word & photos by JD Caron
Skier on the main page : Paul Bergeron with a cork 900 reverse tail.
Version : Française
The Telus Spin at Mont Tremblant started
on Saturday March 29th this year. The Spin is one of the
biggest events to end the season in Quebec.
It was a last minute decision that changed my destination for the weekend
from Loon Mountain in New Hampshire to Mont Tremblant in the Laurentian's.
I arrived at Tremblant late Friday evening with Iannick B and Guyaume.
The official Salomon room welcomed us in for the night. Even though
everything seemed to be last minute for me, it all worked out in the
end and we got to ski Tremblant's awesome park the next day.
During the afternoon, we watched the
qualifiers for the Coca-Cola T4 which was a team competition where two
skiers and two snowboarders were jumping all at the same time. Before
it began, the competitors practiced their timing together. Once qualifications
started we saw some pretty impressive riding from the field, particularly
good teams were; Axis, Bula, McDonald's, the Pink Panthers and the
team Tremblant.The team Pink Panthers during a jump.
There was a break in the comp and then
once night fell, all the teams competed again. But this time, under
the bright lights! Each of them had two runs to advance in the semi-final
and two further runs to earn a place on the podium. Among the remarkable
stuff thrown down, Jean-Denis Zicat and Paul Bergeron executed large
cork 900 synchronized and very close to each other. In another wave,
Cedric Tremblay-Fournier was doing 360 seamen screamen out of the rail
and has retained the 630 out for the finals. All this topped off by
Vincent Gagnier with a fakie 900.
Among other things that were impressive
that evening, were huge switch 1080's by Alexis Godbout and a snowboarder's
cab 180 in and 360 off the up rail. Also, a milestone of the evening
was when two athletes touched themselves in full flight. Fortunately
for them, nobody was seriously injured.
1) Bula ($8,000)
Pink Panthers ($2,000)
3) "Tremblant" ($1,000)
Vincent Gagnier, Cedric Tremblay-Fournier and the snowboarders are holding their big cheque.
Almost an hour later, the big party began
in the lodge at the summit of the mountain. Admission was free with
your Coors light ticket. Plus, a big can of Coors Light cost only $5.
Many people came and celebrated, having to get up super early the next
morning didn't stop them. That was only a minor detail because who
wants to miss a party like this? Especially when so many people said
that this evening was in a class of its own as far at Spin history goes.
So, check it out next year!
Salomon Jib Academy
Bright and early the next day everyone (Jib Academy participants, coaches,
organizers, and me!) met at the conference room for registration for
the Final Canadian Jib Academy of the year. Everyone had already pre-registered
online so they mainly came by to check-in and receive their bag filled
with DVDs, bandannas, a t-shirt and more.
Free lunch was even provided on the mountain
so it was really worth it to register! The kids were there for many
reasons including a chance to win the grand prize, a trip to Mammoth
and the chance to ski in a non-pressure atmosphere while being coached
by some of the best Salomon pros.
After registration, everyone went to
the park on the north side of the mountain where Salomon had a dedicated
park line especially for the event. There were 2 jumps, followed by
a box, a trapeze and a rainbow. It was relatively modest for the more
advanced skiers but this allowed the more advanced kids to work on their
precision and the little guys weren't too intimidated. So with a little
hindsight, it seems logical because the goal of an event like the Jib
Academy is to have fun.
Overall view of the lower course.
During the morning, the skiers took it easy and worked on their tricks.
After the morning session there was lunch and a little show! Alexis
had the idea to jump over a few lunch boxes while sliding on the box.
This created a fun atmosphere while everyone was eating. After food,
the competition began. The qualifications had been happening on the
trapeze and the box but the finals were to be run on the full course.
Due to time constraints though, the final was on the same jibs that
were used during qualifications. Regardless, the skiers did sick stuff
(not only during the competition). The surprising stuff during the competition
was 450 in 450 out by Alex Bellemare and Jamieson Irvine the Ontario
Jib Academy winner. Not to forget the fact that other skiers made 360
switchups on the flat box and on the trapeze. Hugo Pelletier was doing
crazy reverse spinning on the box. Finally, there were countless pretzels.
Switch 5 muuuuuute by Cody Matteau!
After the finals the Salomon Crew gave out lots of prizes to the Jib
Academy which was followed by the announcement of the winners. The winners
were judged by the Jib Academy skiers and by the Salomon Pro Coaches.
The Jib Academy was expecting one skier to win the trip to Mammoth California.
Since there were two skiers who both skied very well during the day
and throughout the competition Salomon decided to give two grand prizes
instead of one! Alex Bellemare from St. Boniface, Quebec and Stefan
Curtis of Fredericton, New Brunswick both won a trip to the International
Jib Academy finals in Mammoth, California May 4 to 9th to
ski with the Salomon Pro team!
Stefan Curtis 360 switchup over the trap flat.
The two winner of the day, Alex and Stefan.
Everyone voted for the best trick of the day and each Salomon coach
chose a different skier who stood out from the rest during the day.
So a lot of goods were given away during the event!
Best trick : Sebastien Eaves
Iannick Brouillette pick : Cody Matteau
Alexis Godbout and Paul Bergeron pick : Felix
JD Zicat and Vincent Gagnier pick : Phil Duhamel
The girls (Kaya Turski, Jen
Crichton, Kim Lammare, Denise Jaworsky) pick : Casey Ratcliffe
Video of the Jib Academy by JoCouille.
The first weekend was a big one. There
was a lot of skiing, partying and entertainment and not much sleep.
Personally, I was tired and I was happy to return home to relax a little.
Even before the end of this weekend everyone was already talking about
the Urban Jib on the following Thursday. So after I got asked 2 or 3
times if I was coming back, I accepted. Why not? I mean... this is the
end of the season after all.
Phil Casabon on the last module of the course.
1) Phil Casabon ($3000)
2) Alex Bellemare
3) Dom Laporte
Tony Montreuil ($1000)
Laurent-Olivier Martin slides on a pile of refrigerators.
Everybody was talking about the course
during the trip because the organizers had tried something really different
this year. All the jibs were made of old refrigerators painted green.
Some had even steel beams welded to make them more like normal rails.
Really, Tremblant has not failed to be original this year. After all,
it was a concept that matched well with the main sponsor of the evening:
Coors Light. There were even some beers in refrigerators.
Because no one rode the course prior
to the event, there were some fears and uncertainties with the concept
but fortunately everything went well and the event went off! After the
evening I heard several skiers who said they had a great time during
the event. So it seems that the Urban Jib 2008 was a great success.
The crowd enjoyed it and no one was injured from skiing which is always
a good sign when everyone is having so much fun.
Video of the Urban Jib, by CharlesB.
Thanks bombe.tv for the video.