Words & photos: Pippin Lee
An unofficial motto for Ontario skiers goes something along the lines of, “When Ontario gives you sun, drop whatever the hell you’re doing, grab some friends, and get in a few laps at the local hill while it lasts.” In the past week however Ontario has seen such consistent sunshine that it would not be unreasonable to un-scientifically say that the number of clouds seen throughout the week could be counted on just two hands.
The course from the bottom
The sun was blazing once again last Saturday as Mount St Louis Moonstone opened their park up to the first stop of the Salomon Jib Academy in Canada. The young jibbers were greeted by not one, but two park lanes to dance around on. The first one was a technical rail line, while the other included a top-notch jump line.
Mr. Zicat leads the stretch
A fine looking jump line
The kids were met by some of Salomon’s finest athletes who came to give a few pointers and make sure everyone kept a smile going, though that didn’t seem to be an issue. The coaches included Iannick Brouillette, JD Zicat, Sandy Boville, Denise Jaworsky, Dave Bishop, Jen Crichton and Jamieson Irvine, who was last year’s winner at the stop.
Iannick gives the young jibbers the low down
As the first round started, evidence that the young guns were stoked on a prime setup and the chance to work on their goggle tan could be seen in the fact that they came out throwing. The coaches eventually decided to let all the kids give'er, and stood back as the talent flowed with much banging.
Backflips never disappoint
Jen Crichton plays the role of judge
Although the riders were given as many runs as they could take in the two hour round robin, the kids never let up from the accelerator. As soon as they had found their speed for the jump line, big flat spins and rodeos of all varieties were stomped by all.
Judging is tough, so Jamieson takes a break to ski
After some fine cuisine was eaten courtesy of Salomon, the 15 male finalists were chosen, and one run of both the jump and jib line were given to them.
Lunch a-la Salomon style
Jack Irvine and Lucas Vianna were stoked on the sunshine.
Soon it was clear that although everyone had very much enjoyed working on their tan and skiing with some pros, certain riders carried some extra dazzle to put themselves on the podium.
The Salomon crew deciding who makes it on to the finals.
Keeping everything consistent throughout of the whole day helped Matt Crawford reach 3rd place.
2nd place went deservingly to one of the youngest jib academy goers, and on his birthday no less; Evan McEachran.
2nd Place Evan McEachran
Matthew Wilcox was the man to beat all day and in the end he would end up winning a trip to Mont Tremblant, Quebec, where he'll compete for a spot in Mammoth, California.
Matthew Wilcox wins the trip to Tremblant
On the women’s side of the event it was a head-to-head final, with Nikki Blackall facing Dara Howell for a new pair of Salomon planks.
Although Nikki slayed the course hard all day, she fell on her second run on the jump line which gave Dara the edge to take first.
Dara Howell strutting her stuff all the way to first place
1st place Dara Howell
And of course there was the annual fight for free swag...
Kids and coaches
1) Matthew Wilcox
2) Evan McEachran
3) Matt Crawford
1) Dara Howell
2) Nikki Blackall