Construction to Destruction: Not for the Faint of Heart

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Kickin' it retro style off of the road sign. Photo: Gagethompson.com

Well kids, it’s hard to believe that the eleventh installment of the SLUG Games has already come and gone.  Every year that we do this contest series, we get more and more stoked to bring you new and creative ways to test your mettle in the park.  To end the series this year, SLUG Magazine, along with Natural Light, Scion, and Vitamin Water, brought you Construction to Destruction, a bone-crushing, face-melting jam of pure destruction housed at none other than Brighton Resort on March 5.  As you were out skating and enjoying the waning summer months of 2010, SLUG and the Brighton Terrain Park crew were slaving over beers, hot wings and laptop computers to design this construction site-oriented terrain park. 

The course this year was unlike anything we had built before.  With your average terrain park you have two, maybe three, different lines to pick from.  Dropping into Construction to Destruction, you could pick from a pole jam transfer, road sign gap with a bonk, two different barriers, a rhythm section and another pole jam.  To top it all off, we put a 3-section quarter pipe at the end of the course for your jibbing pleasure.  With so much to choose from, creativity was the name of the game.  A creative pole jam hit or rhythm section would easily score more points than a 720 gap over the road sign.   The few who were able to rise to the challenge ended up with free gear and mountains of fame and glory, and those who weren’t had a good time anyway.  

As warm-ups got under way, we knew this contest was aptly named as competitors slammed ribs, shins and faces into barriers, knuckles and each other.  Two of the SLUG Games coordinators even got broken-off over the infamous road sign gap before warm-ups.  As the sun rose above our heads and the contest area began to fill with eager competitors and curious spectators, Construction to Destruction was looking to be a success for all. With DJ Goobers on the ones and twos, the only person not having fun was a disgruntled father staring in irritation from a distance.

Decked out in orange vests, the 17-and-under division skiers and snowboarders dropped first.  Right from the get-go, the judges were astounded.  These kids were amped, and it soon became clear that a lot of them can and do hold their own against the big boys.  The energy and the stoke emanating from these little groms is hard to match, which made them all the more exciting to watch.  Noah Sutton threw in some super stylish bonks, Ricky Webber held it down on the smaller pole jam, and a few kids even got in on the rhythm section.  After half an hour we blew the whistle, the judges marked their score-sheets and the open ski division got set to shred.  The skiers favored the road sign gap and the pole jam transfer.  Many an inverted aerial was stomped that day.  I don’t know if skiers can “land bolts,” but you get the point.  Brendan Trieb soared over the bonk feature with multiple 360s and a really stylish 540, and Jane Hwang dominated the pole jam for most of the morning. Perhaps my favorite trick thrown during that heat was a completely laid-out front flip over the barrier bonk—you know how those skiers love their front flips.    

Last but certainly not least, the open snowboard division was set and ready to throw down for their qualifying round.  Right away, bangers were being hucked, almost too often for the judges to catch.  A 540 bonk here, a rodeo there, McTwist at the quarter pipe—the contest area was an all-out battlefield.  After the initial excitement fizzled and things started to slow down, the riders got technical.  Backside lipslide was the trick most competitors attempted on the first barrier.  A few rode away unscathed, while others bit their heel-side edge and paid the price.  After three intense heats, I was amazed that we hadn’t had to call in Life Flight, or at least help someone off the course.  But luck was on our side that day and when it was finally time to get things ready for the finals, the park crew took to the course to rake the take-offs and clean the blood off the jibs.


As soon as the course was ready for the final heat of the day, we called a last-minute audible and packed all the divisions together into a single heat—an all-out shred fest.  On the ski side, PJ Baymiller wasted no time securing himself the third place spot on the podium with back-to-back creative runs and few bails. Ricky Webber went just a little bit further with some really technical tricks to finish in second.  Finally, Trevor Akimoto, a SLUG Games veteran, stomped enough spins over the road sign gap to earn first place honors for the 17 and under ski division.  For the girls, big ups to Jane Hwang for winning first, second, third and last place in a SLUG contest.  Where were you ladies?!  The guys’ division was a really close call.  Alex Buller squeezed into third place after upping the intensity from the first heat.  Brendan Trieb stomped some difficult tricks in the last few minutes to earn himself second place, and Oeysten Scyawoe took first place following one seriously impressive run. 

For the 17-and-under snowboarders, grom extraordinaire Noah Sutton dropped in above the park, soared a huge air out of the quarter pipe and landed in third place.  Shaw Irwin laid down some textbook slides and spins to finish off the day in second place, and Jordan Tramp proved himself king of the kids as the first place competitor. The ladies showed up ready to shred, and it showed. Grace Mayernik, young as she is, wowed the judges and the crowd with her next-level skills.  She finished in third place, with Nicole Roccanova just ahead of her in second place.  But it was Marley Colt who brought the ruckus and rose to the top to take first prize in the women’s division.  And finally, for the men’s open snowboard division, Brady Larson ended up in third place after taking multiple face shots to the ground trying to get that front board.  Jeff McGrath landed a good number of 360s and 540s over the road sign gap that earned him second place honors.  And after an entire day of impressive snowboarding, Cameron Gorby proved himself the best shredder in the park, taking home first place and bragging rights for a year to come. 

After all was said and done, this contest was a blast for all involved.  As always, none of this would’ve been possible without the help of our volunteers and sponsors:  Vitamin Water, Scion, Natty Light, X96, Face Nozzle, Blindside, Smith, OTW Safety, Dale Boot, War Regime, Shogo Clothing, Milosport, Siege Audio, Signal, Demon, Neve, 4FRNT, City Weekly, Salty Peaks, Discrete and Headshot.  Until next year suckers, keep on shredding! 

Photos:
Kickin' it retro style off of the road sign. Photo: Gagethompson.com Perfect backside lipslide form. Photo: Davebrewerphoto.com Monster 1-foot.  Photo: Katie Panzer Barrier backside 50.  Photo: Gagethompson.com Pole jam flip from hell. Photo: Gagethompson.com Hiking the course. Photo: Gagethompson.com Men's Ski 17 and under winners (L to R) PJ Baymiller 3rd, Ricky Webber 2nd, Trevor Akimoto 1st. Photo: Gagethompson.com Men's Board 17 and under winners (L to R) Noah Sutton 3rd, Jordan Tramp 1st, Shawn Irwin 2nd.  Photo: Gagethompson.com Men's Open winners (L to R) Brady Larsen 3rd, Cameron Gorby 1st, Jeff McGrath 2nd.  Photo: Gagethompson.com Women's Board winners (L to R) Grace Mayernick 3rd, Marley Colt 1st, Nicole Roccanova 2nd (Not Pictured). Photo: Gagethompson.com Men's Open Ski winners (L to R) Alex Buller 3rd, Oeysten Scyawoe 1st, Brendan Trieb 2nd. Photo: Gagethompson.com Women's Ski winner Jane Hwang. Photo: Gagethompson.com