Boardslides have an exceedingly graspable logic, but somehow it’s a task to really get them between your ears—let alone between your bindings. They are so simple, yet so incredibly easy to mess up. Like talking to a girl, making toast, or dressing in a socially acceptable way. On December 19th, a Saturday when many Americans were recovering from Star Wars-induced hangovers, Avert Guldemond, aka DJ Scrumptious, summoned snowboarders to Ragged Mountain for an innovative contest whose aim was to rekindle respect for a proper boardslide, aptly christened Squared Up. The rules: Keep it sideways, stylish, and, above all, perpendicular.
In addition to scenic views, with cartoonishly stunning rivers and Middle Earthy meadows, Ragged provided a sweet rail setup. A modest double-barrel down bar, a well-mannered down-flat-down, and a sleek down-flat tube. A nice selection that was gentle and lightly daunting. It seemed to sum up the impression I’ve always gotten from Ragged: The mountain wants you to do two things: have a nice day and feel its wrath. This hunch was also supported by the weather, which was sunny, snowy, windy, and pleasant all at once.
The contest was partitioned into nine jam sessions: fs boardslide, bs boardslide, front lip, back lip—and then all of those switch. Finally, Squared Up culminated in a 15-minute free-for-all jam during which the by-now exhausted contestants were given the right to do any trick they wished, as long as they kept it clean.
Throughout the day the judges—Tyler Davis, Ted Lavoie, and paradoxically enough, Zeachman—were asking for creativity, bona fide slides, and food. Parker Szumowski was consistently at a right angle. Kael Hill danced and buttered his way into rails before getting scrupulously sideways. Jed Sky, to the judges’ delight, delivered an array of pretzels. Marcus Rand was Yawgoonishly killing it. Cole St. Martin dusted off his switch front lip—but more importantly, he bought me a beer (thanks Cole). DJ Scrumptious was stationed in a park-side shack pumping out melodies, and at one point strapped in to show everyone how a switch front board should really look. Other notables include Merrick Joyce, Travis Cullison, Courtney Malloy, Dennis Filteau, Morris Gifford, Pat McManus, and a true Granite State Santa Clause, who was hanging out in the lodge, his beard like a stale plume of vape smoke, wearing a Hawaiian t-shirt patterned with motorcycles.
After an intense showing of fundamental mastery from many competitors the judges convened in the lodge, finally ate pizza, and decided that Marcus Rand won fair and square. At the end of the day, he left the judges zeachless, earning him $400 and ample product from K2, Electric and Arcade. Big thanks to Bryan Harper, Ragged Mountain, and DJ Scrumptious for keeping the East Coast squared up!
First Place, $400 – Marcus Rand
Second Place, $200 – Parker Szumowski
Third Place (tie), $75 each – Jed Sky and Kael Hill
Grom Winner – Morris Gifford
Women’s Winner – Courtney Malloy
Read the full Squared Up at Ragged Mountain Photos and Recap article on Snowboarder Magazine.