Portland-based professional snowboarder Erik Leon kicked off his CORENATION jam session tour on Dec. 11, 2021 at Killington. The charity event — this stop to benefit Vermont Adaptive — has another goal too. I’m referring to keeping snowboarding fun and accessible, mostly in response to the insane level of riding the general public sees in events such as the X Games and Winter Olympics, as well as the excessive costs to participate.
“We’re not focusing on necessarily the biggest, baddest snowboarding, we’re focusing on who’s having the most fun with their friends around them, promoting them, and just like, sharing that energy,” Leon explained in the rider’s meeting.
Accordingly, the judges skipped the clipboards and many were riding right alongside the nearly 30 competitors (ages 4-49) who each donated $20 to sign up. Erik said many of those people also chipped in extra, but I lack the patience to wait for snowboarders to do math, so I’ll take his word for it.
The jam started at the top of Mouse Park, with a box session, then moved to a down bar for some more standard competitive snowboarding moves. But the energy really picked up when the riders began to congregate around the cone line — where some people ollied and others turned, and it didn’t matter, as long as you were smiling (everyone was.) Finally, the crew moved to the jersey-barrier-to-down tube, where some riders went straight, some went sideways, and some hit it somewhere in between.
“I wanted every rider to be able to hit every feature and have fun,” Leon said, as he watched 4-year-old Harley Ruffle carve his way down the course with a huge smile on his face.
Harley, of course, scored some prizes at awards, which I personally skipped in favor of getting in a lap for Pico’s single-trail opening day. But based only on my gut instints, the most ripping boarders of the day who traveled were Michael Throckmorton, Michelle Schlanger, Peter Moseley and Jack Armbruster. Killington locals held their own as well, including Dave Parnell, Koa Gonat, Rocco Jones, Rachel Zarycki, Jess Perlmutter and more. And I feel teh need to give a special shout out to Courtney Walton, who’s mid-jib glove swinging antics were simply hilarious.
The CORENATION tour continues Dec. 18 at Trollhaugen and then heads to Bear Mountain on Dec. 28.