“Out There” at the 6th Annual Sidesurfers Banked Slalom
Words by Evan Litsios // @gingavitus
Photos by Annie Mac // @anniehmac
Woe to you, dear reader, if you weren’t at Sugarbush, VT on Saturday, March 26 for the return of the Sidesurfer’s Banked Slalom after a yearlong hiatus. It was a LDOH-fuelled feeding frenzy for turners and jibbers alike, and a celebration of community in an oft-overlooked corner of the snowboard world.
Matthew McConaughey put it best in his 2008 classic, Surfer Dude, when he said, “I’m a surfer, dude… Out there.”
Get it? This is the internet. This is a recap. This is unequivocally NOT out there. We could give you a play by play, but the whole idea behind Sidesurfers and their annual event is to do it live and all together where you can high five and hug about it. It’s community and good boarding first–everything else second.
There was a buzz in the chatosphere with so many familiar faces in one spot. It was also the last weekend of operations for Mt. Ellen, where Sugarbush builds their main park, so all the local heads were out to milk the last laps of the season and shut it down proper.
The infamous Sunny Q chairlift goes up between the park and the race course. So, on one side: a masterpiece of jib-centric terrain park sculpting with endless line options and a hoard of talent (on this day including the likes of Zeb Powell, Rob Roethler, Alex Caccamo, and many others) throwing down right below you. On the other: an immaculately hand-sculpted banked slalom with head-high berms and enough curves to spark the imagination.
Sidesurfers founder John Murphy led the day’s proceedings. He’s too humble to stand in the spotlight for long, and mostly used the loudspeaker to pay homage to the diggers, the community, and its many leaders. The starting gate featured a portrait of Tony Chiuchiolo, a father-figure to the Sugarbush Parks community who will always be there in spirit.
It came to a heartfelt finish. Heck, even a few tears were shed. As for winners and losers… We’ll leave that on the course. After all, it happened out there, and we’re in here.
Shout out to the Murphy family for handing out over 200 free PB&Js, and to Unlikely Riders for raising money to help over 200 Vermonters with intersectional barriers experience the joy of sliding on snow.
Oh, and if you are looking for results, click no further: