The Adventure started off the day of classes, where I went to Mike Lannigan's condo at the mountain. I went up there because I had a competition at Sunday river in the USSA Riderfest series. This series used to be run by Bud Light, but USSA took it over and now the competitions are horrible. Every single one this year has been run terribily and easily been the worst competitions I have ever been to. USSA is a federation that started in racing way back when, and jumps on every sport trying to make money. It jumped on to mogul skiing and ruined it, and now it is trying to rise on top of the new school skiing period. The rules they have are the dumbest ideas, and none of the competitors agree with them.
The judging is horrendous, and they have no idea what is going on. They are older mogul judges who have no idea what is going, oand try to score the runs like mogul events. It is this most frustrating feeling in the word, and I surely cannot explain it on paper! For example, some of the kids in the skiing competitions are allowed to invest, and others are not. But yet are all judged on the same scale. Interestingly, how does that work. That is racing a Ford Fiesta and Porche 911 in the same race. IT makes absolutely no sense at all. Of course once the clueless judges see someone go inverted; it has to be good, so they automatically get a better score!! Also in the competitions snowboarders also compete, but they are not allowed to go off axis at all! So some skiers can go sideways, some can invert and snowboarders cannot do anything but spin straight. WOW.. that sounds like a great compeition to me. The snowboarder's runs are the best of, meaning that the better of the two jumps is the one they use to score. Yet skiers, because of USSA have a combined score, meaning both jumps count together. So if you fall on your first jump which I did at Sunday River, why bother taking your second because even if you stomp it, it won't amount to much at all with a combined score!!
They say that amplitude counts in halfpipe, but apparently it doesn't. Both Simon Dumont and myself only got four hits in the pipe because of the height were were going. But other people who would get seven or eight hits only going two or three feet out, throwing down little spins and flips would place better. Simon and I are not qualified to invest so height was our only way of placing well. I am not saying I should have won the thing, because I shouldn't have, however I feel that amplitude in the pipe is underscored a great deal and is not seen as hard, yet it is much harder than throwing down little tricks. The competition put me over the edge and I am sick of RIderfest competitions, and I will never do one again.
The next weekend I traveled to Mount Snow Vermont for the Anti-Gravity Grail. This competition is one of the last to be run individually in the east and is always a good performance. The attitude of the competitors and people running the event is so much more enhanced than the others. It makes the competition more fun all around.
I competed in a double big air, which is a new idea that only has happened there. I fell on my better of the two runs so I did not place, but it was fun because everyone was throwing down. Later that night we competed in a half pipe competition where I was going pretty big, and yes the hudges saw that so I placed well. It was good to see judges who took everything into account and knew their stuff. The competition was much more fun and was run really well. It is too bad that USSA is trying to take everything over. Although that competition was fun and went well, I have decided that competitions not that fun and they are not the thing for me. I have decided that I am only going to do the big comps. The skiing scene is on a really good route as long as USSA stays out of it, but if they take it over the sport will die because of the politics.
Dylan Hood '02