Thursday, August 11, 2022

The 3rd Annual Smash Life Banked Slalom at Big Sky

Montana is basically the only place out west getting snow, so a mellow 15-hour drive each way was a no brainer, especially when timed with the 3rd Annual Smash Life Banked Slalom on January 4, 2014. Almost 130 people from all over Montana and Michigan showed up for the event to remember A-Rob and raise some cash for the Plant a Seed Foundation.

This event is somewhat of a labor for local legend Shane Stalling, and he was holding everything together while also taking his runs in hopes of defeating 2-time champ Todd Kirby. Now, in Montana, 130 people is basically the equivalent of Times Square on New Years (give or take), so Shane had his work cut out for him, especially when you add in some whipping wind and bitter Montana temps. Don’t worry, he still played the party, too.

The course was whipped up in a mere day and a half and was basically divided into two sections by a step-down jump. The top was tight technical turns that needed to be worked for speed, while the bottom was wide open and perfect for pinning it (if you weren’t afraid of a little chunder and flat light.) Each person got two runs and the divisions included men, women, children and grumpy old men (36 and older this year.) To win it would take not only a clean run, but one at speeds which could have caused bodily harm, (and if you fucked up your first run a whole lotta chunder.) In other words, a pretty normal day in Montana.

The cold drove most of the competitors in after second (or first) runs, but for the 20 or so hardcores left, a best method competition was held, which Kyle Miller won with his perfect switch methods. Obviously competition is part of this event (it is a banked slalom) but since most strategies involved drinking heavily, it doesn’t really matter who wins. That said, the top time in the men’s division belonged to Yancey Caldwell with the best time of the day, a 50:79 (Todd Kirby ended up with a 54.) In an even bigger upset, 14-year-old Tess Avery beat all the girls with a 58:23, including local favorite Sarris McComb (she was in the X Games dude.) It was a real nail biter. Anyway, here are the rest of the results as best as I could type them into my iphone. Thanks for an awesome day and event Shane and Big Sky resort for making our trip possible!



1 McCall, Travis
2 Leuzinger, Rhett
3 Mccarver, Talon


1. Tess Avery 58.23
2. Saris McComb 58.31
3. Desiree Melancon 58.47
4. Amy Balbier 58.76

Grumpy Old Men

1 Jason Schutz
2. Ray Kovarski 57.19
3. Steve Davenport 57.31


1. Yancey Caldwell 50.79
2. Kyle Miller 52.3
3 Jason Robinson 52.9
4 Spencer Cordovano 53.71
5 Alex Lopez 54.75

(Full results and times on page 2)


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Jesse Horst
January 4, 2014 8:02 pm

Yo Yo YoBeat! Thanks for coming out to share the great times with the Montucky crew in honor of ARob!! Love reading your articles of the events around here, always on point! How can I get that pic of me doing the hand drag bank around the red gate? That’s the only photo of me all day, stocked on it, let me know. STAY UP… SMASH LIFE!!

Shark D
January 4, 2014 8:58 pm

Course was gnarley as always. Party boarding for days.

Bruce Saggin
January 5, 2014 9:16 am

An awesome weekend once again! Play Wagon Wheel.

January 5, 2014 11:06 am

Rhett Leuzinger took first in the kids

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