The Grenade Games Grand Finale slopestyle presented by Mosnter Energy is a true testament to the abuse professional snowboarders are capable of inflicting on themselves. After five days of riding and partying that would have had the average person checking into detox the 40 or so invited riders somehow managed to throw down for a crowd of thousands at the base of Whistler/Blackcomb Saturday night. The contest was the highlight of the Telus World Ski & Snowboard Festiva andl ran as an hour and a half jam after which 10 riders would advance to the finals for a chance to win $10,000.
The course started with a bomb drop option off the in-run scaffolding to main jump. Riders could choose to clear the gap or step up and hit a long down to flat box on the right. Next came a ten foot log jib to drop (we heard a whisper that the log would have two big balls hanging from it giving a decidedly phallic feel to the woody jib but the claim turned out to be sweet nothings). From there riders moved into a kicky jump to mini hip and ended with the option to jib the Grenade R.V. or dual picnic table set up wallride style.
The main jump had many options.
Eero Neimela bomb drops off the scaffolding.
Andrew Burns. Scarth photo.
Last spring Monster Energy brought the Grenade Games and some of the world's best riders to Whistler's World Ski and Snowboard festival and this year was no exception. The event even managed to pull Kale Stephens out of contest retirement to charge the course with his signature burly style. At one point he spun too far right on a Backside Five off the gap jump and nearly landed back first on the edge of down jib. Another few feet and Kale would have likely won himself a trip to the hospital in the meat wagon. It’s been speculated that Kale’s molecular structure is made of a nearly indestructible combination of vaporized weed smoke and cheese proteins so instead he just bounced down the slope like a little rubber ball and kept charging.
Dave Fortin. Scarth photo.
Jody Wachniak gets Blunted on the Grenade R.V. Scarth photo.
Never one to fear a fashion faux pas Kael Hill did his runs wearing sweat pants and a Run DMC tank top. According to Kael, “I don’t have style. I go on this thing called no style. I wear whatever comes to me. Plus, I don’t have any clothes.”
Sure enough it wasn’t long before Kael actually had no clothes on. First the Dingo offered Kael $500 to shred with his shirt off. Kael obliged and took enough bails to cover his chest in scratches and blood but that didn’t seem to be enough. Another $500 was put on the line if Kael got naked. A $1000 for taking your clothes off and shredding the course? Hell, poachers used to the do that for free in the old days. Apparently the value of naked men has skyrocketed as Kael’s antics also earned him the Space Cadet award.
Kael Hill bares it all for the masses. Scarth photo.
As the jam continued some riders lost interest in the idea of competing and decided to start a jib session on the Grenade R.V. For a moment it was hard to remember that there was supposed a contest going on as the people hiking the jibs began to out number those serious about competing.
At 9:30 it was announced that Craig Beaulieu, Andrew Burns, Jesmond Dubeau, Dave Fortin, Kevin Griffin, Jordan Phillips, Mark Sollors, Zach Stone, Jon Versteeg, and Pablo Aristeguita would be moving on to the finals. Each rider would get three runs with the winner determined by the judges overall impression.
Everyone put down some solid tricks but once Dave Fortin stomped a Frontside 1080 to Backflip off the log there was no doubt who the winner would be. Andrew Burns followed in second with Zach Stone in third.
Up on the main stage the novelty checks were handed out and the titles of overall Most Radical Dude were bestowed upon Mark Sollors and Dustin Craven. The accolade also earned each of them a key that could start the Camaro put up for grabs by Chevy. T.J. Schneider ollied over the fench winning him $500 and Most Radical Dude of the night. Then Boozy the Clown showed up with a Texas Mickey of Jack Daniels and things got hectic.
1st: Dave Fortin - $10,000
2nd: Andrew Burns - $5000
3rd: Zach Stone - $2400
So that’s it for another year of the Grenade Games. It was a helluva party and if you missed out make sure you get there next year. Many thanks to Monster Energy Canada for making the madness happen once again.
Note: as of this writing Mark Sollors won the Camaro, beating out Craven and two other key holders from the Orage Masters. Congrats bud.