Besides the great weather, beautiful landmarks, Hollywood, Disneyland and the many other appeals of
California, many people come here for the opportunities to enjoy both
the beach and the mountains, but rarely on the same day. On March 16 APU students joined hundreds of college students from Southern California for a day of surfing and snowboarding in an event put on by Red Bull.
For someone that sees Saturdays as a perfect opportunity to catch up on sleep, this past Saturday proved to be challenge. An early morning wake up call took me to Huntington Beach with 500 plus surfers. Pro Surfer Jamie Sterling, native of Hawaii and sponsored by Red Bull, met many students there to surf the waves of Huntington. With his recent win at the Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic on the coast of Oregon, Sterling is a surfer to be watching in upcoming contests. He is known for his ability to both surf as well as tow surf, which is surfing behind a jet ski. According to quotes provided by a Red Bull press release Sterling was excited to ride the waves and the slopes.
“The difference is you can’t get barreled
snowboarding. That’s the only thing missing for snowboarding,” Sterling said. “The
similarities are your having fun on a water based substance. The speeds
are similar, 30-50 MPH. The maneuvers are very similar except rail
grinds. Big mountain snowboarding is very similar to big wave surfing.
You’re pushing the limits in a realm that’s seldom ridden. Surfing and
snowboarding gives you the freedom to express your desired choice of
line on a wave or mountain as well as your natural style.”
The morning started early—8 a.m. in Huntington Beach. Surfing went on for an hour and a half as the waves were crowded, the water cold and with the energy that it takes to surf, an hour and a half was long enough. The buses were planned to leave at 9:30 but mine didn’t leave until 10:15.
Four hours later and we were at Big Bear. After getting rentals and everything together, I was on the slopes at 2:30 p.m. and the park was closing at 4 p.m.—I had an hour and a half. The lines were short for a Saturday and for the dumping of 12 buses of college students. The slopes were full of snow for a day in March.
Other than a bit of slush and getting used to a rental and wishing that I brought my board from home, the day was beautiful and an experience I will never forget.
Red Bull Sponsored snowboarder native to California and winner of snowboarder of the year in 2010 John Jackson welcomed the students at Big Bear. In an interview with a Red Bull representative Jackson shared his excitement for the event.
“I’m really excited for this year’s Red Bull
Switchboard event,” Jackson said. “Who wouldn’t want to do two of the most pure,
liberating sports in one day at opposite sides of the spectrum—surfing
at sea level and boarding at an elevation 8,000 feet. I’ve surfed and
snowboarded all over the world and very rarely can you do them both in
one day, so this will be a treat.”
Sophomore business major Alex Forsyth went with APU
to switchboard and enjoyed the experience and would do it if the event
came back next year. He was able to meet both of the pro boarders and with one he even used the gnar game, which was a new concept to me. The gnar game is when you go up to a pro boarder and say ‘Dude, I can’t believe you’re pro. I’m so much better than you.’ Johnson knew what he was talking about and he ‘freaked out.’Forsyth has a Mountain High pass and had never been to Bear mountain, which is a bit father up the mountain than Mountain High. “We went boarding for a while, we go there at 12:30 so we got about three hours of boarding and went and I loved Bear compared to Mountain High,” Forsyth said.
The event went well and if you weren’t able to make it, you can always grab a group of friends and do it yourself, plan accordingly on time and get sleep the night before. Boarding twice in one day is tiring, but worth it.