Peep the slashes, stunts and transfers that went down at the recent Gerry Lopez Big Wave Invitational at Mount Batchelor… YES for snow surfing!
If you’re young, don’t surf or a combination of the two you probably don’t know who Gerry Lopez is. This dude has full on legendary status in surfing’s folklore for his exploits in Hawai’i (and beyond) in the 70s, even becoming known as ‘Mr Pipeline’ for his groundbreaking approach to, and domination of, the fabled break on the island’s North Shore.
However, in the 90s Lopez was looking for a change and, having recently fallen in love with snowboarding, relocated his family to the town of Bend, Oregon. He and his family (his son, Alex Lopez, rips and rides for Gnu) would quickly become regular features on the local mountain of Mount Batchelor.
In 2012 Lopez had the chance to combine his love for both sideways sliding sports by creating the Big Wave Challenge. The setup and vibe of the event was timed perfectly as snowboarding began its rediscovery of the joys of turning – as opposed to spinning increaingly mindbending tricks – and has grown over the years to become an integral part of many riders’ winters. The course was (and has been since) made up of a series of sweeping banked corners, quarter pipes, and spines, incorporating the natural terrain as much as possible, to create wave-like features into a flowing course. A glimpse at the setup and you can see that when the organisers say they want “to bring the surf to the mountain,” they aren’t kidding
2018’s incarnation was no different. The course looks like one of the funnest setups you could ever hope to ride – only Lib’s Holy Bowly and those Japanese banked/bowl setups seem to be in the same vein of awesomeness – and the assembled masses duly tore it to pieces.
First – Randal Seaton
Second – Max Warbington
Third – Phil Hansen
First – Livia Molodyn
Second – Erika Vikander
Third – Marie France Roy