Words: Chas Smith
Unfortunately we couldn’t get over to Jackson for stop one of The Natural Selection Tour. We have however found the perfect man on the ground to cover the action, vibe and scene beyond the actual event…The Surf Journalist, WSL & Stab agitator and Moncler wearing Chas Smith.
Chas is smack bang in the middle of all action that is Natural Selection this week. We’ve thrown him in the deep end amongst the best athletes, serious snowboard journalists and event organisers. He’s ready to step into the ring and play with the heavyweights… Moncler boots, daughters backpack and all.
Take it away Chas…
“Well if this is out there, think of how much more is out there!” Navin R. Johnson danced through his parents’ living room, shouting, after listening to music that spoke to him for the very first time.
That jerk took his inspiration into the wide, wide world working as a circus performer and gas station attendant before finding his fortune through inventing the Opti-Grab™ thereby revolutionizing eyewear forever.
This jerk is a surf journalist and heard the siren song of the mountains tumbling down powdery hills following his ex-professionally snowboarding wife, a Make-a-Wish kid and the world’s greatest snowboarder Travis Rice years ago though hasn’t been able to cover an actual professional snowboarding event until right now.
Covid-19 has laid bare my World Surf League and all of its various contests. Bungling, lack of imagination, arrogant stupidity has canceled not one but two entire professional surfing seasons and when I heard Travis Rice, the very same Travis Rice who I had tumbled behind, who took a nice bite out of my young daughter’s head, was launching an entire tour in a dystopia called Natural Selection… well.
…how much more is out there?
And so I flew to Jackson Hole with my ex-professionally snowboarding wife and Travis Rice’s snack to see.
A media junket was announced the day after we arrived.
Professional surfing has not conducted a media junket since I ran a hot lap on the European leg of the tour, then called the Association of Surfing Professionals, fifteen years ago. Professional surfing hates its media so a junket?
When I walked up seeing every professional snowboarder participating in Natural Selection freely, happily mingling with the snowboard media, beer and the best sausages in the world courtesy of local sausage maker Bovine & Swine, a genuine air of excitement and camaraderie, I could not believe my eyes.
What is this?
My young daughter, waiting for me to take her ice skating on the adjacent rink but sensing opportunity, took her just consumed ring pop and used it as a microphone to interview the greatest in this snowboarding game about some bunny avalanche.
I drank free Fat Tire, staring at my cheetah print Moncler alpine boots, shy and off my game because what?
Snowboard journalists can actually talk to professional snowboarders while drinking free Fat Tire, eating bespoke sausages featuring bacon and blue cheese,
I didn’t ask any questions.
My young daughter got answers on the bunny avalanche from everyone including Mark McMorris who confused “bunny avalanche” with Nevada’s famous brothel “Bunny Ranch,” Travis Rice who issued a lecture on natural selection, Hana Beaman who was worried about the trauma of the bunnies and their collective PTSD and Blake Paul who hoped the bunnies had pieps, a shovel and backpack.
The legendary David Carrier-Porcheron was the one who triggered the bunny avalanche and should have been at Natural Selection, including the legendary press junket, except he is surfing in Costa Rica and cannot make it due Covid-19.
She is clearly a better snowboard journalist than me but I have early ups on the tram, tomorrow morning, with the snowboard journalist community.
I don’t have pieps, a shovel or a backpack.
More as the story develops.