Kevin Konings takes MVP at the First Stop of the 2018 Vans Hi-Standard Series at Mount St. Louis, Canada
Frigid temps couldn't keep riders of all ages away from the first stop of the 2018 Vans Hi-Standard Series held at Mount St. Louis, Ontario.
The super-popular fun-focused jam series, where style is everything and inverts and spins over 720 aren't allowed, saw registration lineups before sunrise—completely understandable for a free "contest" where riders earn money for their stylish tricks.
While there was incredible riding from all three age categories—15 and Under, 16 and Over and +30— it was long-time local ruler (and dad) Kevin Konings, who took the day's coveted MVP award.
"The course was absolutely fun on this chilly day, was great to see a bunch of stylish tricks thrown down," says Konings, who has a history of winning Ontario contests. He's now got a paid trip to join the other Vans Hi-Standard Series stops' MVPs for the epic series finale on March 17th at Sierra-at-Tahoe.
"I can't believe that I'm actually walking away with this award today. I look forward to going to California and seeing what I can do at the finals!" he added."The Vans Hi-Standard is a unique event that brings everyone together in a tight community type of way," he says. "I was stoked to be part of it—it’s a rad and unique concept. Style is everything!"
A Big Air Jam that Pays
The format for the Cash Sessions is simple: a whopping stack of $2,000 is given out to riders in $5-bills for landing styled-out tricks throughout a big air jam. Riders can't repeat the same tricks and once they've been paid for one, they've got to try something new.
Vans brought in team rider Ben Poechman to help out with doling out the fives and driving the overall stoke.
"Vans Hi-Standard is not a contest—it's a community," Poechman said. "High fives and good vibes, and inspiring one another to be creative and express ourselves!
"Snowboarding is yours, not anyone else's, and your style is everything," Poechman added.
Winner Takes All at the Van Doren Rail Best Trick
After the fun cash sessions, all eyes turned to the Van Doren Rail Best Trick, where another $500 was up for grabs. Both younger categories got a 20-minute jam to impress the judges on a flat-to-down box, a rainbow rail and down-flat-down box setup.
After winning only the Worst Bail Award last year, 15 and Under ruler Cam Spalding stepped up hard and took the top prize of $200 in his category with a Gapped Half-Cab 50-50 to Noseslide and pretzel out on the down-flat-down box.
And just like last year's 16 and Over Category at Louis, Joel Dalacker took home another $300, this time for his Switch BS Bluntslide to FS Bluntslide, 270 Out, also on the down-flat-down box.
This stop's Worst Bail of the day award went to Kaitlyn Adams, and the award for Most Improved Rider went to Kosten Hebb.
House of Vans Workshop Gets Even More Creative
Inside the day lodge on this frigid day, a different kind of expression was going down. The House of Vans Art workshop was an opportunity for participants to put their own artistic vision onto pair of Vans and take them home for free. And they had a little inspiration from Toronto's' SOY, (@mistersoy) whom Vans invited up to lead the workshop. Emma Brearley ended up the big winner taking home three pairs of Vans Authentics customized by SOY himself.
Over the course of its entire tour, the 2018 Vans Hi-Standard series hits South Korea, China, Finland, the United States and Canada—and at every stop, registration is free. Vans also covers lift tickets and a lunch for all participants and a bunch of freshly made waffles hot off the irons.
For more info on the Vans Hi-Standard Series, including rules and regulations go to vans.com/histandardseries . The next stop of the Vans Hi-Standard Series is at Mont Avila, Québec, Canada on Saturday, January 20tht, 2016. Online registration is available for 45 of the 90 spots.
The First Vans movie—LANDLINE— is coming January 26th!