It's been a while since my last post and let me tell you, I've been busy! It may have been the busiest time of my year. In the last couple of weeks I was studying for my chemistry final, I shot a commercial for Hudson's Bay and I competed in the Grenade Games. Below are some photos of the setup from the Grenade Games Grand Finale, courtesy of Dano Pendygrasse.
My coach Joe had received an email (the day before the audition) that the production company wanted someone who was good at riding halfpipe for the commercial. There wasn't much other information other than the day of the audition, which happened to be the day that I got back from Nationals. I decided to give it a whirl and see what the film industry was all about. Kyle and I went down to the studio and waited for 2 hours for them to do a 5 minute interview with us. After that we were sent on our way, told that we would hear from them if they wanted us.
I ended up getting a call later in the week from my new agent letting me know that I was getting booked for the commercial! So I went up to Cypress for my shoot day, still not knowing exactly what to expect. The first thing that I noticed was the abundance of free food at the set. I was happy to hang out, try to study among the commotion and eat lots of delicious food. After they had filmed all the other actors/athletes, they tried to fit me in right before the sun went down. We got a couple of shots but they needed me to come back for a second day. After hanging out on set for most of another day. I did some frontside airs in the pipe and rode right past the camera. The commercial is meant to air leading up to the Olympics, the idea is a timeline of the Hudson Bay Company. I'm excited to see the final product.
The next thing on my agenda was the Grenade Games which was part of Whistler Ski and Snowboard Festival this year. Monster Energy Drinks was one of the main sponsors. Check out the Monster website for more info about the Grenade Games. Basically the Grenade Games put a more fun spin on the events that have been in the Festival before. For the halfpipe there was a jump at the top of the course as well as boxes and a telephone poll in the pipe. It was cool to switch it up from the regular halfpipe contest. We had a big jam format, which means that we were just riding at our leisure and trying to get noticed by the judges. I landed some 5 to 5 combos and a cab 7. TJ Schneider stole the show with a nice frontside 1080 and a crazy inverted maneuver that no one knew what to call!
The grand finale for the Grenade Games was a Big Air Slopestyle invitational event at the bottom of the hill. I was able to get invited, most likely because of my placing 2nd at the Showcase Showdown last year. This is always one of, scratch that, the biggest event of the year in Whistler. There were about 20, 000 people watching from the village and sidelines. It's been one of my goals to compete at the Big Air in the Festival ever since I saw it my first year out there, so I was obviously stoked to be in it. The course started with a big bomb drop into a huge straight jump or step up gap jump to a step down feature. After that there was a choice of street style rail, box or a tree jib. The bottom of the course entailed two spines with a PBC pipe in between.
I was pretty intimidated when I rolled up to the course for practice on Saturday afternoon. I had never hit features like many in this course. Most of the other riders in this event were established pro riders, who took no time to start destroying the course. It was a fun environment to ride and progress in. I landed some runs I was pretty pumped about including a front 7 and a back 5 off the step down.
The real contest was under the lights at 8 o'clock. This was only the... third time I've snowboarded at night this year. That was difficult to adapt to but I always find it awesome to compete in front of a big crowd. I was one of the only riders spinning off the bomb drop feature with some 270s, the only problem was that the guy dropping before me was Craig Belieu, who won the competition, and he was doing 450s. I didn't care about my results, I was just pumped to be riding in the competition. It was a great experience and so fun - a perfect way to end my competitive season.
As for now I'm focusing on learning some new tricks as well as filming and shooting photos. Spring time is always amazing in Whistler. You can snowboard in the morning and swim in the lake in the afternoon. I'm also going to be working with a personal trainer to set me up with a program for the summer so that I can get a huge beach bod, ha! Just kidding, but seriously I'll be stomping huge jumps this summer and next season with my beefy (chicken) legs.
Below are some photos of the Grand Finale of Grenade Games. Photos by Russel Dalby.
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