Boarders balance books, beers and backflips

The small mountain town of Kimberley B.C., known for cuckoo clocks, lederhosen, bratwursts and beersteins, was taken over by the University of Calgary Snowboard Team this past weekend. The team hosted the first event of its kind in Western Canada: a competitive snowboard competition open only to students enrolled in post-secondary education.

Despite a lower than expected turnout for the one-day competition (approximately 40 riders), it was still very successful in the eyes of one of the organizers.

“The day was super sick,” said former U of C student Colin Hill. “The course was sick, judging was on the money, sponsors like Jeenyus and Northwave put up amazing prizes for riders that were slaying the course.”

On the men’s side, U of C graduate student and Snowboard Team Coach Jon Pendlebury strung together some good late runs to put him in contention for first place, but was outdone by Jesse Scott. Pendlebury finished with a very respectable second place.

“There were a lot of rails and I’m not a jib-monkey like the rest of these dudes,” he said. “I’m a hucker and I need some bigger jumps to do better but I’m still stoked and really enjoyed the day.”

Even with the “small” jumps, Pendlebury still put together the best combo of the day on the final two jumps throwing a double back-flip to rodeo 720. It was full-on gnarliness!

On the women’s side, there was very little separating the top three riders. On any other day U of C’s Robin Van Gyn might have taken home first place and the cash but instead settled for second and a new board courtesy of Jeenyus. First place deservedly went to Marnie Wilson from UBC for her consistent riding. But match Van Gyn’s board with the Technine bindings she won at the Technine Rail Jam later that evening and you will still see her walking the halls with a pretty big grin on her face.

Hopefully this will not be the last Campus Classic because it left many people sad to go home after such a great weekend. The differences from other competitions may very well be what keeps the Campus Classic going; differences like jam format qualifying, jam format finals, a big party that night, qualified rider judges and judges fighting fat kids at the bar.

“Where else can you see stuff like that?” asks Hill.

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