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Mountain Creek Hosts Smith Grudge Match
March 12, 2005  words and photos by Lauren

Mountain Creek held the Smith "Rail and Big Air Tournament" as opposed to the rail jam we were expecting. The Smith limo with the rail welded on top broke down on the highway and was in the shop for the weekend. Other sponsors were Nitro and Da Kine. Features were a flat to down rail/box and a 35 foot show booter (table top jump.)

L to R - Rob Cloupe (Smith), Justin Stem (2nd Place), Rob Z (Nitro) and Greg Stem (1st Place Winner)
27 competitors started out and after one run each, were knocked down to 16. The contest was "man on man" with the matches picked out of a hat, and winners of each round then competing against each other. When it came down to the final 2, it was brothers Justin and Greg Stem competing head to head.

As usual, the competitors asked "can't we just split the prize money?" and as usual, the answer was "NO." Greg threw down a 540 underflip to win. This is an off-axis or corked spin often used in a competition where they don't allow inverted tricks. Much more dramatic than a straight spin but not technically breaking the invert rule.

 
Justin was combined champ for all 5 USASA events in the 18-22 age group 3 years in a row. He won the Forum Youngbloods locally this year and is going to the finals in CA.

Greg Stem has evolved into a top rail rider. He won one the of first Peanut Butter and Rail Jams in Park City Finals, the Pro Am Slopestyle at Mountain Creek, Saturday's Smith Grudge Match, and podiumed at Forum Youngbloods.
It's fun to go and watch contests. And you can win big in the swag toss, even if you're not competing. There are probably contests held at your favorite mountain.

Check http://www.SnowboardEventsCalendar.com to see what's going on.
(Hint: Use www.sbEventsCalendar.com if you're lazy!)

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