The 4th Annual S-Games Bring The Soul Back To Snowboarding Contests In Revelstoke BC

The 4th Annual S-Games Bring The Soul Back To Snowboarding Contests In Revelstoke BC
                           “It’s great to have tons of money, to be able to do shit with, but at what                                             point is the soul of snowboarding worth more than the dollar?”

Standing in Society Shred Shop I stared at Karl Jost, my brain swirled the words around and around as I tried to wrap my head around the brilliant simplicity of what I had just heard. It is so rare in the year 2014 to hear someone question the price of soul. Snowboarding’s economy has been in rapid depression for the last decade and as in any economic crash the poor get fucked and the rich somehow get richer, thus further broadening the divide between those with budgets and those without. As a result most snowboarders take to the oil rigs to support themselves through long winters, giving up large chunks of time to stack the biggest paper possible before the snow falls in the mountains once again and sleds and trucks must be gassed up. Those who strive to be professional riders must look to mega-companies to find big enough budgets to survive on, energy drinks and the U.S. Navy have monopolized snowboard events and it is no mystery how in the midst of snowboarding’s rapid progression into a world wide phenomenon people forgot to ask themselves the very important question. At what point is the soul of snowboarding worth more than the dollar?
I went to Revelstoke to cover a contest and envisioned myself observing the event then promptly regurgitating the tricks and riders in a somewhat accurate order of appearance, before slapping some photos in the mess to tie it all together and being done with it. It was the perfect excuse to visit good friends and have some fun on the snow. Yet now as I fume over my computer unable to remember any specific moment with any clarity I realize that what I experienced in Revelstoke was so much more then best tricks and first place winners. The S-Games represent snowboarding’s core, the basic needs of riders are covered in this competition and that is all. Specifically, the jumps are big and the stoke is high. Without the smoke and mirrors and terrible live action commentary that is associated with any big budget contest the S-Games provide an experience that transcends the riders and truly delivers an enjoyable experience to bystander and athlete alike.

-Jib Jam

Saturday began with the jib session. A ramshackle collection of couches and plywood littered the hill beside the chalet all with pvc, rails or old snowboards bolted to the tops. Even a piñata was rigged up to tap and despite the slow snow it did not take long for the conditions to speed up and soon the pink paper mache party toy was shredded by a spinning snowboard. The Revelstoke kids can shred rails regardless of there lack of a park but the Oil Country boys from Lake Louise inevitably destroyed the set up, pulling out enormous tricks from there long list of tricks. As the finals wrapped up the crowds attention shifted to the  booter and hip. The Wasted Youth were already at the top of the run in and the rest of the town’s riders soon joined them as the Judge’s positioned themselves on the deck of the hip as clusters of people ran to the beer garden to chug back a few before the show started.
As excitement built and everyone became comfortable with the jumps, the cycle of people dropping in or hiking up became a continuous revolving chain that seemed like it would never stop. Huge grassers were repetitively launched over the hip, each one bigger or more tweaked or higher then the last and each one received a cheer louder than the last. The booter’s landing could have been twenty feet longer seeing as most riders(too eager to care) spun themselves into the flats. It was a fucking circus.

-Dozer performing a very sexual manouver way above the judges heads.

- Revelstoke's one time booter

Then all of a sudden through the rabble of drunken chatter I heard a whisper.

“Teary back…  no miller, mcnuggets. Here?”

I couldn’t catch what anyone was saying from where I had perched to take photos so I scrambled down and investigated. It turned out that Nicolas Muller and Terje Haakonson were in town, along with Jake Blauvelt and Mark McMorris, the crew had been chasing March powder in the mountains but the low ceiling had kept their chopper grounded and so they had decided to come check out the S-Games. Some in the crowd scoffed at the Olympian but Terje and Nico received a different level of anticipation.

The mountains spanning from the Coastal Range to the Rockies have been a world-class ski destination since the invention of snow and as a result the standard of riding has always been on the cutting edge. Legendary riders have been conditioned by the exposed terrain of the rockies and found pure happiness while swimming through Interior champagne glades, gone big off coastal cornices and straight lined Roger’s Pass couloirs. And now some of them are sitting on top of the hip my friends built, cheering as Terje “fucking” Haakonsen lays out one of the cleanest methods to have ever existed before a trio of homies come in tight and I watch a tuck knee, huge straight air and back rodeo get stomped flawlessly in front of me.  With ages ranging from four to forty-four(and possibly beyond?) and skill levels ranging from first time to some of the top pro’s of today this event shows the simple truth that beyond all of the double-corks, deodorant sponsors, and douchebags at the end of the day it really is all about getting on a board.

- Sean Barrett, Greg Martinello, and Taylor Roberts are classic examples of Wasted Youth.

- Terje "who"?

- Taylor Roberts.

- Seb Grondin miraculously recovered from an ankle sprain to blast the largest methods of the day, in full denim kit.

We must all thank dudes(or gals) that embody what Karl Jost represents. Karl is like a hairy bhudda who has come to see that all life is suffering and chosen to dedicate his suffering to the thing he loves, snowboarding. Before I left Revelstoke to return to work I asked Karl what he has learned during the last seven years of owning society but more importantly the last four years of organizing, funding and M.C.’ing the S – Games and his answer was,

“I’m tired..”

For a second; I heard true fatigue, the words were a little too drawn out as if the effort to speak them was not worth the message they delivered but then before I could be sure, Karl chuckled and continued on about how he just wants to ride during more during the games rather than manage as much. This year Karl added another day to the event, holding a duel slalom head-to-head grudge match competition on Sunday and because of the minimal set up and organization, Karl had been able to get in on the boarding fun. It is about the boarding, after all.

- Karl Jost: shop owner, contest organizer and all around champ handing out a 2014/15 winter pass.
And Taylor Pearcey, true O.G.


            A huge shout out to Karl Jost and the Wasted Youth for organizing and building the most bad ass set up to date.
The S-Games are held on the last weekend of March and include a Jib Jam, Big Air Booter and Hip Session, and on the second day a Grudge-Match Dual Slalom. Prizes are awarded to Biggest Airs, Best Tricks, and overall Gnarliness and Cash Prizes are awarded to the top riders straight from Karl’s Wallet. Lots of free stuff, beer and fun to be had so come on down to Revelstoke next year for the 5th Annual S-Games, who know’s what will go down next spring...

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