words and photos: Brendan Hart
In March 2016, The Loon Project, the first event in Snowboy Productions’ new series called The Projects, made history, much like the moon landing in 1969. But unlike Apollo 11’s illustrious touchdown, the leaps mankind made at the Loon Project were arguably bigger, sicker, and much more tweaked.
Over the years, Snowboy Productions Head Honcho, Krush Kulesza, the Washington-based event planning wizard who fathered the Holy Bowly, forged a confident friendship with the Loon family through events like Shut Up and Snowskate, The Greenhorn Games, and even a blurry arm-breaking evening at the Atomic Meltdown back in 2004. When his brain conceived The Projects, Krush knew that Loon would be more than capable of giving a rad maiden voyage to what is sure to be a future phenomenon.
“It started when I was building the last three Holy Bowlys,” said Krush. During each HB build, he would watch the vert and transition bloom to colossal life, forming jumbo walls that burst up from the ground. These hefty snow structures were all shaped to harmonize into a burly supercourse that maximizes flow, encourages amplitude and has infinite line options. No jibs. No pole jams. Just snow, transition and stoke. Watching these builds, Krush reached that sacred threshold of imagination where the daringly innovative is born. Yes, the very area where hotdog so lovingly met chili and where maple syrup flowed like pure heaven onto that unsuspecting pancake that would forever change breakfast. Krush’s eureka was thrilling: a Holy Bowlyish event with jibs. After discussing the concept with creative mastermind and Snowboy event staple Scott Stevens, Krush reached out to the man behind Loon Mountain Parks, Brian Norton and his crew. It was settled: the NH mountain would be his canvas.
From March 22-25 a mélange of select locals and invited pros lapped the fantasy features propped on Little Sister trail. Scott Stevens, Griffin Seibert, Max and Gus Warbington, Cole Navin, Mike Ravelson, Sean Genovese, Jesse Paul, Ted Borland, Parker Szumowski, Ian Hart, Jed Sky, River Richer, Phil Jacques, Brian Skorupski, Marcus Rand, Max Lyons, Merrick Joyce, Jesse Gouveia, Brendon Rego, Dylan Dragotta, Cole St. Martin and many more sunk their hungry edges into the one-of-a-kind wonders. The setup was a kaleidoscopic joyride of jibs and transition. Everything meshed perfectly. It was more than a park that flowed, it was a rapturous jumble of fun and gnarly that actually seemed to rhyme. The musical equivalent of The Loon Project would be something like a collab between Slayer and Dr. Seuss. Yeah, you get the idea.
As the final session of the Loon Project wound down in the rain, one thing became clear. Krush’s dreams are infectious and they refuse to remain in the realm of the intangible. When his ideas are brought from his mind to the material, the snowboarding community will invariably catch air. Like the Holy Bowly, The Projects is a nomadic event. It will be held in a different location every year, and it is certain that as more renditions take place, The Projects will be one of the most anticipated gatherings of the winter.
A massive thanks to Krush, Snowboy Productions, Scott Stevens, Loon Mountain, CAPiTA, Coal, Diecutstickers.com and Crab Grab for giving the East more awesome times in this hardscrabble winter!
Read the full The Loon Project: A New Phenomenon Takes Shape article on Snowboarder Magazine.