It's almost Springtime, and for the majority of the West Coast, Winter or Miracle March has just started. From Southern California to the Rockies and the Northwest, mother nature has graced us with that white fluffy stuff we call snow. Many of the ThirtyTwo / Etnies team riders are anxiously waiting for the snow to settle so they can go out to slaughter before the heat wave starts. Usually around this time (late Winter to early Spring), most of the riders are wrapping up their contest schedules and getting ready to hit it hard on the filming tip with their crews.
Dionne Delesalle, Kevin Sansalone and new up-and-coming am rider Benji Ritchie have been hitting up the backcountry of Whistler with their film crews every day for the past few weeks. Whistler started off slowly, but the snow has reached a moderate level within the last couple weeks.
Kevin Sansalone recently came back from a little road trip with a few of the TransWorld Snowboarding folks covering the interior BC along with fellow teammate Tyler Lepore. They tried their best to get as much coverage as possible, but due to the lack of snow, they really couldn't cover the backcountry very well, so they went out in search of handrails instead. Kevin and Tyler are now back in Whistler for the next couple of weeks in search of powder and backcountry kickers. Kevin, Dionne, Tyler and Benji will be heading to Quebec later this week to compete in the Shakedown.
Markku Koski will be competing in the Quick Cup Slopestyle contest this week in Les Arc, France along with fellow teammate Nicolas Droz. Contest results will be posted later this week or in the next team report.
Matt Hammer and John Jackson were scheduled to compete in the Active Sponsor Me contest held at Bear Mountain this past weekend, but due to the conditions, the contest has been postponed until March 29. Matt and John will be focusing on filming with the Standard Film crew all week.
Reports from Mike Hatchet, the main man behind Standard Films, has been very positive. He said Matt Hammer, John Jackson, Markku Koski and Benji Ritchie were all looking really good, with grade A footage. All of our riders should have amazing parts in the new release scheduled to premiere sometime early this fall. Mike and the rest of the crew will be working hard for the rest of the season and he anticipates another successful year with the tight crew he's working with. Look out for more details in the near future.
Joni Makinen has reported some unfortunate news that will hopefully be a blessing in disguise. He is going under the knife this Thursday for reconstructive surgery on his ankle. He's had many problems with it, but after talking to an ankle specialist, the recommendations were to go through with the operation as soon as possible if he wants to pursue his professional career as a snowboarder. So, Joni will be laid-up for the next couple of months, but he'll be back in action in no time. Good luck, Joni.
Janna Meyen headed on out to Northstar in Tahoe for the Team Challenge this week, where she represented some of the girls on the Ride team. Contest results will be posted later this week.
Chad Otterstrom plans to finish his season off in Whistler, where he's been hanging for the last few weeks. He said it would be easier for him to stay up there, since most of the film crews are traveling out of Whistler and Vancouver. He's still not riding at 100% due to his separated ribs, but he's doing the best he can with his situation.
Roberta Rodger also attended the Team Challenge this week to rep the Hammer team.
Wille Yli-Luoma has been having a tough time filming with the Robot Food crew. He'll be heading to Sweden this week to attend the Battle. Contest results will be posted later this week.