words: T. Bird

There is much debate regarding the invention of the handplant, as there most always is when trying to credit one individual with the discovery of anything. However, when a young skateboarder named Bobby Valdez rode up the wall of a vert ramp, put his hand on the coping, extended his legs over his head while grabbing his board, and re-entered back into the ramp, claiming that it was a monumental moment in skateboarding is the understatement of the century.

That was back when snowboarding was just a glimmer in skating and surfing’s eye. Jake Burton and Tom Sims were manufacturing boards by hand, the act itself was banned by every major ski area and shunned upon by snowsports enthusiasts. Fast forward three-and-a-half decades and here we are. Triple corks are the new rage, death-defying video part tricks are a dime a dozen, and outside entities are attempting to get their hands on a piece of our pie. It’s all evolution, really, just the path things naturally take. But, with that evolution comes a necessity to de-evolve, to look back at what really made this all happen, and to pay homage to those who helped us get here.

Now I’m not saying that JP Walker’s first annual Handplant Holiday was anything more than an assemblage of some of the best handplanters in the world, but after spending the weekend at Bear Mountain and watching the wide-ranging group of talent blow my mind without even leaving the ground, I guess that’s just how I chose to analyze it.

Clayton Shoemaker and the Bear Mountain park staff pushed up a pile of transition worthy of the solidity that the list of talent brought with it. JP invited nine riders to compete, and the list was a substantial cache of world-class planters: Simon Chamberlain, Jeremy Jones, Chris Grenier, Cody Rosenthal, Marko Grilc, Scott Stevens, Tim Eddy, Pat Bridges, and Ben Bilocq know how to get their hands wet and the features that Clay and crew built were perfectly tailored to fit this event, as there was available transition on each and every inch of the setup.

Rather than make the contest a jam session judged by overall impression, JP tweaked the setup by breaking up the ten riders into two teams of five and giving each squad a legendary Team Captain in Dale Rehberg and Dave Downing. Rehberg headed up Team One while Downing took the reins of Team Two. The two crews were chosen the night before the event and it broke down like this:

Team One:
Tim Eddy
JP Walker
Simon Chamberlain
Pat Bridges
Ben Bilocq

Team Two:
Jeremy Jones
Scott Stevens
Chris Grenier
Cody Rosenthal
Marko Grilc

The rules were broken down by The Don after the teams were chosen. JP created a list of handplants that were deemed “Hard,” “Harder,” “Hardest,” and the daunting “Undoable.” Examples of each category respectively would be Eggplant Tailgrab (Hard, 20 points), Frontside Invert Tailgrab (Harder, 30 points), Elguerial Nosegrab (Hardest, 50 points), and Fastplant to Miller Flip or Frontside Invert (150 points).

JP broke up the setup into eight different features on the course and they were: Stock Transition, Channel, Extension, Hip, Spine, Corner, Wall (in which you must get coping for your trick to count), and Miscellaneous. In each one, the categories of handplants were specifically catered to how hard it would be to land a certain plant on that feature, though some of the harder plants were repeated because they’re nearly impossible to do on anything. The two teams would battle it out all day long up on Bear, trying to amass the most points. The crew with the most points wins, and the Team Captains (Rehberg and Downing) were in charge of keeping track of what had been done and how many points their team had during the sessions. However, if a Team Captain wanted to man up and put a hand down, the points for the particular plant they chose would be automatically doubled. The only other stipulations were:

Only one person per team can score points for a challenge (if one of your teammates completes a challenge, other teammates will not be awarded points for completing the same challenge. Any grab OK unless specified.

On top of the winning team earning $1,000 per person for the overall win, there would also be an MVP (Most Valuable Planter), and a Handplant of the Day Award with special prizes awarded for both of those as well.

On Saturday morning, the riders took a sled lap up to the zone courtesy of the unbelievable park staff of Bear and the looks on their faces immediately showed that they were about to absolutely destroy this transition sanctuary. Early on, Simon Chamberlain took it to the features with some of the most technical handplanting I’ve witnessed in a long time. Ben Bilocq followed suit. In the early stages of the morning, Team One had amassed a ton of points thanks to those two dudes. For Team Two, Jeremy Jones and Marko Grilc were on a tear planting over the channel as Downing looked on while trying to keep track of what plants were properly grabbed and landed so they could score the points legitimately.

Eventually, the contest moved over to the wall where the Team Two duo of Chris Grenier and Scott Stevens took it to the wallride with calculated abandon. Both of them landed frontside inverts up on top while Pat Bridges planted a perfect Andrecht on the coping for Team One. JP and Ben took their handy skills to the corner tranny next to the wall trying to redirect in and both piled up a few notches for their squad while Tim Eddy and Cody Rosenthal tried their hand at the spine with a few frontside inverts and Andrechts. However, it was Simon Chamberlain who pretty much shut the session down with a switch Andrecht on the coping and rode away as the standout going into the lunch break.

After eating some good (and really healthy) food, the teams were recharged and ready to get back on the grind, and what a grind it was. It was hot, the sun was blazing, and everyone was starting to get tired, but you could never tell from the action going down. Everyone cruised over to the tombstone zone and a few branched off during that session to hit the hip and the cone. Grendys put down some switch Andrechts on the tombstone while Grilo hucked his meat and became the second rider in history (that I’ve seen) to land the near impossible Warlock. Ben, Simon, and Jeremy planted a few tech tricks in that area while Pat Bridges stomped a one-foot Andrecht for some serious points. Tim Eddy started taking full top-to-bottom runs, ripping the bowls, and finding lines that Dale Rehberg was overheard saying were, “fucking sick.” Dale later added, “that kid is insane. He’s got this course figured out.” He was right.

JP took it to the cone with frontside inverts and Andrechts while Grilo and Grendys followed suit, but Simon landed some heavy stuff on the hip, including an Eggplant to fakie, cementing his run toward that coveted MVP trophy. There was so much that went down on Saturday that it should be worth 150 points if I can recall it all (Undoable) and with the first event that officially stamps JP’s name to it, the 2013 Handplant Holiday was the perfect way to tip the ol’ beanie to this winter. SNOWBOARDER Magazine would like to thank JP for inviting us up and letting us have so much fun, both while riding and watching. Be sure to keep an eye out for the next episode of “Jibberish: Volume 2” coming out exclusively on snowboardermag.com, and for now, check out the results and photos from an event that is hands down one of the best I’ve ever attended.

Results:

Winning Team: Team One: 3,420 points (Tim Eddy, JP Walker, Simon Chamberlain, Pat Bridges, Ben Bilocq).

Plant of the Day: Simon Chamberlain. Switch Andrecht on the wallride.

MVP: Simon Chamberlain, with 1,270 individual points throughout the day. [Editor’s Note: Simon won a Nixon watch for both Plant of the Day and MVP, so he gave one of his watches to Marko Grilc, who was in close contention for Plant of the Day (and MVP, in my opinion. Marko ripped). What a guy that Simon is, eh?

[Another Editor’s Note: Below we’ve listed JP’s full document from Handplant Holiday, just so you can see what all the options were.]

LIST OF HANDPLANT CHALLENGES
Only one person per team can score points for a challenge (If one of your teammates completes a challenge other teammates will not be awarded points for completing the same challenge.

Any Grab OK Unless Specified*

STOCK TRANSITION
Any straight up and down tranny*

HARD – 20 PT. EACH
Tailgrab Eggplant
Stalefish Frontside Invert
Layback Japan Revert

HARDER – 30 PT. EACH
One Footed Andrect (Back Foot Out)
Frontside Invert Tailgrab
Elguerial Sadplant
Switch Sadplant
Layback 540

HARDEST – 50 PT. EACH
Frontside Invert to Fakie
Phillips 66
McEgg Tailgrab
Elguerial 540
Elguerial Nosegrab
Switch Eggplant
Sadplant One-Foot (Japan Tweak)
Switch Frontside Invert
Rotten Egg Flip

UNDOABLE – 150 PT. EACH
Switch Frontside Invert to Fakie
Eggplant to Fakie
Warlock
Rotten Eggplant (360 only, Not 540 to Fakie)
Unit Tailgrab
Phillips 66 540
Fastplant To Miller Flip Or Frontside Invert
Switch Eggplant Tailgrab

CHANNEL
Must travel the channel before planting unless specified*

HARD – 20 PT. EACH
Frontside Invert
Invert To Fakie (Traveling either way)
Elguerial

HARDER – 30 PT. EACH
Alley-Oop Andrecht
Frontside Invert Stalefish
Eggflip
Switch Andrecht

HARDEST – 50 PT. EACH
Alley-Oop Eggflip
Alley-Oop Frontside Invert
McEgg

UNDOABLE – 150 PT. EACH
Switch Eggplant
Reverse Channel Plant (Andrecht first then travel the channel)
Phillips 66

EXTENSION:
Take off low, plant high. Travel any direction unless specified*

HARD – 20 PT. EACH
Andrecht
Frontside Invert
Layback

HARDER – 30 PT. EACH
Miller Flip
Alley-Oop Andrecht
Invert Revert

HARDEST – 50 PT. EACH
Elguerial
Eggplant
Andrecht Low to High (Plant Twice)
Switch Andrect

UNDOABLE – 150 PT. EACH
Alley-Oop Miller Flip
Andrect Low, High, Low (Plant three times)
Gap the Extension to Andrecht on far side

HIP:
Must Transfer Over a Hip (Any direction unless specified)

HARD – 20 PT. EACH
Invert Revert
Miller Flip
Layback Revert

HARDER – 30 PT. EACH
Switch Andrecht
Eggplant to Fakie
Elguerial
Frontside Invert

HARDEST – 50 PT. EACH
Alley-Oop Miller Flip
Unit
Switch Andrecht To Fakie (Backside Corner)

UNDOABLE – 150 PT. EACH
Frontside Invert to Fakie
Eggplant to Fakie (Backside corner)

SPINE:
Must transfer over a spine*

HARD – 20 PT. EACH
Miller Flip
Elguerial
Invert Revert

HARDER – 30 PT. EACH
Miller Flip 540
Eggflip
Andrecht (Transfer riding out forward)

HARDEST – 50 PT. EACH
Switch Andrecht To Fakie
Elguerial 540
Frontside Invert (Transfer Riding out Forward)

UNDOABLE – 150 PT. EACH
Fastplant to Miller Flip
McEgg
Phillips 66

CORNER:
Must plant opposite wall that you take off from or vice-versa (Re-enter different wall than you take off from)*

HARD – 20 PT. EACH
Andrecht
Andrecht to Fakie
Frontside Invert

HARDER – 30 PT. EACH
Elguerial
Miller Flip
Alley-Oop Andrecht

HARDEST – 50 PT. EACH
Unit
Eggplant
Alley-Oop Frontside Invert

UNDOABLE – 150 PT. EACH
Alley-Oop McEgg
Alley-Oop Elguerial
Alley-Oop Miller

WALL:
Must Get Coping For Points To Count*

HARD – 20 PT. EACH
Andrecht
Andrecht to Fakie
Layback

HARDER – 30 PT. EACH
Frontside Invert
Invert Revert
Transfer the Wall with any Handplant

HARDEST – 50 PT. EACH
Elguerial
Eggplant
Miller Flip

UNDOABLE – 150 PT. EACH
Switch Andrecht
Phillips 66
Eggflip

MISC:
Any Tranny Or Feature Unless Specified*

HARD – 20 PT. EACH
2 Different Handplants in a Run
Street Plant
Taipandrect

HARDER – 30 PT. EACH
3 Handplants in a Run
Switch Layback
Powerslide Up Tranny Directly Into A Frontside Invert (Must powerslide at least a board length)

HARDEST – 50 PT. EACH
One Footed Frontside Invert (Back Foot Out)
Tail Block Slide To Andrect (Grabbing nose while going up tranny to plant)
Ho-Ho To Egg Re-Entry
Streetplant
Andrecht to Tailblock
Canadian Bacon and Eggplant

UNDOABLE – 150 PT. EACH
3 Different Handplants In One Run
Any 5 Handplants in a Run
Handplant on Teammate’s Board While He is Mid-Plant
Andrecht Both Feet Unstrapped
Boneless Miller Flip or Unit
Frontside Invert Streetplant (Dead flat)
Street Egg (Dead Flat)
Mixed Bag (Andrect to Ho-Ho to Egg)
Game Changer (Any plant to any plant all in one stall, but must change arms)

PLANT OF THE DAY:
All competitors vote for best plant, winner gets 150 points for their team.