Words by: Stuart Penny Photos by: Sean Naugle
The wind gave the NAST snowkiters a taste of the Jackson Hole powder on Wednesday keeping the stoke high as the next storm rolls in to clean up the tracks and set the stage for what looks to be a possible sickbird day on Friday. The first stop on the North American Snowkite Tour in Jackson Hole, Wyoming has provided a great spring-board for what hopes to be a rocking season of snowkiting and exploration in the back country.
Pro riders continued to roll in day by day from all over the country, reconnecting with their friends and sharing the stoke of the sessions and season to come. Our local host Will Taggert, Wayne Phillips, Pascal Joubert, and Charles Symons were also pleased to see the arrival of international riders Remi Muem from Norway, Jenn Milton from Austrailia, and local US riders John McCabe and Ken Lucas who both recently returned from New Zealand. There’s nothing like getting to share your backyard with others and what an amazing back yard it is. Hats off to these guys for stepping up and being our local inside track to the best locations Jackson Hole has to offer. Not to mention their dial on the wind information. We just couldn’t due Jackson Hole without these guys!
The deep snow proved a bit challenging at times for our media crew to navigate and set up. With stuck snowmobiles, cold walkie talkies, and howling winds, these guys earned they weight in gold making it to the top of the hill to capture our kiters throwin’ it down. The air of camaraderie and everyone looking out for each other was great to see as the winds shifted a few degrees to the south and became too gusty to kite, which eventually closed the session for the day. During which, every kiter on the mountain concerned themselves with making sure all were safely back at their vehicles before calling it a day. Just to be in the parking lot of this crew feels, at times, like coming home for the holidays. With grandparents pulling their grandsons and everyone one enjoying the company of our youngest rider, 14 year old Frances Cronin, as her smiling face is always nice to see.
With or without the wind, this is a community of truly exceptional people and I feel lucky to get to spend the winter with them. Stay tuned for our next update soon as the tour is shaping up to be one epic season. I’ve gotta give big props to our sponsors this year, Best, Ozone and F-One, for giving us the solid support as well as crankin’ riders like Jake Buzianis, Tyler Brown and Chris Nester just to mention a few. These guys along side of big power riders like Brad Gordan and new school talent like Luke Orton are gonna raise the bar this year, I have no doubt. This is gonna get sick!