Snowjam – Detroit, MI By Ethan Stone for Newschoolers.com Video by Teddy Knape DETROIT, MI – Extreme sports overtook Detroit last weekend as the Molson Canadian Snowjam tour rolled into Comerica Park for two days of snow, sun, and outrageous stunts. Americans are damn good at having fun, but we can always take some tips from our northerly brethren. Especially if those tips include a towering quarterpipe, an endless supply of Molson, kick-ass bands, and enough athletes to fill your Christmas stockings for years to come. A large crowd turned out from Detroit and from all over Michigan to see some good old-fashioned Canadian entertainment. Detroit was the second stop in the nine-city Snowjam tour, the first being Buffalo on July 19 and 20. Friday saw the tour springing into action with BMX, inline and skateboard sessions, qualifying rounds for snowboard and Orage Freeski competitions. Numerous bands took the stage, including a headlining evening concert by Filter. While other events went off without a hitch, bad karma befell the ski crowd. Things started off on the wrong note when the airline lost Jordan Monk’s luggage, forcing the WSI halfpipe champion to face the qualifying rounds in a pair of jeans and ski boots newly purchased from a local shop. It then got worse. Scott Hibbert, the first skier to hit the ramp, caught an edge coming up the transition and launched off the right side of the quarterpipe, clearing the safety pads and landing hard to flat. Unconscious, he was taken by stretcher to hospital, leaving an antsy crew of freeskiers to fill his absence. Dave Crichton broke the spell by dropping a huge flatspin 9 in practice, and the rest soon caught on. Miles Ricketts stuck flawless flair safetys, and Rex Thomas threw down flatspin fives and sevens with japans and mutes, proving once again his dedication to style and creativity. The wood rail lining the top of the QP and Mauro Nunez got to know each other quite well, as the Spaniard’s diesel 540s (short for alley-oop flatspin 540 reverse japan) went awry. Despite crashing hard on the flat 9 in his final jump, Crichton took first place in the qualifiers, with Thomas and Ricketts close behind. Saturday brought cloudless skies and blazing temperatures, and the snow on the ramp suffered accordingly. A semi truck carrying more ice was delayed, pushing back the snowboard and ski finals until it arrived. After hours of waiting, the event carried on. Crichton didn’t ski due to an injury suffered on his final jump in the qualifiers, so Monk, Ricketts, Nunez, Thomas, and Greg Tuffelmire settled in to duke it out for the top spot. Mauro stuck the diesel spin, and Ricketts went technical, launching a huge Venus flytrap but bobbling the landing. Local boy Tuffelmire stole the show, throwing a massive corked 900 over 12 feet out and earning the cheers from his Michigan crowd. Tuffelmire won first place by a landslide decision, with Mauro Nunez taking second and Crichton taking third by his qualifying scores. Next up was the best trick contest, pitting skiers and snowboarders together in a winner-take-all format, each rider putting in as many jumps as possible. Rex Thomas threw down an unnatural corked 7, and Monk showed his style with a 900 safety, a corked 10, and a huge double backflip. But Tuffelmire dominated again, boosting his corked nine again and again to the approval of judges and crowd. Hibbert, arm in a sling and thoroughly doped with painkillers, returned to the scene to provide drugged comedy. Despite the loss of Hibbert and Crichton, the Snowjam went well, and all the competitors showed the skill and style of contemporary newschool skiing. Check the schedule below and make sure to be at the Snowjam closest to you! Watch Video A Word with Greg Tuffelmire By Ethan Stone At the Breckenridge X-Games Halfpipe Qualifiers last January, Greg Tuffelmire made it clear that he wasn’t going to fade from the face of skiing anytime soon. Since then, G.T. has been on top of the game in quarterpipe and halfpipe. Newschoolers.com caught up with Greg after his first-place performance at the Detroit Snowjam to discuss his skiing, personality, and…. well, bodaggin’. NS: You’re considered by many to be the nicest guy in freeskiing. Thoughts? GT: Nice guys don’t always finish last. You don’t always have to be the cool guy; just be yourself, and people will like you. NS: A lot of pros have an image or an attitude that they try to portray. What’s yours? GT: I just be myself. And don’t take anything I say or do too seriously, because I’m probably joking. NS: What was it like competing in the X-Games Halfpipe? GT: It was cool… it was really something to be competing in front of all those people. It was fun. NS: Are you still managing the Copper Mountain freeride team? GT: Yeah, I’m full team manager. NS: Does that occupy a lot of your time? GT: No, it’s cool; the people at Copper really let me do the skiing thing first. Most of the time that I’m home in Colorado I work with Copper. We’ve been taking big strides with the freeride program there. It’s showed me a different side of skiing, the business side. I sit in with the board of directors, and it shows you how much really goes into events that you usually just participate in. There’s so much people do for these things that we don’t ever realize. It makes you appreciate not doing it, you know, just coming to an event to ski. NS: What’s the definition of bodaggin’? GT: (laughs) Oh man, bodaggin’. Okay, I’m going to end the mystery. It’s when you deposit your “man soupâ€? in the behind of your girlfriend, and then you remove the gentleman from the lady, you don’t leave him in, and then you clean her off with…. No, wait, put it this way: After you attack a girl in her basement, you remove your man soup from her basement with a straw or a hose. And then you’re a bodagger. NS: How do you feel about today’s competition? GT: I’m stoked to win the comp; there were definitely a lot of good guys here. I was happy to come through. NS: Are you on the tour with Snowjam? GT: No, this is my only stop. I’m just dropping in. NS: What are your plans for this winter? GT: I plan to use my snowmobile a lot more. I plan to be home more, so I can get out more with my sled. I’m going to be filming with John Mercon this winter for his new video; he took last year off so we’re ready to do some shooting. NS: Any shoutouts or comments you want in here? GT: Thanks to my sponsors, Völkl, Tecnica, Smith, O’Neill, and Copper. Do what you have fun at, and don’t worry about sponsorship. It’ll happen if it’s supposed to. MOLSON CANADIAN SNOW JAM http://www.iam.ca Expanded North-American Tour Dates: Buffalo – HSBC Arena – July 19 / 20 Detroit – Comerica Park – August 2 / 3 Calgary –Millennium Park – August 9 / 10 Vancouver – False Creek – August 23 / 24 Winnipeg – Location TBD – August 30 / 31 Albany – Location TBD – September 6 / 7 Toronto – Exhibition Place – September 13 / 14 Ottawa – Jetform Park – September 20 / 21 Boston – Bayside Expo Center – September 27 / 28


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