Rocky Mountain High: Seventh Stop Recap at Mt. Norquay, Alberta, Canada
As if the awesome blue skies and warm temps weren’t enough to fuel everyone at the Mt. Norquay stop of the Vans Hi-Standard Series near Banff, Alberta on Saturday Feb. 20th—the infamous, Special Guest MC Renee Renee took the sunny vibe to the next level.
At the only contest series in the world where style is everything and the only rule is no spins over a 720, every rider seemed to have smiles on their faces all day. Hell, even the parents that stood on the sidelines to cheer their kids on had a blast. But could’ve been the waffles…
For the morning and early afternoon Big Air jams Vans pro Dillon Ojo was joined by a pack of awesome groms on deck, who helped him pick out some of the most deserving for the $2,000 Vans cash in $5-bills. The jump section featured two different take-off options—a 25- and 45-footer—so it was fun for almost everyone from intermediates to aspiring pros.
For Ojo, the best part was actually riding during the event.
“I really enjoyed lapping through the setup with a few cool kids I got to meet out there,” he said. “The event is planned and set up so fun for kids to board with their friends in a jam format. The jump is a good size to throw good tricks on but also a good size to learn new tricks on too! The rail setup was perfect with three different rail setups varying from easy to difficult.”
Ojo added that the vibe was amazing all day—because of how the Vans Hi-Standard Series is run with a focus on fun.
“Seeing that money was handed out as the jam went on, the vibes stayed super positive because none of the kids were stressing on winning,” said Ojo. “They all got a chance to have fun with each other and pocket a few bucks.”
But the day’s big highlights happened in the afternoon at the Van Doren Rail Best Trick, on one of the most challenging and diverse rail sections of the series: a small down rail, a long tube flat rail, followed by a flat-down-flat kinked rail. Showing everyone that he’s still a contest force to be reckoned with Calgary’s own comeback kid Kael Hill took the $300 prize in the 16 and Over division for his 50-50 to Frontside 270 to Switch Back Tailslide to Backside 450 out on the tube. And for the 15 and Unders legit up-and-comer Sean Miskiman’s 50-50 to Gap to Frontside Boardslide on the flat-down-flat rail was enough to win him $200 for his hard work. Keep your eyes out for this kid in the future for sure.
For showing consistent improvement throughout the day, the coveted Vans Hi-Standard Most Improved Rider went to Dane Menzies, and the Worst Bail of the day was awarded to Ryan Ward.
For many at Norquay on Saturday though, the highlight was the House of Vans Art Workshop. Here Vans Hi-Standard Series spectators were able to create their own custom-made Vans Classic Slip-Ons featuring their own artistic designs under guidance by Calgary tattoo artist, Dustin Fleming, who added his classic high contrast artwork to a giant Vans Sk8-Hi shoe, which was raffled off away to lucky participant, Cole Krause. Other winners Saturday were artists Morgan Marshall, Tori Laperriere and Gabi Courte who were all singled out for their incredible designs.
The 2016 Vans Hi-Standard series is supported by Transworld Snowboarding and King Snow and over the course of all international stops in the US, Canada, China, Korea and France, it will award over $60,000 in cash prizes, pushing riders to get as creative as possible with their style—and staying under a 720, of course.
The next North American stop of the Vans Hi-Standard Series is at Park City, Utah on Saturday, February 27th.
All competitors are encouraged to pre-register for all Vans Hi-Standard events, which close the Thursday before each contest. For more info on the Vans Hi-Standard Series, go to vans.com/histandardseries .