Words: T-Bird
Captions: Pat Bridges

The Launch 2012 presented by Red Bull, with additional support provided by Giro, went off today at Bear Mountain. Many people call their experience at Bear “Beach Boardin’” due to the always temperate climate on-hill and today, for the first day of The Launch, was true to form. With not a cloud in sight, no wind, and 70-plus degree temps, the riders were greeted to a park like none other, thanks to Clayton Shoemaker and his diligent crew of pushers and shapers.

Bear Mountain has cut its teeth by manufacturing the some of the world’s most premier park features, and their hard work has paid off, as now, riders from all over the globe travel to the west coast’s park Mecca to lap an entire mountain riddled with jibs, jumps, and tranny. All of this culminated today when The Launch park was unveiled. Transition abound, jumps, redirects, and one massive step down/road gap-esque hit all funneling through the main gully and offering infinite options provided a day of filming and shooting for the ages.

Last year’s Launch standout Garrett Warnick is looking to repeat his title with some of the most creative lines of the day, capping off the afternoon session with a redirect wallride on the gargantuan channel gap. Garrett was killing it. Other standouts included Blake Paul, who was putting down crazy backside three seatbelts and sending the big quarterpipe, San Taxwood and Max Warbington, who planted their palms on the up/down rail set against the quarterpipe. Zander Blackmon’s 270 to methods, Jaeger Bailey’s back rodeos, Red Gerard’s skate-inspired redirects, and of course Hans Mindnich’s alley oops were some of the best tricks during the afternoon session on the jump to quarter wall. Broc Waring was going huge on the quarter while Cam Fitzpatrick rode away from some over easy handplants. The biggest cheer from the onlookers came when Ben Ferguson stepped to the road gap jump. Pointing it toward the beast, Ben tossed a few front fives that he couldn’t quite seem to put down due to a terminal velocity run out that got the session started on the rest of the setup. Mark my words though, if Ben’s feeling up to it in the coming three days, he’s gonna ride away from it, and it will be one of the tricks of the week up here at Bear.
We still have three days left to go, so keep checking back to snowboardermag.com every day for exclusive galleries, write-ups, and videos from The Launch 2012 presented by Red Bull at Bear Mountain.