words: Mary Walsh
captions: T. Bird
photos: Ryan “Huggy” Hughes, Mike Yoshida, T. Bird, Aaron Blatt, E-Stone, Mary Walsh, Mark Clavin, and Stephan Jende
For the first time in its nineteen year tenure, the immense features of Superpark have landed on the East Coast. The past winter, weather patterns along the eastern seaboard aligned for a monumentally snowy winter, setting the stage for the ideal conditionsl for build crews to descend on Seven Springs in Pennsylvania for Superpark 19 presented by Nexen Tires.
The Seven Springs park crew is no stranger to SNOWBOARDER Magazine events; photos of their perfectly-cut hips have become iconic imagery from both past Superparks as well as the 2014 edition of The Launch, which was held last spring at the western Pennsylvanian resort. With Springs’ park-building prowess, along with visiting crews from Southern California’s Bear Mountain and Tahoe’s Boreal Mountain Resort, the first-ever eastern edition of Superpark was sure to be one for the books.
By 9am on Day 1 of Superpark 19, the line at registration was packed with sideways-standing talent. Ben and Gabe Ferguson, Chas Guldemond, Scotty Vine, Brady Lem, Hans and Nils Mindnich, Erik Leon, Zack Normandin, Chase Josey, Tim Humphreys, Seth Hill, Cam Fitzpatrick, Riley Nickerson, Brendan Gerard, Nik Baden, Alex Rodway, Max Lyons, Spencer Whiting, Brandon Davis, Seamus O’Connor, Red Gerard, Brock Crouch, Yawgoons Marcus and Mary Rand and Brian Skorupski; Kyle Kennedy, Krister Ralles and more Trollhaugen riders; ICKS, No Names crew, Interior Plain Project, Impaler, Buck 90, Knowbuddys, and many more arrived at Superpark 19 with spring riding on their minds, ready to drop into the myriad of features that Seven Springs, Bear, and Boreal had created.
“This is my sixth Superpark, and of course the first time hosting the event,” commented Seven Springs Mountain Ops Manager, Joel Rerko. Rerko has been an instrumental builder at Superpark since the event was held at Keystone in Colorado. “Seven Springs is really committed to terrain parks, so to bring all of these riders here and be able to show them how dedicated we are by creating the best set up possible is a really great thing.”
Springs Assistant Park Manager Jordan Soohy shared the sentiment. “Everyone was just absolutely blown away the day we found out we were going to be doing Superpark here. We turned the snowguns on ten hours after we talked with Pat Bridges. We’ve been beyond stoked for this and now it’s here, live, and it’s just mindblowing. We have built hips and jumps at other resorts for this event and now to build Superpark features in front of the views we all look at every day, to bring this event to this resort, it’s an overwhelming feeling.”
The efforts of Springs, Bear, and Boreal, combined with an abundantly deep snow base resulted in a super creative set up, with plenty of enormous cheesewedges, a new Streets layout, and almost an entire trails of skate-inspired, trannied-out hips, quarters, and more with seemingly infinite line options. Suffice to say, there is something for everyone and while on Day 1 it’s necessary to feel out options and possibility, the roster of Superpark 19 riders wasted no time getting down to business. On the frontside of the mountain, off the Blitzen trail, a session started up quickly on a Boreal line: an immense jump into a giant double-channel gap transfer jump. Scotty Vine, Tim Humphreys, Jonathan McDonald, Alex Rodway, Brandon Davis, Nils Mindnich Red Gerard, and Brock Crouch were sending the double line all afternoon. Over in the Bear Mountain zone, Knowdbuddys Brady Lem, Ralph Kucharek, and John Murphy were purveyors of unique line options. The Midwestern IPP crew was hitting the pole jam and hiking the hips, and Jesse Paul, Scotty Vine, Ron Forth, and Reid Smith were putting down hams like it was Easter Sunday. Ahem.
As the sun began to set, the most air aware gathered above the Seven Springs hip for a golden hour shoot. Erik Leon, Spencer Whiting, Taylor Gold and Ben Ferguson hit the high notes, sending it deep into the western Pennsylvania skyline. Brendan Gerard, Benji Farrow and Hans Mindnich were throwing down as well. Across the trail, a handful of East Coast crews were stacking footage on the tranny zone. Rolling through, it felt just like evening at a skatepark as guys from Ice Coast Kills Shit, No Names, and more threw down handplant to back three lines on the step up to quarterpipe up top and tweaked out method to handplant lines on the side-by-side hip zone below.
As park crews shouldered rakes to prep for the following day and the sky turned black, yet another mass of snowboarders, still energetic after the long spring day, hit The Streets to hike, strap in, drop and repeat until it was time to retire to the Foggy Goggle for a celebratory Iron City and to get ready for Day 2.
Stay tuned tomorrow for more Superpark 19 presented by Nexen Tire on Snowboarder.com and follow @snowboardermag, @snowboardervideo, and #Superpark19 for up to the minute updates from Seven Springs Mountain Resort.
Read the full Superpark 19 presented by Nexen Tire – Day 1 Photos and Recap article on Snowboarder Magazine.