Words by Ethan Stone for Newschoolers.com
Video by Teddy Knape and Hunter Lubeck-Wanty
On the Friday before Boyne Mountainâ€™s annual Hoot-en-Anny slopestyle and halfpipe competition on March 8, four Newschoolers packed themselves into a van for the ride to the northern Michigan resort. My three companions were all up from Grand Rapids: Hunter filming for Saw Kaw Films, and Theo and Tyler competing. They picked me up in Cadillac and we headed for Boyneâ€™s slopes, where we would meet up with our overnight contact.
We got into Boyneâ€™s lodge in time to get pre-registered and have a chat with Luke and Adam Schrab, who were up for the week to build the Hoot-en-Anny slopestyle course. We had enough time for a quick park run to check out the features and admire the sweet rail-topped Smith limousine parked at the bottom of the hill.
After a quick stop at Wes Dipinskiâ€™s, where many other Hoot-en-Anny competitors were rooming for the night, we headed to Brett Weissâ€™s house, where his mom made some excellent spaghetti for us, even though it was around 11:30 PM. The world needs more moms like Brettâ€™s.
Saturday morning dawned gloomy and forbidding on the hopeful hearts of the ski crew. We packed it up to Boyne for a couple practice runs on the slopestyle course, which seemed to be a bit flat for some of the competitors. A tall table was preceded by a long inrun past the halfpipe, and followed by a small 10-footer. Then came a choice of rainbow or flat rail, a 20-foot table, a down-kink, and the Smith limo, which wasnâ€™t officially part of the course, but was an optional hit for the
The skiers (about 40 overall) were organized into four heats, with the top two from each heat advancing to a final round. The slopestyle got underway with Uncle E on the microphone and local favorite Jon Cyrulik dropping in, fresh back from the U.S. Open. Cryulik set the standard for the day with a solid run of greased rails and corked 7 grabs. Also in the first heat, David Lesh threw down a solid run with stylish spins and slayed the rails, disastering the down-kink and switching up over the rainbow.
The next three heats suffered as the snow started coming down heavy and temperatures dropped. Competitors struggled to gain speed throughout the course, and by the third heat no one was clearing the top table. But integrity and the $600 grand prize drove the skiers to keep hucking, and eventually Cyrulik and Lesh were joined by Steve Shelby, Matt Koskinen, Ben Anderson, Scott Kovtun, Kelly Armitrout, and Steve Fusse. Teddy Knape and Zach Schrab picked up the two wild-card spots to round out the top ten.
After a brief delay while someone rounded up an oblivious Cyrulik from the lodge, the finals got started. Jon surprised everyone by being the only skier to clear the top table since the snow started coming down... and not only did he clear it, but with a solid corked 7 lui kang. He finished the run with solid rails and another corked seven, daunting the other competitors with a near-perfect run.
As it turned out, no one could top Cyrulikâ€™s run. But Steve Shelby came close; after losing his ski near the top of the course, Shelby greased the flat rail, launched a boot grab over the middle table, and then proceeded to grease the down-kink in its entirety... yes, still on one ski. Matt Koskinen rounded out the top three with a solid 360 and 720, and smooth railslides. Cyrulik walked away with six hundred slammers and a pair of Public Enemys as a little bonus from K2, while Shelby picked up $350, and Koskinen $200.
Despite the freezing temperatures and snow, the ski crew stayed out to session Boyneâ€™s icy halfpipe for the jam session pipe comp. After half an hour, five finalists took their runs, and Ryan Schmies came out on top with smooth airs and a solid flair on the right wall, while Brett Weissâ€™s flair carried him to a close second.
In conclusion... the weather sucked, the course was too slow, the jumps were small, the rails were sticky, and the pipe was icy. But throwing down with the best jibbers in the Midwest, slaying the Smith limo, drinking free Red Bull, and hearing Uncle E on the mike made it all worth it.
1. Jon Cyrulik
2. Steve Shelby
3. Matt Koskinen
4. Ben Anderson
5. David Lesh
6. Teddy Knape
7. Kelly Armitrout
8. Steve Fusse
9. Zach Schrab
10. Scott Kovtun
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