The AfterJam Freestyle Camp roared back into life in Les Deux Alpes after its debut success last year. With triple the campers and coaches as its inaugural year, it’s safe to say this week was a no holds barred send-fest. Although the draw for most of the 100+ attendees is the glacier skiing, the 6-day lift pass includes downhill biking and a host of other summer time mountain activities for those whose legs were up for it after the primo summer snow sessions that kicked every day off.
It was of course a godsend the camp managed to run given the pandemic, but with travel restrictions eased off, facemasks ever present, and hand sanitizer readily available, the crew packed up and made the pilgrimage. It was almost like real life. With two months of winter sending eaten up by lockdown, those 6 days of camp gave their very best shot to make up for the missed months of Spring stunts.
AfterJam flew in their resident camera crew and captured the week in a juicy collection of both still and moving pictures. Their edit of the week is going to paint a picture I can only dream of recreating with the words that follow.
970861The core pillar of this event is the epic coaching on offer from some seriously world class athletes; although some of the hangovers may suggest otherwise. Skiers were treated to wisdom of the AJ riders including; the wizardry of Samuel Ålander, the style and tech of Mason Ferebee, Swiss style of Luca Wasser and the ever raw steeze of Justin Taylor-Tipton. Jack Foreman, ex-Graystone Action Sports coach, also provided excellent freestyle 101 coaching yet again this year. The Tamworth Snowdome Crew alongside Burton riders Harry Winnard and Max Wittrick rolled in to keep up the progression for the considerable snowboarding contingent. Both beginner and advanced session ran throughout the week meaning no stunt stone was left unturned and everyone got a chance to get learnt!
The beauty of the AJ week is the diversity it offers to campers. The L2A snowpark is always one of the finest Europe has to offer through the summer months. Features are selected and shaped to offer a progressive park, most features come in varying sizes and difficulties. Jumps range from 5-85ft and the rail section offers simple boxes to advanced double kinks and S-rails. Not only are all levels of rider catered for excellently, the liftpass also includes a ridiculous array of activities. Even the more energetic campers struggled to tick everything off the list before the week was up.
Many made the journey to experience the mountains on two wheels more than two planks. The mountain bike park is spectacular, with an elevation loss from top to bottom of 2480m and 91km of trails to rip around. Built, just like the snowpark, with progression in mind. The local skateboarding scene is another beating heart of the resort. The park features an epic bowl, plaza section and some big rails and gaps. Floodlit until 11:30pm this cherry on top of the inclusive lift pass means that each day has over 16 hours of potential GNAR to be schralped.
As we’ve come to expect from the AfterJam boys; they know how to throw a good social(ly distant) event, and this year gave the crew plenty of opportunity to make some regrettable decisions off the hill. Allowances for the pandemic aside, the ever-present buzz of beers being cracked by the lake or poured in the pub kept the summer holiday vibes rolling through the week. The joy of the week for me is this. Slushy park on the hill in the morning, summer holiday in the afternoon. No end to the send. It really ticks all the boxes.
Justin Taylor-Tipton laying out a fronty for the crew in the Jibworx Comp
The crescendo of the week is the Jibworx competition on the penultimate day. The Jibworx crew brought their ever-creative vision to life and brought contenders from around the world to battle it out. Campers got a chance to learn a thing or two about the hard graft that goes into the much-coveted job of park shaping the day before the comp. Followed by Samuel Ålander testing the booter with an all too casual first hit switch fronty. The stage was set for an epic showdown. AfterJam X Jibworx is a recipe for a raucous event, campers got their USBs out to spin some filthy tracks while riders got sendy. In the summer sunshine, this was always going to be a vibe.
As always, AfterJam had some support from big names in the industry. Not least Newschoolers providing some goodies for prizes and media support. On the cans front, Monster Energy and Dragon Soop kept campers going on and off the hill. Butta Wax kept the skis running slick all week with waxing sessions hosted by Fauna Skis very own Alex Fleming. Fauna’s excellent park sticks were on-hill and finely tuned every day for demos. Retrofitted provided vintage attire for all your gaper-day needs (RIP Gaper Day 2020). SnowKart, who provide all the gear hauling equipment for the AJ Crew (it’s no secret this stuff gets some abuse from the lads) offered prizes and codes for campers and competition winners. Graystone Action Sports had free sessions going out all week too, it’s recently reopened in Manchester, go check it out it’s radical! Finally, the The Yolanda Moore Foundation, which holds a special place in all the crews heart, supported all the athletes and campers all week. The week would not have been possible without Wasteland Ski and Roam Travel, so a big shoutout to those guys for keeping us informed and in line(ish!) all week.
To wrap it all up then, what a week it was. Big names on the ski coaching and sending. Big names providing support for campers all week. Amazing parks for skiers, bikers and skaters. And seemingly endless sunny daytime happenings to be had. This camp is in its infancy but is already huge and only going to get bigger and better. The only problem is its not two weeks long, or three, or the whole damn summer!
Photos by AfterJam & Max Allcock