High Noon Duel has many firsts this year
Special to the Sky-Hi News
The Third Annual High Noon Duel went off like a bang in the Rail Yard at Winter Park Resort last Saturday, April 16. There were fewer teams this year due to a massive spring blizzard that prevented some of the Front Range teams from getting up to the competition, but the stoke was just as high.
The High Noon Duel is the brainchild of snowboarding mad scientists Ben Lynch and Ryan Arrington, Winter Park Snowboard Team members who met in middle school and recognized immediately that they were two-of-a-kind.
“We were always making the coaches angry because we were off doing our thing,” said Lynch. “We found out we snowboarded better (physically) close together by egging each other on. We were so comfortable with the way each other snowboards, that it became a natural thing. We clicked … we read each other’s minds! Eventually, we came up with the idea of the High Noon Duel, which is basically synchronized snowboarding with teams of two and four. We’d never seen that in snowboarding before, so we decided to do it. It’s organized chaos!”
The course includes cannon rails and three consecutive kickers with unique touches … such as a hula hoop to jump through. The vibe for the last three years has been low-pressure and inclusive – anyone that wants to sign up for the Duel can participate with only a $10 entry fee. It’s more of a celebration of friends being able to try crazy park features not normally found in a terrain park.
Indi Stewart, a second-grader at Fraser Elementary School, decided to join the fun this year, and was invited to join the “Snake Farm” team.
“To have an event where a kid is able to join in is awesome,” said Indy’s father, Jay Stewart of Fraser. “Granted, Indi may not be your average eight-year-old on a board, but to get to participate in a format where he is on a team with other riders and they create a line together is something that is super unique in snowboarding! He was half in awe of it and half ready to show off, and it was great to see the others rooting for him and his team.”
Indi teamed up with Tyler MacLeod, Evan Glenn, and Tyler Harper, and they finished second out of two teams. “I was just one of the guys having fun with snowboarders!” Indi stated.
There were other “firsts” this year: A woman, Delia Master, joined a team. Wolf Eugene was able to do backflip that turned into a rodeo flip through one of the hula hoops, clipping the top of it with his board, but landing it cleanly. Besides cannon rails and hula hoops, there was also a “windmill” feature this year that spun around if a rider jibbed it right.
The teams judged each other, alternating viewing locations from above and below the course. The judging didn’t really matter, according to Lynch, because everyone was having such a great time and the prizes were “random” and off-the-wall crazy. It was more like a group of buddies having a jump session together. Awards were given for first, second and third for teams of two and four, and for the craziest tricks.
Winter Park Resort has been very supportive of Ryan and Lynch over the years, as the pair has produced snowboarding videos and photo shoots based there that have been a good source of media exposure for the resort. The two are on the resort’s Pro Team, and describe themselves as “ambassadors” of Winter Park. They are also sponsored by Airblaster snowboard attire, Smokin Snowboards, and Union bindings.
Look for an article on the event by Snowboarder magazine.
“We’re trying to get this event in the Olympics,” Lynch joked. “But seriously, we’d like to see more women participate in the High Noon Duel next year.”
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