Lesh Wins Vail Snow Daze Snow Jam!
The Vail Snow Jam is usually one of the first contests of the season for Colorado and is always a celebration of the beginning of the season. This year the Vail Snow Daze event is bigger than ever with the Snow Jam getting a big upgrade.
This year, new features and a new format made for a long night of jibbing. The event began at 4pm with an open division filled with talented amateurs competing for prizes and a chance to ride in the pro final at 6pm under the lights.
Liberty Team Riders David Lesh, Chris Ewart, Graham Owen, and Ryan Spinks arrived in Vail at 3:30 for registration and then were told they will ski in the pro finals later on that night. With plenty of time to kill, the team headed into the lodge to chill by the fire.
Lesh and Graham passed the time trying to learn to juggle with some candies. Needless to say they didn't get all that far. Chris Ewart, Liberty's first tele-skier actually can juggle and made everybody look like fools.
The pro contest began under the lights and the Liberty team riders started throwing it down right away. The setup included 2 lines, the first, a down-rail to a flat box, and the other line had a down-flat-down into a long up-rail that splits into a choice of a side kink, right or left. This feature offered a huge variety of tricks from spins off the launch to switch-ups to both choices.
Once the contest got underway the Liberty team began to put on a show with each rider throwing a variety of tricks to get the crowd hyped up. Spinks got things going with some switch butter on to switch up on the kink rail and big spins off the booter rail. Graham Owen followed with some spins on and off the down bar and flat box while Lesh started switching up the split option on the Y rail. The crowd favorite overall was Chris Ewart, who started throwing lincoln loops to switch off the end of the Y rail, with the free heel tele setup!
In the end, Lesh put on the best overall impression with a variety of
switch ups on every feature and a big 450 out of the down rail. Props
to Lesh for the win and a cool $500 to go with it! Chris Ewart won the
Crowd Favorite / Best Trick award with his big lincoln to switch off
the Y rail. Spinks and Graham both also put on a good showing with a
variety of switch ups and spins on and off.
Afterwards, the team got together and headed to Vendetta's for the after-party. However, despite being the group of invited pro's and consisting of two of the winnersof the event, we were not allowed into the bar because Lesh (who is 24 and looks 30) did not have an ID and Chris is only 20. We laughed and then headed over to Pazzos where they would let us in and serve us.
It was a great night, lots of fun for everybody and a great overall showing for the Liberty team! Congratulations again to Pro Team Rider David Lesh for winning the 2008 Vail Snow Daze Snow Jam!