A wise man once said there are two types of snowboarding. Capital S Snowboarding — all the corporate-sponsored, mainstream, made-for-TV bullshit and lower case s snowboarding, the actual activity as you and I enjoy. After attending the Dew Tour in Breckenridge December 13-15, 2013, I can assure you, Snowboarding is a spectacle to be seen. On TV. That’s not to say attending the Dew Tour isn’t a blast — there’s fun parties, good food picked up by corporate expense accounts, free booze and plenty of swag. But like any made-for-tv event, the experience is best viewed on an electronic box.
Shooting snowboarding is hard and kinda boring. Instead, I just took selfies.
The real trick to attending an event such as this is having the proper credential. With the wrong credential you’ll find yourself getting denied left and right and oblivious to the fact they’re feeding the VIPs prime rib for lunch. Now don’t assume an athlete or tm credential is what you’re after. I heard they got soup with their badges, but I was lucky enough to score a VIP badge, reserved for the old white people who actually pay to sponsor the event. Needless to say, I enjoyed my share of free Budweiser products and all the Dew I could drink (none.)
I arrived in Breck on Friday night, just in time to check out the Nike Streetstyle event, complete with a Hollywood-style photobooth, a mid-course fire and a car built for jibbing. I’m pretty sure Halldor and Ethan Morgan were drunk (or trying to be) and spent the hour jam session doing crowd-pleasing double runs. The top honors though, went to Canadian Darcy Sharpe who not only got 5k, but another $1000 for best trick. Although it was frigid and kinda hard to see, it was actually a pretty rad event.
The party that night was at Cecilia’s (one of three bars in Breck) and had a $10 cover, much to the bemusement of the locals. It was an official after party, which meant a lot of people were getting denied at the door, including Jamie Anderson. Whoops. We talked some shit and got in, only to find a room full of bros and freeskiers, which seems pretty typical. Admittedly I’m not much of a party animal these days, but I can imagine after I left, someone probably got in a fight and someone else probably climbed half naked into bed with another dude. Ya know, normal stuff.
Back to snowboarding action, Saturday saw the men’s and women’s pipe finals. After getting scolded for shooting from the deck of the pipe during finals, I opted to hang out at the top tent, where athletes and team managers huddled around a flat screen to see what was going on. Like I already said, the best way to watch this event and see what happened is on TV and it was on the small screen we all witnessed Shaun White’s defeat. A since-deleted Dew Tour instagram called it “an upset” but due to general stupidity, people seemed to think Shaun was upset. Actually, aside from a little bit of disappointment in himself, he took his second place to Greg Bretz relatively well, and only his agent actually seemed mad. For the women’s competition, the TV in the VIP lounge was on the fritz, but Torah Bright won and 13-year-old Chloe Kim got third. She’s one to watch for sure.
This is Greg Bretz. Not only did he win the halfpipe, but he’s way taller than me too.
Fast forward to Sunday and the men’s slopestyle was set to go down between wind gusts. Sadly, number one qualifier Shaun Blanco opted out of the competition (perhaps he was more upset than we thought), which left room for the 17 other guys to get blown off the jumps without him. Of course, even if Shaun had competed, he probably wouldn’t have bested Mark McMorris’s near perfect 97 score, so whatever. Chas Guldemond took top honors for Americans (this is relevant because this was an Olympic qualifying event) while the whole podium was filled out with foreigners.
Chas Guldemond, America’s golden boy?
And with that, my Dew Tour experience was complete. If you want the play by play of what happened, go read a press release or check out the video of the event. Special thanks to Olivia for the good credential hook up, Ryan Cruze for the entertainment and Dave Lehl for scouting out the angles for me. Until next year….
Danny Davis and I are tight. nbd.
Sage Kotsenburg is no stranger to the duckfaced selfie.
And finally, Torah Bright makes me look especially bad!