Kick Out The Jams: Fifth Stop Recap- Vans Hi-Standard Series at Waterville Valley, NH

The cash was flying like crazy at the Waterville Valley, New Hampshire stop of the Vans Hi-Standard Series on Saturday, February 6. Sometimes it was just so nuts riders had to try to not walk away with any of it.


The first American event of the international series saw blue skies, light wind and temperatures just below freezing—all perfect conditions that laid the groundwork for some of the best and most advanced riding of the series so far. At the Vans Hi-Standard Series riders are rewarded for their called tricks, competing more against themselves than anyone else. It’s truly an environment for all ability levels, reinforced by the only rules: style is everything and no spins over 720 count.

Just like at every stop, there was a jump and a rail part to the day. First, a fun big air jam with two different take-off options (a 25- and 45-footer) so every rider can have a chance to win some of the $2,000 being given out in $5-dollar increments. And second, the ever-popular Van Doren Rail Best Trick, where another $500 was up for grabs in bigger chunks on a rail section made up of a down rail and a kinked down-flat-down rail.

“It doesn’t feel like a contest because it allows us to just snowboard,” said Vans pro Mike Ravelson. “You don’t have to do the craziest trick, you can just focus on doing your tricks well.”


The New Hampshire local, a.k.a. Mike Rav (top right), and Vans teammate Mary Rand (center) and Cole Navin (left) were on hand to help give out the cash. Both were really impressed with the level of riding they saw.


“Everyone was riding really well today and it’s a great showcase of snowboarding,” Ravelson added. ”The Vans Hi-Standard Series is amazing because it allows everyone to just do what they want.


Doing exactly that, Jed Sky lived up to his name and came out of the day with fists full of fives and earning the coveted title of MVP. And not to be outdone by the kids, Greg Maxwell grabbed the first-ever MVP30+ awarded in the series so far.

Since the rider field today was super stacked, organizers decided to have a 30-minute rail jam on the fly—and this is where some of the best tricks of the entire series so far went down. Right after, was the fan-favorite Van Doren Rail Best Trick. Nate Haust threw down a Hard Way Backside 180 to Switch Back 180 to BS 180-Out on the kinked down-flat-down rail and took home the biggest cash prize of the day of $300, followed by Jackson Happ’s Gap to Cab 270 to the Flat on the kinked rail, which was sick enough to land him $150. To round out the “podium” Bar Dadon took home $50 for his BS Lipslide 270 Out on the same rail.


And since slams are an important part of any good learning experience, the Worst Bail of the Day went to Noah Guarriello, and the Most Improved Rider award went to Max Dippel for consistently stepping up throughout the day.

While all of this was going down, some artistically-inclined spectators and family loved the free House of Vans Art Workshop where they were invited to create their own custom works of Vans art—on a free pair of white Vans Classic Slip-Ons. Alongside featured local artist Eric Warn they used the blank canvases for their artistic creations. And as every House of Vans invited artist does, Warn created three incredible custom pairs of Slip-Ons and lucky winners John Fondots, Katie Sylvester, and Bruce Durand got to take them home along with their own works of wearable art. Participants Mary O'Hara, Nick Byron, and Morgan Carrish were also recognized for their best designs.

But the day wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Vans tent at the mountain base where the Vans sole-shaped waffle irons were on fire cranking out the tasty treats for everyone.


The next stop of the Vans Hi-Standard Series is at Mt. Creek, New Jersey on Saturday, February 13, 2016.


All competitors are encouraged to pre-register for their local stop of the 2016 Vans Hi-Standard Series, and online registration closes the Thursday before each event. For more info, go to .