The element of suprise. The best wakeboarders in the world get tackled by the mountains of Utah.
Ever since the first days that I started wakeboarding, snowboarding was always my favorite past time. I grew up in Washington, which is home to some great freeride mountain spots like Mt. Baker, Crystal Mountain and Alpenthal. So when Danny Harf approached me and invited me with him, Parks, Watson, and JD to Utah for a week of snowboarding, I couldn’t turn it down. I knew that I could most likely keep up with them on most of the terrain, but was definitely going to get smoked in the park. And I was right.
When we first arrived in Salt Lake, we were picked up by a good friend of Watson’s named Jared Bristol. Along with Jared were Watson and Big Spence, who had arrived the day before. We literally went straight to the condo, unpacked our gear and loaded up for an afternoon shred at Jared’s home mountain, The Canyons.
Upon arriving to The Canyons, I was truly impressed by how cool that mountain is; gondola chairs, legit parks and super fun terrain. Right away it was a mad dash to see who was the fastest and everyone was full steam ahead. Since I knew I was garbage in the park, I really throttled down the hill. I was really suprised by how fast all the boys were and how quickly they caught on. Almost immediately there were collisions and crashes that were pretty awesome. Watson was by far the most notorious for tailgating everyone, especially JD.
On more than one occasion, Watson or JD collided into one another and at one point, after JD took out Watson, I nailed Watson at full speed and thought I crushed him. It was pretty funny most of the time for sure.
There is definitely a different approach to how to pick your lines where I am from. Since there really wasn’t much snow, we decided that the park would be the place to be. That is really where the boys shined. Both Danny and Watson were super legit on the rails that first day. They would take turns hitting the run of rails and then busting spins and flips off the jumps in the park. After a pretty awesome day, we headed back to the condo for great meals and shenanigans and awaited more friends arriving the next morning.
About the time we got done eating our cereal the next morning, Parks showed up and was super amped to head to the hill. Aaron Grace got us hooked up with free tickets through Monster Energy to Parks City so we had to take advantage.
That first run was pretty amazing for sure. We had the whole crew rolling about nine people deep and everyone was racing full speed groomer style. At one point I was out in front thinking I was just going to coast down to the chair when out of nowhere here comes Parks blowing right by me. Since we were both full speed around 50mph or so, a collision would have been a bad idea. Needless to say, Parks is real fast…for a wakeboarder. haha. The terrain park was where the boys really turned it on. They all were hitting rails and boosting the hip jumps and fun boxes. We took some tree runs and got a chance to see the rest of the mountain and then packed it in for the day.
The next morning we headed back to The Canyons and felt a little more comfortable in the park and on the rails. The boys really started hitting some bigger lines and linking their runs together. We got some great footage of the boys boosting some pretty legit spins and flips in the park.
After another amazing day at The Canyons, we headed home to the condo to get ready for a night out in Ogden. Our friend Jared had a hook up at the local flowrider and skydive wind tunnel in Ogden, so we packed up and headed out for the hour plus drive. Once we arrived we met some friends that work for Rockwell watches who actually hooked up the flowrider and wind tunnel.
After a serious flowride session, the boys suited up and took their turns in the skydive wind tunnel. Both Parks and Jared have a lot of experience skydiving, so they were flying and flipping no problem. The real show was the instructors who took turns shooting to the ceiling and doing all sorts of crazy stunts. It was pretty cool watching them.
After the long day and night everyone was pretty cashed and looking forward to the last day of riding before the boat show. That night some fresh snow fell and we were all ready to get some powder turns the next day.
The next morning we checked the snow report and they had received almost six inches, which isn’t much but would definitely open up some terrain for us to check out on the upper mountain. When we got to the mountain we headed straight to the out of bounds freshies. That was when I was truly happy. Jared took us to some pretty cool spots of tree runs and one really cool ravine run that was super fun. We also got a chance to hit the bigger park at The Canyons, which was unreal and had some pretty amazing lines. The jumps were massive and tree runs were super tight and fast. All the boys were loving the powder turns and the long tree runs.
At the end of the day we had to head back to the condo and the boys and I parted ways. I had to board a plane and the boys had to work the show all weekend. I have to say that riding with the boys was pretty amazing and definitely a lot of fun. I truly look forward to taking that trip again next year and maybe next time I will charge the park and quit being such a pansy.