Friday, March 18, 2011

Billabong Flaunt It

This blog is written by my student Nicole McNulty and it goes a little something like this...

"First thing Friday morning, March 4th, the ladies of Windells Academy, including Haley Hougen, Michelle Lu, Erin Marano, Gina Petrice, Randa Shahin, Lisa Dougherty and myself, packed up and started our trek to Mount Seymour, BC. We spent seven hours in the Academy van filled to the brim with boards, bags and pop tarts to compete in the Billabong Flaunt it. The Billabong Flaunt it is an all girls slopestyle and rail jam which makes several stops around Canada and finally wraps up at finals at Sierra-Tahoe on April 9th. This event is especially sick because all of the girls who really kill it come together in one spot to flaunt the best tricks they have. The Flaunt it is an awesome showcase of the progression of girls’ snowboarding and encourages girls of every level to compete.

The morning of the event was a little bit of a hassle, trying to get the car packed, get everyone fed and drive up from downtown Vancouver but we registered just in time. After rallying up the pass to get to Mount Seymour, we headed up for rider’s meeting and to inspect the course. To our surprise, the mountain was completely socked in to the point where you could barely see ten feet in front of you. As a result of the less then desirable conditions, the operators of the event decided to switch up the schedule, placing the rail jam in the morning rather than the afternoon and doing the slopestyle once the fog burned off.

The competitors were given a thirty-minute practice and then the forty-five minute jam session went off. Twenty to twenty-five girls showed up for the contest and everyone was throwing down. Two features were in the rail jam, a flat down box and a down rail. To say the least, girls were getting loose. Switch front blunts same-way 270s out and gnarly switch ups were being thrown left and right. Our very own math teacher, Randa Shahin, threw a front blunt and a tail slide 270 out. Gnarbuckets. Randa, Gina and myself were the only girls competing from our crew and we all had a blast but I couldn’t wait for the fog to clear out and the slopestyle to start.

After a complimentary lunch from Mount Seymour and the awesome sponsors, we all started up the hill again for the slopestyle. The fog was finally gone and the competition was about to get real. The course was two jumps, both with a big and small side, and then the two rail features from the rail jam. Just like the rail jam, the slopestyle was an hour and a half jam session where you could take as many runs as you wanted. Right off the bat girls were throwing some standout tricks including switch back 5s, some big back threes and a few attempt at 7s. I ended up getting five solid runs in during the jam and I was beyond stoked. All of my tricks felt really solid. Randa landed her first cab 5 during the competition and Gina conquered her fear and stomped some sick straight airs! All in all, the ladies killed it. The competition atmosphere was rad because all of the girls were supporting each other while still competing. It was so sick to see a bunch of girls in one place throwing down.

Once the competition ended, we all gathered for the awards and the raffle. The raffle was first and I won a rad purse from Billabong and Gina won a pretty sick backpack. The first award handed out was the Hard Knock award for the girl who took the hardest slams of the day and it was awarded to a local rider from Mount Seymour. The second award was the Best Style award, which luckily I won! The judges said I had the sickest style all day and I had some stand out tricks including a super tweaked back 3 japan and a “sexy” method. The awards were then given out for the rail jam and then finally slopestyle. Randa took 5thand I took 4th! We were so stoked on our performances and the swag we received for out placing. I got a pink mannequin head with some awesome Sony headphones on it for Best Style that is slightly creepy but still sick. Overall, this competition was so rad and I can’t wait for finals in Tahoe in April! It’s going to be an even sicker event that really demonstrates the progression of girls’ snowboarding. Congratulations to all of the girls who placed and all the other competitors! Everyone killed it. Also, thank you to Billabong, Mount Seymour, Dakine, Transworld Snowboarding, Snowboard Canada, VAS Entertainment and Von Zipper for putting on this event, I can’t wait for finals and to Windells Academy and Blindside Colorado for your support!"

The trip was more than just snowboarding though. The first night when we got into Vancouver we were only three blocks away from the major clubbing strip in the city. Unfortunately, the girls were a little too young to go clubbing, but the street performers kept things really interesting. We did end up going to a crepe shop for some drinks and dessert crepes.....mmm good.

Competition day was an awesome day beside the boarder problems we experienced that consumed the rest of the evening. Luckly, we still made it back into the United States and ended up staying on the coast. The next morning we did a little bit of hot tubbing and we got to explore the shore a little bit during high tide. After our water adventure we went to Mt. Baker. It was the end of the day and the runs were well tracked, but it was still nice for the girls to see what Mt Baker has to offer. We made a friend along the way names Reily that was nice enough to guide us a bit at the end of the day. Overall, the trip was great.

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