When: Fri 11th of January 2008
Where: Mayrhofen, Austria
I love my job! Just came back from a surf trip to Portugal, first day in the office and my boss asking me: „Mel, do you want to go to Mayrhofen for the Vans Park Opening?“ Hell yeah!!!
The playground. Picture: Picture: Sami Tuoriniemi.
From January 4th until yesterday the official opening week of the Vans Penken Park drove pros, kids, media and a lot of German tourists with silly hats to the mountain. First important thing were the Grom Open Snowboarding Championships on Saturday where young shred heads under 18 had the chance to convince judges Beckna, Bernd Mandlberger, Rudi Kröll and Wolle Nyvelt to become the first ever Ästhetiker Grom Rider. In the end Zillertal Local Tom Klocker was that lucky chap! But he earned his new title with impressing stuff like switch nosepresses on the kink rail and bs sevens. And what is the best location for a decent after contest party with a bonfire and a BBQ? Right, the „Scotty´s“ in Mayrhofen! And while the Discodogs from Cologne, organizers of the legendary „Trix and Flicks Partys, were rocking the turntables, the youngsters were hitting the bar…
Unknown but killing it. Picture: Sami Tuoriniemi.
On Monday most of the pro riders arrived in Mayrhofen: Cheryl Maas, Tyler Chorlton, Tobi Strauss, Gary Greenshields, Silvia Mittermüller, Lisa Filzmoser, Andi Lehmann, Conny Bleicher, Sani Alibabic and more hit the park and hit it and hit it and hit it and…. The shape crew did an amazing job: Despite the snow is not what it used to be at the beginning of the season, the park is in perfect conditions. Check out www.vans-penken-park.com and you can not only see what obstacles the park is blessed with (too many to mention them all but here are just a few: a mini pipe, a Fun Line with some smaller kickers, wallrides, boxes and banks, a Public Line with some bigger kickers and longer rails and a pro line with huge kickers and endless rails) but also check out the interactive 3 D graphic to see which obstacles are open and which are not. Plus there is a live webcam in the park. I like! Or „JAWOLLLLL“ as Beckna would say…
Beckna still killing it with a FS 3. Picture: Sami Tuoriniemi.
Tuesday was the first bluebird day and besides the riders many photographers were getting up to the park. Cheryl Maas did some warm up for the Burton European Open in Laax where she will take part in the slopestyle next week. But also some of the Ästhetiker like Beckna and Rudi Kröll were having fun in the park and riding all day. In the evening everybody was ready for some hot Caipirinhas and mulled wine at the „White Lounge“ (www.white-lounge.at) – a freaky deaky igloo bar in 2000 meters. You get there with the gondola, have a few drinks and make sure to not miss the last lift down at 11 p.m. It is awesome!
Wednesday was a little bit cloudy so the riders took it easy. Despite having a bad cold, Beckna invited some riders, the Vans crew (lovely Steffi and Julia) and us for dinner at his parent´s place, the Tiroler Stuben in Mayrhofen. Just one word: DELICIOUS! If you are in Mayrhofen, pay them a visit and order the Käsespätzle, they are a banger!
Lisa Filzmoser, Conny Bleicher and Andi Lehmann enjoying the food at the restaurant of Beckna´s parents.
Waking up with a little bit of a hang over on Thursday, it was no surprise when I looked out of the window and saw a bluebird sky. Let´s get up!!! Also the park was heavily ridden for almost a week now, it looked as perfect as on the first day: Big up´s to the shape crew! Some of the riders were already on the way to Laax but some like Cheryl Maas, Lisa Filzmoser, Conny Bleicher, Gary Greenshields, Tyler Chorlton still enjoyed a day in the park before heading to Switzerland. We filmed a „How to do“ with Lisa (Frontside 5) and Gary (Frontside 7) – just check the website from time to time, it will go up in the next two weeks… Oh, and how could I almost forgot the amazing Norwegian Ulrik Badertscher who was killing it on the big kicker. After doing some warm up runs and several 900s and 1080s, he went for a hug 12 and stomped it first try. I think this won´t be the last time that we heard his name…
Rudi Kröll loving it… Picture: Sami Tuoriniemi.
To end this article with linking it to the beginning, I can only say: I love my job! But not only do I. During this week you really felt that everybody in our small community loves what they are doing because it is all about our passion, snowboarding: The shapers are so keen on creating a perfect park because they love riding it themselves. And when the park is good, the pros love riding it as it makes it easier for them to show their full potential. The result is that the media staff(photographers and writers) is happy too as they get awesome pictures and stories to tell. And in the end it is you, the readers, who buy our mags and hopefully feel the love for the passion we all share and that we want to convey… Thanks Vans for supporting the Penken Park and thus making us all love our jobs and lifes!
You definitely have to check the park out – first on the website and than in reality. You will love it…
Text: Melanie Schönthier