Words: Sam Turner
NS Gathering Photos: Jason Mousseau
Knockout Photos: Peter Cirilli / Nordica USA
This weekend saw the first ever official Newschoolers Gathering at Loon Mountain in New Hampshire. We made the trip down from Montreal in search of good times and good skiing, and were rewarded with more than our fair share of both. Big thanks go out to everyone at Loon who helped to put the weekend together as well as the NS’ers who came out in full force to shred with us on Saturday. Check out the recap below to see what you can expect from the next Gathering.
We brought the whole gang down to NH. From Newschoolers.com Jason Mousseau, Sam Turner, Aaron Lu and Travis Towsley made the trip. We were there shooting photos, hanging out and sessioning the park. Mike Dandurand and Seb Eaves of the Tabarnak Pack also rolled in with Guillaume Pérusse from Crésus Design. Stept filmer/Loon Loc Connor Scofield also joined us for some Friday night shenanigans and shredding. The most important member of the Newschoolers crew was, of course, the newly-returned Drama Llama. At any point during the trip he could be found hitting features in the park, turning heads in the lodge or sipping from a four-litre jug of red wine - that dude knows how to party.
This was the first trip to Loon for most of us, and we couldn’t have asked for a better first impression. Kevin Bell and Joe Irvine (Loon marketing staff) did a great job of getting us settled in and hooked up with lift tickets. The stoke-level of everyone else around completed the top-notch vibe. Despite an influx (so we were told) of Massholes up for the holiday weekend, there was no shortage of highlights and high fives and everyone left feeling stoked as hell.
Any of that stuff about unfriendly snowboarders running the show on the mountain didn’t come true. We even had a couple boarders stop by our session and give shoutouts to NS. Apparently it rained a lot the week before we arrived, but the park crew did a great job of putting together a varied setup that had a little for everyone.
The highlight of the weekend was definitely Saturday’s gathering. We posted up in the lodge in the morning and assembled a rad crew of NS’ers from all over the Northeast. We snapped some photos with the Llama head and munched on our breakfast of champions (Oreos, Poptarts, Mountain Dew) before heading out onto the hill.
We knew that it would be mental to try and lap park with holiday-weekend crowds, so we spent the morning hiking and sessioning features. Jason and I had raided his dad’s basement before we left Montreal, so we had a duffel bag full of free gear to give away and the guys threw down for us. The Llama, for his part, spent the morning mugging for the camera and hitting a feature or two of his own. Before we headed in for lunch the Llama got one last nose-bonk followed by a massive train on the right side hip.
We chilled out in the lodge for a while, snapping llama-selfies and refueling for the afternoon. In true NS fashion we offered to buy lunch for the first person to finish what was one of the gnarliest concoctions I have ever seen prepared or consumed by a human being. Jason shook down the condiments counter for all the finest ingredients and then combined them with a shot of tabasco, the rest of our chocolate milk, and some Arizona iced tea. Hats off to the two NS’ers who not only downed the drinks in record time but also managed to keep from puking them back up immediately. You set the tone for a rad afternoon.
After lunch we headed back up to Loon’s springboard park and got down to business with a flatbox session. NS’er jkfreestylin sent the biggest 50-50 to air that I have ever seen (and earned himself a new jacket in the process) before going toe-to-toe with Seb Eaves in a game of S.K.I. on snow. Everyone was throwing down including Erik Kenison who displayed some wizardry with a 270-on to switchup over a giant snowball as well as a rail slide to heel-stomp one ski switch out. On the mini kicker, one dude sent a hilariously sketchy frontflip. Peep the video recap coming out later this week to see just how close he was to getting a face full of the takeoff.
We rounded out the day with a Chinese Downhill ending on the balcony of the lodge. I will tell you straight up that seeing 10 guys ripping full speed down the bottom of Loon then sprinting to get to us on the balcony is some of the funniest shit I have seen in a long time. It was the perfect way to end a day that was, to be cliché, so Newschoolers. We got together with a llama head, some free stuff, and a wicked group of dudes who were shredding for the pure fun of it. It’s just skiing, and that’s what it’s all about.
Big thanks to all the guys who came out to ski with us, we had a blast.
She is real, and her name is Tiffany. I have to give credit where credit is due, so congratulations to [redacted] for not only approaching her but also inviting her back to our hotel room. Seeing her trying to hit the all-filter roach that Mike handed her will be ingrained in my conscience forever. Bless you [redacted], and bless you Tiffany.
The weekend wrapped up with Loon’s Knockout competition. Jason Mousseau judged alongside Jeff Kiesel, Wynn Berns and others. The S.K.I on snow format was something different and provided for a fresh competition vibe.
After the field was narrowed to three, the remaining competitors took it to another level. It was starting to look as though it would never end when all three got switch tails 270-on pretzel 270-out. Then Tyler Duncan decided to reach back for something extra and sent consecutive frontside and backside 810’s out of the up rail. The Tabarnak Pack’s Seb Eaves couldn’t match Duncan’s future spinning abilities and settled for third place. Meanwhile, taking home second place was Tim Ryan who stomped the frontside 8 and backside 8, but couldn’t match Tyler's next trick -- a three-swap 270-out on a rail people weren't really hitting that afternoon.
In all, we had a great time. We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome for the first NS Gathering, and we can’t wait to do it again soon!
tl:dr We went to Loon, partied, skied, and had a rad time. The inaugural NS Gathering was a success and we’re already stoked for the next one.