#TeamB4BC takes on LBS31, Megan Pischke taking home Silver in Pro Women Masters
By Megan Pischke
Every year, hundreds of snowboarders say their prayers as they tuck down and drop in at the Legendary Banked Slalom. Months before that, at least a few thousand sign up for the LBS lottery, do the local qualifier, work their sponsors for a spot, beg and barter, and/or send lavish gifts like chocolate and fine wine to the Howat sisters to try and get that extra space that may pop up last minute with any cancellations.
This contest, this race, is like no other. Running for 31 years now (since 1985), its been a gift to our snowboard community, and continues to inspire us on who we are, and where we have come from.
The goal is to finish with the fastest time down the course in order to win a coveted role of duct tape, spray painted gold (or silver or bronze, but gold is the goal). There’s nothing like the LBS duct tape gold – its legendary and proof of the snowboard community’s radness. As if the duct tape isn’t iconic and rewarding enough, winners also receive custom embroidered Pendelton blankets. But believe me, it’s the duck tape we’re all after.
All racers are in separate categories, but every one, and every ability, competes on the same course. That’s what makes this contest unique and special. A 1-2 minute length of gates banked and winding through a long half pipe, and g-forces on the banks only a snowboarder would understand. The cool thing about this contest, the really cool thing, is that there are no judges. We all have our unique style, and its all about expressing it to the fullest to make it down the course the fastest. Your time is your judge.
This year B4BC was invited to participate in the demo tent area, and to share our education and information. We raffled, we talked about boobs and we played Bra Pong to raise money for our programs. With the best views and a great PNW crowd, we were grateful to have been a part of such an amazing event. We also had some of our athlete ambassadors/Team B4BC in full effect: Hana Beaman, Elena Hight, Barrett Cummins, and myself.
Every year since 2004, Mt Baker and the LBS crew give out the Craig Kelly Thunderbird Award. This beautiful hand carved totem statue is given to someone from the North West who has made a significant contribution to snowboarding locally and beyond. With the likes of Jamie Lynn, The Debari and Cummins families, Tex Davenport and Jeff Galbraith, its beyond an honor and a beautiful thing to hear about during each award ceremony. This special award, and the LBS event in its entirety, reminds us all of the spirit of our sport, our heritage, and why we do what we do and live the life of a snowboarder.
This year’s Craig Kelly award went to John Logic, who along with his wife Lisa, started the first snowboard shop in Seattle in 1991, The Snowboard Connection. Their contributions have impacted many lives including employees who went on to become industry leaders, as well as legendary riders including Tex, Dan Donnelly, and Matt Goodwill. The Snowboard Connection was also a long time sponsor of the Mt Baker Banked Slalom, and developed The Service Board, an outreach program that continues to provide youth in the Seattle community and opportunity to simply get on the mountain. We love you, Logics!
I have been lucky enough to compete in 7 LBS’s, and have brought home a couple Pendleton Blankets now. This year, I took home one beautiful silver roll of duct tape.
I think just as fun as the course, is the comradery between all the riders. And because its all ages, you tend to see everyone. From the groms of today and the future, to the older pros you’ve admired for years, to grandpas and moms/dads, and everyone in between. Its like the best version of an on-snow trade show – everyone you want to see and high five.
Thank you Mt Baker, Howats, and all LBS staff and riders! What a freakin’ awesome jam at the LBS #31!
Also check out The Snowboarder’s Journal recap and photo gallery here… http://lbs31.thesnowboardersjournal.com/33/