CRYSTAL MTN, MIâ€“ At this yearâ€™s first Modern Skate & Surf slopestyle competition, a host of skiers from across northern and central Michigan threw down, including several NS members. Held in Crystal Mountainâ€™s Rider Zone Jan. 4, the slopestyle featured a 20-ft. table and numerous rails, including a large rainbow, C-rail, battleship, and a wicked kinked 24-ft. three-rail combo. Each rider took three runs through the park, the best two being judged. In the skiersâ€™ 17-and-under division, Brett Weiss took third, throwing down a D-spin 7 , switch 5, zero spin safety, and mastering the rails. Eric Kovtun got creative on the flat rail, first 270ing off, then having a companion toss him his poles while in the middle of a slide. He also dialed a 360 and a 720 over the table, earning him second place. Youngster Brad Gray clinched first in the division with three solid runs including a huge 360 tail and a 720. In the 18-and-over division, A.J. Gray (Bradâ€™s brother) skied to third place with 540 and 180 grabs; he greased the combo rail and pulled off a funky-looking inside-edge grind on the flat rail. Teddy Knape pulled in second, dialing 360 lui kangs and his patented 180 grubbery, and Ethan Stone took first place with a misty 5, 540 safety and a switch-on, 270-off on the flat rail. Four of the six skiers who took the podium (that I know of) are Newschoolers.com members. Two Midwest ski film groups also showed up to document the goings-down: Skimp Films (Skimpfilms.com) brought up a large crew for the event, and Hunter Lubeck-Wanty was on hand to shoot for Saw Kaw Films (http://www.sawkawfilms.netfirms.com). As the event was hosted by a snowboard and skate company, skiers got shafted on prizes, as usual. But due to the large turnout, hopefully in future comps skiers will receive their due. Upcoming events at Crystal include a quarterpipe jam on Jan. 24, a slopestyle Feb. 1, and a rail jam Feb. 21. For more information visit crystalmountain.com.