Locals lay out claim to Ripzone titles 

Photo Scott Brammer
  • Photo Scott Brammer

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The win couldn’t have gone to a nicer guy. While the press lined up to photograph Tartre, he was shaking hands with members of the audience, handing out stickers and signing autographs.

When they finally got the backdrop together for the podium, Tartre smiled at the crowd, showed off his mullet, and had fun with his fellow competitors. He thanked the audience as loudly as he could, and proceeded to entertain his interviewers. This guy can talk.

In different interviews Tartre attributed the win to his mullet hairstyle, to his snowboard wax (Huknfast Stunt Wax, if you’re curious), to the Blackcomb Terrain Park, to his backcountry riding, to his girlfriend in Austria, and to his love of punk music. And to a lot of training.

"The backcountry is good to go big, but it’s totally different. I grew up riding in Quebec and you get used to riding the ice and making nice landings. If your landings are off, you’re going to get hurt there," said Tartre. "In the backcountry, it’s a lot more forgiving and you have to lean so far back in your landings. You don’t want to get too used to that, because if you land like that on a hard surface, you’re going to crash.

"To get ready for this, I just took a few spins through the Terrain Park, not really spinning or anything, just going big and getting used to being in the air, and concentrating on my landings.

"It worked. I was relaxed, and feeling pretty good coming into the contest. I had a lot of energy, you might have noticed."

Tartre, who has finished among the top riders every year for the past five years, said the win before his hometown crowd and the hockey mask trophy he and the other finalists were given was even sweeter than the payday.

After more than half an hour of interviews, Tartre signed autographs for all of his fans who stuck around after the contest.

If that doesn’t say enough about Tartre, you should have seen him about half an hour after that. He hung around and helped the event organizers set up the boxes for the Ripzone Jibzone contest, which was scheduled for the following day.

With the hip hop band Abstract Rude on the mainstage drawing the crowd’s attention, only a few people saw Tartre make his coolest move of the afternoon. He hopped up on a C-shaped slanted box in his snowboard boots, slid to the end did a twisting backflip off the end to land on his feet in the snow.

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