Words: T. Bird
Captions: Pat Bridges & T. Bird
Day three of The Launch 2012 Presented by Red Bull at Bear Mountain, California was the best yet…hands down. The morning started off with a similar crew from last night’s sunset session on the stepover jump, and with a gigantic crowd of general Bear Mountain public looking on, Mark McMorris, the brothers Mindnich, Cam FitzPatrick, Emil Ulsletten, Ole Christian Hagen, Broc Waring, Sam Taxwood, Craig McMorris Caden Michnal, and more put on one of the most spectacular displays of freestyle park riding that I’ve ever bore witness to. Highlights included Mark McMorris’s double cork back ten, his brother Craig’s crail to super late back 180, Cam FitzPatrick’s Cab fives, Sam Taxwood’s front nines, back sevens, and front sevens, Hans and Nils’s style (they have insane style), Broc Waring’s super floaty corked front fives, Emil Ulsletten’s double cork, and Ole Christian Hagen’s gigantic frontside spins. The cheers from the onlookers watching from just outside the rope line and the sound of sleds shuttling the riders back up top made for one hell…sorry, this is The Launch…“heck” of a morning.
After lunch, the riders dabbled around in the bowl and quarterpipe area. From what I saw, Taxwood, Merrick Joyce, Zak Hale and Max Warbington were hauling into the flat bar at Mach speed and gapping up to it. Red Gerard, Stefan Krumm, Zach Normandin, Brock Crouch, and a handful of others were sessioning a high speed line into the pole jam, and Zander Blackmon, Ben Bilodeau, and Jaeger Bailey hit up the up rail with mind-boggling variations. Zander was going for ollie over 270s to front board, while Ben opted for the more straight on noseblunt pretzel out, and Jaeger hucked backflip to switch 50-50s. Oh yeah, and Hans Mindnich stalled on the top of the damn…sorry…“darn” thing.
After the madness settled in the major artery through The Launch setup, a group of riders wanted to get in on a little sunset session on the tree gap. The tree gap is a massive wedge that sends the jumper catapulting through the air, up and over a large, deadwood tree. Quite literal, if you ask me. Anyway, Stefan Krumm, Jack Herald, Ben and Gabe Ferguson, Zak Hale, JD Dennis, Craig McMorris, Jaeger Bailey, and more sent it ’til the sun went down and between the tricks they tossed and the golden light, it made for some mind-blowing imagery. Basically, today was the day that The Launch got really “frickin’” gnarly (See? I caught myself there). Check out the photo gallery and the Day Three video and be sure to keep up to date with all the happenings from The Launch 2012 Presented by Red Bull going down all this week at Bear Mountain, California.