Snowboard films shot at Kirkwood
If you build it, they will come – and they did.
More than 40 of the best snowboarders from around the globe converged on Kirkwood Ski Resort’s peaks Wednesday for the Kore SuperPark Exhibition.
The non-competitive event brought the best-of-the-best riders together to film “Rounds of Rhythm,” a cutting-edge alternative sports movie, and “Rhymaddicts,” a how-to video.
“It’s frustrating with competitions to watch the industry dictate the sport,” said John Sommers, Kore co-founder and three-time national snowboarding champion. “This is a good positive event. It’s bringing snowboarding back to its roots.”
Sommers, 21, along with Eric Jackson, both of Stockton, Calif., formed Kore 16 months ago in response to the need to form a company founded by snowboarders for snowboarders.
“It’s something that is not corporate,” Sommers said.
Sommers began snowboarding at the ripe old age of 12. “I grew up skiing Kirkwood,” he said. “I started skiing when I was 2 years old and stopped at 12. That’s when I discovered snowboarding.
“I bought my first snowboard at Porter’s in Tahoe City. I saved all my money from my paper route to buy my first Burton board and I have been riding Burton since. And they happen to be my sponsor. I never thought that my paper route money would someday lead to this.”
As onlookers and riders ascended Chair 2, the look of amazement and perhaps a tinge of fear reflected through everyone’s goggles and glasses.
“That half-pipe is huge,” said Jeremy Smith, 20, of Sacramento while riding the chair as it passed the 250-foot long pipe. “The sides (of the half-pipe) look like they are 20 feet high.”
The half-pipe wasn’t the only snowy monstrosity. Riders propelled themselves 20 feet into the air while traversing across 60-foot tabletops and 50-foot gaps as they executed 540s, mute and backside grabs and even inverted flips.
“The bigger the better, and the landings are nice and steep,” said Todd Franzen, jump designer and snowboarder. Franzen, 23, and Frank Wells, both of Breckenridge, Colo., were the masterminds behind the “super” snowboard park. “Frank (Wells) invested more than 100 hours in putting this together.
“This event is the best way to ride. It’s a more at ease atmosphere. We’re all friends here.”
One of only a handful of girls, Autumn Rose, 25, of Squaw Valley dropped into the half-pipe strutting her stuff with ease and grace.
“It’s an awesome pipe,” Rose said, who is sponsored by Airborn. “It was a lot bigger before the storm, but it’s the biggest I’ve ever ridden.
“It’s just great to be out here. We are all out here having a good time.”
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