|ESPN.com: Snowboarding||[Print without images]|
Our friend Dano Pendygrasse, "media mastermind" at Monster Energy Canada let us know a bit about "The Show" -- the new snowboard contest they're putting on in Whistler April 15-19. After hearing the basics (stylecross?!), we wanted to know more about this fun-first event, so we hit Dano up for the details:
ESPN: In a calendar dripping with events, why should a rider save up some energy to come to The Show?
Dano Pendygrasse: Precisely because the calendar has been so stuffed with really serious, tense, and consequential events we feel the need to give snowboarders a place to blow off steam. At the end of a long competitive season or after filming for a banger part all year, riders need to get together with all their friends and party. Spring in Whistler is the best place in the world to do that and The Show is designed exactly for that.
For those who've never been, how would you describe the World Ski & Snowboard Festival, and why is The Show worth a pilgrimage?
The WSSF has grown into a really huge event: it's nine days of snowboarding, skiing, art stuff and live music. It grew out of a snowboard contest [Ed. Westbeach Classic] and in the last couple years we've tried really hard to make the snowboarding the best part of it again.
Honestly, there are things to do every single day, from the time you get up in the morning until you can't keep your eyes open anymore. If you've never been there, it's hard to truly put into words how rad it is. If you want to just ride, that's cool. If you want to meet pros, that happens too. If you're a party snake, well there's lots for you to get into in that arena as well.
|Dual Slalom Mogul competition. Come on -- how fun does this look? Super fun. Yes, that's the answer we had, too.|
The Show tries to open the doors to the shred world to everyone. It's not some cliquey cool-guy scene. It's built so that everyone who wants to be involved has a chance to. You'll probably ride a chair with Mikey Rencz or have a meal next to Danny and the Dingo at some point during the week. People tend to party with their heroes during the WSSF.
In what ways did The Show grow out of your involvement with the Grenade Games, which were in Whistler the last two years?
We brought the Grenade Games up to fill a hole in the WSSF and it worked out better than expected, but that was never meant to be a permanent move. The GGs always move around. We all went down to the GGs at Bear and Danny Kass, Dingo and the Grenerds will be at The Show. In the end a lot of the things that we brought to the Grenade Games will still be a part of The Show, but we'll do some new things as well. The Canadian Monster Energy snowboard team is heavily involved.
Which on-snow event are you most looking forward to and why?
New events always get me excited so I can't wait to see the Stylecross/Boarderstyle contest. Imagine four riders going head-to-head through a couple of berms and then racing to hit a jump feature. I can't wait to see multiple riders in the air at the same time. It's judged and timed so it will be interesting to see who finds the sweet spot of speed vs. hard tricks.
I'm also a fan of the Mogul Slalom just because we invented it and it completely deflates egos and exists only for people to laugh and have a good time. It defines what we wanted to do with this event.
What were the goals and what kind of vibe were you going for/trying to avoid?
It's really important to us that there is something interesting for you whether you're a grom, a legend or the best shred star in the world. Dustin Craven is hosting the Pipe Jam this year, so he'll bring his unique ideas about what that should mean.
The Grand Opening is our big Saturday night event and we're working with the mountain to continue to push new ideas into that venue. The slope has had problems with sight lines in the past and we've done a pretty good job of addressing that, but we'll keep trying to make it as fun for people to watch as it is for the riders.
Do you think it'll take a few years to gain traction among marquee riders or are you pretty confident that some heavy hitters will show up first time?
A ton of big names are coming. I think it fits into peoples' schedule and it is miles apart from the rest of the crap that they are obligated to do for their sponsors or whatever. How often in a year do they get to show up to an event that lets them have this much fun? I just want the riders to be able to have the memories that we had of spring in Whistler.
If you ask Todd Richards or Brushie or Haakon, all those guys used to come up to Whistler in the spring because it was such a good time. The fact that Danny and Dingo are coming back even after their event has moved on pretty much speaks volumes. If it takes years for some people to be convinced to come and have fun then maybe they shouldn't be coming anyway. Let's just say that I don't expect that the jock kids will show up, but they are invited anyway.
Are there any big conflicts April 15-19 or should everyone be able to make this?
Outside of snowboarding it's Coachella but that is working for us in some interesting ways that I can't really get into yet...