rowdy and raucous and eventually someone got very hurt and they stopped doing it. Most of the participants are now grown ups with real jobs and kids, including Mr. Mike Baker himself. However, his annual Banked Slalom is as close as today’s boarder can get to the “good old days” gone by.
This year, the event went down at Waterville Valley, where 17 inches of fresh snow covered up all the hazards just enough to make them invisibly dangerous. The course itself was pretty mellow, that is, until you hit the moguls at the end. The maniacal ice bumps beckoned the best riders to take em at full speed, but many learned the hard way, that just wasn’t a good idea. Those who made it through were handsomely rewarded with cash, prizes and no chance at permanent loser’s tattoo.