It all started only two days after arriving home from Super Sessions at Woodward West in Tehachapi California. I received a friendly phone call from Toshi Corbet, the sports marketing man for Teva footwear. He asked me if I would be interested in going on a trip to Queenstown New Zealand where Teva was hosting a sick Slope style competition.
with out to much hesitation I said, yes! of course I will! Having made the quick decision to attend this awesome event it was time to get ready asap as my flight was only 4 days away!
4 days, and a very long 14 hour flight later I found myself meeting Benny Phillips in Queenstown air port. It was good to see Benny and catch up. We then hopped on a bus for about 20 minutes and arrived in queenstown. The first person we saw was Kelly Mcgarry. He was working on some final touches on the Teva slope course, it was looking super dialed and a very fun looking course for the first contest of the year. Benny and I ended up riding the course that evening and with-in 2 hours of riding benny was already hucking double backs and sick combo tricks, I got used to the course and did a few tail whips off the wale tail step down. It was with out a doubt a great first day in NZ.
The next day was pretty awesome, more of the riders had shown up and we had an epic practice session under the lights. In the evening, after practice I met up with Steve and Saja. They both are from Sydney Australia, and do great things for Teva and also are people who made it possible for me to make it out for the contest in Queenstown. They took Kelly and myself out for dinner that night and we got to know each other! We had some good laughs and ate a lot of very good food. Saja had organized to the Teva crew, riders and media guys on the Canyon swing in the morning. This sounded fun but iv only herd stories about this thing and they say its the “worlds biggest cliff jump” Not going to lie I was pretty scared, but stoked at the same time.
Thursday. It was Canyon swinging and Teva Slope style all in one day and I was getting amped up! The 60m cliff jump to 200m swing was pretty insane! Kelly did a sick gainer flip off it and my legs turned to jello as I kinda just stumbled off the edge. as soon as it was over I wanted to do it again. It was the coolest thing ever. The rest of the day went by pretty quick and included lots of Ferg Burgers, energy drinks and two solid practice sessions.
Before the sun went down there was already a decent sized crowed accumulating around the Teva course, the lights were warming up and the riders were warming down from practice and getting ready to throw down some sick runs! first the amateur riders dropped in and tossed together some solid runs. Its always awesome to have a competition that is open to any level of rider and not just and innovational only event. After the amateur group finished there runs the pro group had its turn! I was first to drop and crashed doing a 540 on the quarter to wall. I ended up messing up all 3 of my runs. I was pretty disapointed because I had been riding pretty well in practice and thought i was ready for the contest. After the slopestyle we moved strait into the high jump and best trick. I ended up winning the high jump contest on the quarter pipe so I was pretty excited about that. Benny phillips won the over all slopestyle and local BMX rider, paul langlands won the best trick.
it was an awesome event. Teva really knows how to host a contest and Kelly Mcgarry and Tom Hey really knows how to build a sick course!
Just want to give a huge thanks to Teva for giving me the opportunity to come to new Zealand and be a part of this super cool event. I hope I can come back again next year!
More thanks to Norco Bicycles, Shimano, Kenda, Rockshox, WTB, Gravity, and Camp of Champions.
Photo credits go out to Stefan Haworth and Patrick Fallon