This past Friday, the first ever Love Games went down in Nassfeld, and across the great snowboarding, egg and spoon races and countless smiling faces, it will definitely be an event that we look forward to in the future.
There was a time in everybody’s life, when everything seemed so easy. The hardest task was learning to spell your own name, it was okay to cry over a lost Supermario Kart battle and most importantly, your daily nap time was still socially accepted.The kickers may not have been the biggest we’ve ever seen, but they were specially built for fun and creavity. Who needs triple corks anyway? Photo: Sam Oetiker
But of course, time waits for nobody and in the blink of an eye, shit’s gotten serious. Don’t have a triple cork in your trick repertoire? For sure you’ll be chilling in the top 20, or something. Riders spend a fair amount of time in training facilities, jumping into gigantic bags, on trampolines, doing fitness routines and scratching FIS’s back.
Luckily, Love Distributions attempted to put an end to this and bring it right back to basics. They held the first ever Love Games contest in Nassfeld last week, which they described as a children’s birthday party with some snowboarding, and invited yours truly along for the ride. It ended up being just that!How often do you see a sack race go down in the middle of a snowboard contest? We whole heartedly approve. Photo: Sam Oetiker
The contest consisted of kickers, rails, sack races, egg-and-spoon dashes and wheelbarrow racing – definitely not your bog standard competition then. The two kickers were kept small but left plenty of room for creativity, fun runs and team work, while the rail section consisted of two down rails (one with a crazy intimidating wallride transfer option that turned out to be a little too scary for the riders) and a flat-down box.
The comp was split into a kicker session and a rail session, with party games breaking up the snowboarding, and competitors did everything in a team of two, – another really nice twist.The whole contest was built around the idea of having fun and working together as a team. Austrian Olympians Matthias Weissenbacher and Clemens Schattschneider hit every run in the comp as a team. Photo: Sam Oetiker
Looking at the results, it was young guns Simon Gschaider and Moe Kaufmann who took third place, with Moe’s beautiful backside 360 nosegrab and Simon’s obviously fond memories of how to balance an egg on a spoon without falling.
Second place went to Team ‘Murica consisting of Mike Casanova and Yale Cousino. This one is more than deserved as Mike threw himself into the sack race so hard that he had to pause for a fair amount of time to get back on track and into the contest.When was the last time you got to do an egg and spoon race? Too sick. Photo: Sam Oetiker
Matthias Weißenbacher and Clemens Schattschneider took home the glorious first place, which shouldn’t come as a big surprise because you don’t get to go the ‘Lympics for nothing. But it was actually their heavy commitment to the other parts of the contest that got them there. After seeing their performance at the wheelbarrow racing, Matthias ‘Hias’ Weißenbacher will most likely be called Speedy Gonzales from now on: the mouse with the FASTEST hands in Austria, or simply The Lizard. We have to give massive respect to that!Yale Cousino representing for the US of A with a textbook cab 270 on the first down rail. Photo: Sam Oetiker
Word on the street is that some of the riders’ sponsors are thinking of providing them with their own special, private training facilities hidden deep in the Alps to get ready for next year’s contest. Apparently they’re planning on equipping these with brand new aerodynamic gunnysacks, that were developed in NASA’s laboratories. For the egg race, they will use spoons that were inherited by the most talented kindergarteners for centuries now and eggs from chickens that were fed only with Caviar and Chardonnay. There’s also said to be a special training unit for stronger, faster arms and dance routines between the team players to secure perfect synergy on the wheelbarrow course.Matthias Weissenbacher has crazy fast hands. Be warned, if you ever find yourself in a wheelbarrow race with him… Photo: Sam Oetiker
There’s also no doubt about these new categories being included in the next Winter Olympics because FIS will eventually smell the cash cow that these games will bring them with the young audience they attract. So get ready for three new exciting disciplines on the #roadtopyeongchang. Also, get used to spelling this, because it is very hard.
One of the nicest memories from the Love Games would definitely be the multiple collision that went down during the egg race, when one rider basically dragged everyone into misery by tripping and falling over.The attention to detail was crazy at this contest. Everything from the bibs, to the eggs were hand painted. That’s love right there. Photo: Sam Oetiker
Something we don’t quite remember is the Afterparty that went down at the Cube Club together with the festival guys from Hertzberg (who somehow, partied until 11am everyday – for a whole week).
As a thank you for showing up, we had our very own bottle of Onboard Vodka, which was more or the less the beginning of the end. As we were trying to pick up the pieces from Friday night, we might remember guys in wedding dresses, someone wearing a giraffe costume and dragging a stuffed goat on a leash, loads of cool/bizarre decoration stuff and a penguin…We saw some sick snowboarding too. Photo: Sam Oetiker
We would now like to take this opportunity to also give out a special award for the best hairdo of the contest, which goes to local shredder Elias Einhauer, who was dressed as a pirate and was rocking the most powerful mullet we have seen to date. You’re awesome, dude!
Finally we have to say a massive thank you to Seppi and Love for inviting us to be a part of the first ever Love Games. There was some amazing snowboarding, new friendships forged and plenty of fun times over the course of only two days. The amount of effort that went into putting this event on was pretty next level – from the hand painted bibs and eggs, to the ingenuity on the contest format, and it was amazing to see a proper grassroots snowboard event done right.
See you next year!Such a good group of people. Until next year! Photo: Sam Oetiker