Dan from pemby crew, hand planting off spine. Photo: Kieran Brownie
For those of you just tuning in… this season Evolution teamed up with the boy250snow crew in what we feel may just be one of the best contest ideas Whistler has ever seen, or BC for that matter. We invited local crews to share their backyard parks, offering film & photo opportunities. We wanted to tip our hats to D.I.Y. boarding, bring the most creative builders together with up and coming riders and document some solid community shredding. We were overwhelmed by the response, not just from avid shovellers, but by all kinds of locals who were just as stoked as we were to shine some light on another side of snowboarding in the corridor! After receiving 7 strong entries, we narrowed it down to 3 backyards, which we visited with our panel of judges, made up of OG snowboard reps, shop owners, filmers, photographers and local park rats/pros to look at these masterpieces from every angle. I’ve never seen so much respect between riders as these sessions took place. It was a beauty of a time amongst great people. Here are a few highlights from the first ever Backyard Sessions!
Pemby Wild Card
We arrive at Robbie's place convoy style, we do this on purpose. The house is lit up like a monochromatic Christmas tree and it ain't small. The property is on the flat of the flood lands where the houses have to be built up at least 15 feet off the main level, giving them a little rampable advantage. Later we'll learn that Robbie helped build the Pemby Skatepark and is lined up to help run excavator on the Mt. Currie's $120,000 skate park project. He and his lovely family have recently moved into this new home, just this October, so its their first snow season to practice park building in their yard, but surely not the last. We overcome the driveway one by one, noting several vehicles already here that we block in with ours. Robbie is on the balcony, Old Milwaukee in hand and he's stoked. I call out, introduce myself, determine which way to haul the filming gear around back, and we do.
Woody sliding the Rainbow Rail. Photo: Kieran Brownie
The yard is crazy cool, better than we imagined. They've obviously taken the time to add some new features since their entry. A series of double jump and rail lines, fed speed by the main drop in off the deck, covered with scrap carpet that looks better than what’s in my living room. The carpet was a nice detail for a plush strap-in. From there you have your choice of either drop-in to spine or rainbow rail. The spine line led into a fence gap jump to the 2nd rainbow rail. The first rainbow line leads into the money feature: the fence gap to down bar. The alternative, the beginners line was a fence stall into a sled-deck-butter-pad. And as if that weren’t enough, about 15 feet to the left you can drop off the balcony, rip under a trellis, ollie the big gate gapper, which spits you into a wall ride made from a wood palette. Definitely give these guys props for the variety!
Dan railin it up. Photo: Kieran Brownie
Robbie's crew is ready for us, stoked to have the Evo/250snow crew come shred. You can tell people are a little nervous, but we're not here to intimidate anyone. We've got a solid body of genuinely respectful riders... leading the pack Andrew Wood, opening a great pow-wow to welcome everyone to the session. The introductions reveal our judging crew Erik Gelling, Gordo Emery, Jessy Brown, and Dave Kinskofer. Robbie in turn introduces his hard working shovelers and awesome riders... Stephan, Dan, Brasso, young Kai, and a few who are missing... Patty, Julie-Ann. We respectfully wait for the builders to show us how its done and Dan demonstrates without hesitation, hitting the spine with a hefty hand plant to start us off. Stephan is close behind sliding the rainbow rail, and its official, we’re sessioning. Our crew dove into it hard and we stayed way longer than planned. Woody and Gordo puts their minds together to up the ante at one point by bracing Gordo's Ride Machete GT as a launch of the kicker which Woody killed a back flip off of, check out the vid!
Video: Jessy Brown
Woody back-flippin! Photo: Kieran Brownie
The night proved a huge success, high fives were had, cans were crushed, and we thank Christina for the most amazing and epic Sheppard pie we’ve ever had. Woody gave out his first ever autograph that night, but really we were all in awe of the amazing work this crew did.
JER & THE MAGIC JET PACK PARK
Now originally I thought maybe Woody was calling Jer’s yard the Magic Jet Pack Park because they wish they had a jet pack so they didn’t have to hike the equivalent of 6 or 7 stories every time they wanted to drop into this bad boy. I was later informed by Woody that the real reason for the name was that “Jer sees stuff regular people don't, or if they do they realize it is pretty impossible to make the gap, build a big enough jump or turn his idea into reality... Kieran Brownie who shoots and scopes new spots with Jer often, notices that Jer will see a balcony he thinks can be jibbed and Kieran might say... “yeah Jer, sure, you and your magical jet pack..." This park is Jers magic jet pack in reality. A jump that should be too big for a backyard... a jump onto a railing from an angle that shouldn't work... “ but it does.
Jer's place, full crew on deck. Photo: Coochipeace
Woody railin into the mini pipe on deck. Photo: Coochipeace
It was definitely the biggest kicker we saw in a backyard that’s for sure, giving our riders the opportunity to launch a good 25 feet in the air without effort, which just so happened to send you out over a giant bonfire of burning wood palettes and cardboard, just to add a little drama… it never hurts. When we first arrived at Jer’s we couldn’t even figure out where the boys were, only because Jer was still shovellin on the run-in thanks to the extra dump we had received the night before. Mitch was out in no time dragging the palettes over pouring gas to ignite the blaze, and we were soon underway. The features go something like this; Crazy neighbour creeper drop in to money booter over bonfire or Hip/tree tap option, finished off with PVC jib to valley trail quarter pipe OR launch right up the Balcony Jib to rail slide or drop into Mini pump ramp on the deck. Woody had been eager to hit this mini double pipe action they had created on the second level deck and got at it pretty hard and pretty fast but the momentum didn’t carry you too far and soon he was dialing in the rail slide instead.
Jeremy sending it over Bonfire. Photo: Coochipeace
Jessy Brown Meth-headin. Photo: Coochipeace
Jer was the first to launch off the money booter and soon to follow would be several others throwin down a handful of tweaks, pokes, twangs, and solid, solid, methods. Rhett Haubrich threw down a massive "...backy mate! in honor of ‘Stralia Day!". I think there were even a few rodeos in there. Peeps were definitely getting inverted up there. A solid good time and very impressive.
Rider: Woody. Photo: Kieran Brownie
Rider: Jer. Photo: Kieran Brownie
CAMP OF SCALLIONS
Third entry... "Camp of Scallions, hey? Sounds BADASS… we’ll have to see this Friday" exclaims Woods in his post on 250snow.com. And we did... and it was. These guys put in some amazing effort and greeted us with mad respect for our highly anticipated session evening.
Woody pow-wowin' with the crew pre-session. Photo: Kieran Brownie
Backyard Scallion scene. Photo: Kieran Brownie
The crew arrived tired, already spent on the Jet Pack session just moments before. Its literally a 5 minute drive from one to the other. "The first photo I saw looked cool but didn't show much... we were all pretty beat from shooting (with Nuulife Cinema) that day and then back to backyard sessions... but when we saw the butter ledge and clam shell, coffee became fireball and it was back on." - Woody.
Rider: Gordo. Photo: Kieran Brownie
The shovellin crew enjoyin the moment. Photo: Keiran Brownie
Jessy Brown hand plantin'. Photo: Coochipeace
So the creativity in this crew comes out in many ways and we would like to give props to their elaborate written portion of the entry. This wasn’t a requirement for us, but we suggested it as an option and they certainly delivered. So here it is in their own words. "There’s a pirate theme keeping the park afloat. The “Camp of Scallions”, home to some of Whistlers scalliest butt pirates. It boasts around 10 features, including a 15 person igloo"… I loved this part, as when I entered the igloo I realized it would be tight quarters, an intimate affair if there were 15 people in there... but it was so lovely, all lit with circular windows, spruce branch roof, snowboard benches... truly spectacular, a real hit with the ladies. "3 drop ins, a turbo tube, handrail, stair set, wall ride, twin 8 ft hips leading to a second storey deck, a 20 ft quarter pipe and a few other surprises. The house itself is in a perfect spot, among trees with an ampitheatre styled yard, massive deck, outdoor fireplace and tons of space for the minions to come watch! There's also enough lighting to see this bad boy from space! We built the entire park from the beginning with the desire of achieving as much skatepark ‘flow’ as possible. We wanted a park that didn't run out of options after the one hit. The main goal was to have a variety of lines, a choice of jump combos and a flow that felt mellow, all while using the snow and space we had available. In the end, I think we nailed it, getting the hits in the right spot." This was Mason's description of their hard work and I wondered what it would look like when we received the entry. Expectations were high but we weren't disappointed, and as much as we told them the initial session would have to be low key, only the closest to the crew in attendance for fear of a rager... well... its obviously hard to keep a good secret.
Rider: Mason. Photo: Coochipeace
Rider: Garrett. Photo: Sam Iotzkar
It wasn't a rager, but there were lots of spectating eyes surrounding the bonfire, and silence hushed when we rounded the corner with camera crew and lights in tow. The respect was mutual. There are some solid riders in this crew as well; Mason and Nate head the bunch, with Mike and Garrett also receiving major shovelling cred. Nate emailed me his own entry, I was worried he wasn't in on time after several visits to see me at the shop, not knowing he was a part of the same crew. "It was a wild ride" Nate said, "consisting of several cases of beer, a few bags of BCs finest and 9 shovels. Even last night, I was out until 4am with Mason slapping the jumps. The house is full of people down with the shred, and even more down with people who shred."
Sounds like good company… and it was. Well played boys, well played…
Rider: Mason. Photo: Sam Iatkkar
We will be announcing 1st, 2nd and 3rd places tomorrow, February 2nd. Thanks so much to our generous sponsors Ride, Airblaster, 3CS, Arena Snow Parks, Sabre, Coal, and Spacecraft for helping us make this event possible. It was a blast and we can’t wait until next year.