The consensus among snowboarders taking part in the fifth annual Grenade Games last week - the first time the event has taken place in Whistler - was that Grenade rider Danny Kass really knows how to hold an event.
Over five days riders competed in a series of contests, some more serious than others. There was a poker run, a dual moguls slalom race, a superpipe contest, a mini ramp contest, and the Grande Finale - a small but super-sized slopestyle course at the base of Whistler Mountain.
The Poker Run kicked off the event with riders cruising around Whistler and Blackcomb collecting cards for their poker hands. Because of the number of good hands the organizers decided to go with a lottery to see who got to sit at the poker table with Danny Kass.
One of the side events of the Poker Run was an appearance at the Pontiac GMC race centre on Blackcomb, where riders needed to post a time in the top-32 to qualify for the Dual Moguls Slalom the next day.
Josh Bauer posted the fastest slalom run of the day, carving through the gates in 17.53 seconds. Whistler's Dan Raymond was second in 18.18, followed by Adam Higgins in 18.92, Justin Lamoureux in 18.93 and Nev Lapwood in 19.05, from a field of 119 riders. The top female racer was Molly Milligan in 24 th place overall with a time of 20.37. She was followed by Meredith Fowler in 21.07 and Marie-France Roy in 21.29.
In the poker game that night the players were Adam Levitt, Helen Schettini, Dennis Bannock, Ryan Tiene, Dustin Craven, Eero Niemala, Todd Malus, Mark Sollors, The Dingo and Danny Kass. In the end, Finnish rider Eero Niemela and SBC Wake editor Adam Levitt outlasted the competition to battle the last few rounds, with Niemela coming out ahead with three fives to win an Oakley Minute Machine watch valued at $4,000.
The following day the racers cleared their heads on the moguls course, with racers carving around gates, navigating a steep set of moguls, and airing out over the jump to an icy landing. While Danny Kass enjoyed all of the events, he said the mogul event was his favourite.
"I just really enjoyed the format, it definitely pushed people out of their comfort zone and the course was really steep and hard," he said. "It was pretty rad the way everybody stepped up and got into the event, and had so much fun. I got knocked out early but I had a blast watching the others.
"Nobody is doing moguls competitions any more, but I think they're ready for a comeback."