Photos: Nathaniel Harrington
Words & captions: Drew Amer

This past Saturday, February 25th, Ashbury Eyewear and Snowboarder Magazine partnered up to organize a huge gathering of Minnesota snowboarders. The Ashbury Mid-West Demo brought 80+ contestants to Hyland Hills to session a perfectly groomed course. Riders signed up to snowboard in the Open Round in the hopes of winning an entry into the Demo Round later that evening. The Open Round winner with the best overall riding in the Demo Round would receive an invite to the main Ashbury Demo at Bear Mountain, CA on March 17.

Ashbury team members and Hyland locals Joe Sexton, Jake Olson-Elm, Dan “Danimals” Liedahl and others hung out and watched the Open Round action. The hour long jam was wild, to say the least. A fury of tricks were unleashed, the likes of which I have never quite seen before. With 80+ kids hot-lapping the tow rope, the course was quickly destroyed, both literally and figuratively.

Along with the Ashbury team, guest judges Mike Pettit from Youth Shelter Supply and Joe Mertes helped select riders to advance to the Demo Round. Craig Cameron, Aidan Flanagan, John Overson, Jesse Paul, Erik Oberson, Zak Peterson, Zeke Oppegaard, Aaron Becker, and Ryan Holupchinski proved themselves worthy of joining the heavy list of pros and regional ams in the Demo. Riding along side the Open Round winners were Joe Sexton, Jake Olson-Elm, Danimals, Justin Fornius, Austin Young, Viktor Simco, Brandon Larson, Jordan Michilot, Joe Mertes, Krister Ralles, Mark Wilson, Austin Leonard, Brian Wilson, Jared Jordan, Colin WIlson, Cole Linzmeyer, Jordan Daniels, Garret McKenzie, Peter Limberg, and Shane Hoschette. The line-up was stacked, and the riding in the Demo Round did not disappoint.

In the end, it was the smooth style, low-key demeanor, and deep bag of tricks that impressed the judges and riders to award Aidan Flanagan with the invite to the Ashbury Demo at Bear Mountain. Big thanks to Hyland, Ashbury, and all the riders that made it out for the event. Special thanks to Ashbury Director of Sales Pete Harvieux for making the event a huge success. Pete has his finger on the pulse of the Minnesota snowboard scene, and offered his thoughts on the event:

“It was really fun to have such a rich scene of slayers, a few being Ashbury pros, coming from Hyland and surrounding resorts to ride with the locals. It’s always special when riders continue to come back to their home resort to ride with the next generation of riders looking to further their skills and styles. The vibes were unique and friends were aplenty. Thanks to all the riders for coming and sharing the shred.”