Alright, as you guys may have seen, we we’re promoting this Big Air event at Fenway Park for over a month and it finally happened! We packed up our things, braved the Boston traffic and ended up in the most iconic sports venue in New England; Fenway Pahk.
There was such a unique vibe on Thursday night in the park. It’s hard to explain but it was cool to see Fenway filled with people with an obvious curiosity for snowboard and it’s culture, people who live and love the sport as much as we do. We spent the late afternoon familiarizing ourselves with the setup and getting some day light shots before the event started.
Everyone from recreational riders to pro athletes were in attendance to watch this potentially once in a life time event go down. Some of the mention-ables watching on were Chris Grenier (A rad Bostonian boarder just soakin’ it in) and Sage Kotsenburg (who was unfortunately injured during practice and bailed as a precautionary as requested by FIS safety policy.) If you want more updates on his condition check his social but from what it sounded like he was fine just shooken up and they didn’t want him to risk it.
This was Sage’s Helmet
Just to give you an idea of what this scaffolding setup looked like, it was 140 feet tall. The top of the ramp was as tall, if not taller, than the lights used to illuminate the stadium. The descent to the jump was 32 feet wide, the gap from lip to landing was about 50 feet and the landing was 70 feet wide. Even with 70 feet some of these guys were landing pretty damn close to the safety barriers in place along the sides of the landing.
The guys and girls participating in this event knew that they had to make the most of this event because this is one of the influential events for the Olympics coming up. It was a great lineup with some of the strongest big air riders participating but it all came down to the Parrot throwing some amazing and solid tricks in the first 2 rounds including a triple cork 14 and having some fun with his 3rd drop by just sending a smooth back for the fans. Another fan favorite was Chas Guldemond who is a local from New England who seemed to have 90% of the fans on his side. Before his 3rd drop in he showed the fans he was there to have fun with with a tribute to the Big Bambino swinging his imaginary bat and calling his shot. The fans went nuts for that.
Here is how the standings looked after the 3rd round:
First: Max Parrot (183.50)
Second: Michael Ciccarelli (174)
Third: Charles Guldemond (170)
Chas (his son), Parrot and Mike
First: Julia Marino (169.25)
Second: Jenna Blasman (152.25)
Third: Brooke Voigt (117.75)
Afterwards we shot over to the press box and got to sit in on the first thoughts after these guys and gals had participated and placed. The overall attitude of the riders was excitement, satisfaction, positivity and overall urge to come back and do this again in the future. When asked what the conditions did to effect the situation, all the athletes said the same thing. It was sketchy at first and windy as hell at the top, but you had to tell yourself that the wind wouldn’t be nearly as bad at the actual jump due to the stadium blocking the wind and to just go for it and everything would be fine.
The girls also mentioned that this was most of their first time doing a scaffolding jump and this was meant to be a practice situation helping them gain experience in more serious situations down the road. They also said their ignorance was partially beneficial because they did not have as many concerns for safety as the guys may have had. Marino even said that she had drove over with her family from CT (her home area) and went into this event wanting to gain experience, not thinking that she would even place. Before she knew it she had won! When they asked her what she was going to do with her prize money she said “I don’t know, I’m sure they (her parents) want me to save it for school or something.”
Max and the boys were next to sit down and they too had a positive attitude about the whole thing. Parrot explained the windy situation at the top that we mentioned earlier. Chas was grateful to have the opportunity to do this with his family in attendance and so was Mike.
Overall, the 2 day event went over very well and seemed to be a success. It was one of the best things to happen to snowboarding in Boston and it would be amazing to see more events like this and others in the near future.