The second iteration of our ghoulish gathering took place deep in the heart of New Hampshire in Waterville Valley. We assembled team riders from all over the globe, stuffed them in two AirBNBs, and let them run wild on a hand built Snowboy Productions for three days. This one-of-a-kind course filled to the brim with transition, sidehits, metal, and everything in between stood no chance for the Rome crew. Behold, the 2023 Sidehit Seance edit from Rome Snowboards.
As non-local boarders started arriving to Boston the day before the event, the excitement was building already. European imports Len Jorgensen and Martin Laesser were greeted by Rome sales manager & certified Mass-hole Dan Sullivan. After a pitstop at Legal Seafood for a cup of chowdah and a Sam Adams the Euro crew was on their way to New Hampshire to meet up with the rest of the riders.
As stragglers arrived and packed into the main AirBNB on arrival night the spirits were high. Throughout the week the nightly activities consisted of stuffing too many people into a hot tub, Jeff Hopkins' run games of CeeLo, Joey Leon hijacking the TV to put on obscure long forgotten snowboard edits, and Sully playing the banjo on top of the kitchen island.
The quiver reporting for duty
Extracurriculars aside, day 1 started with a chilly, overcast New Hampshire morning. Once the boarders got a glimpse of the course for the first time and trick ideas started flying, the reality of the Seance hit hard. All we had to wait for was a pregame speech from Krush and then the bloodthirsty boarders were set free to feast on the course. As the riders were hiking up the course to get their first drops the clouds broke, as if conjured by a higher power. We had the course, we had the riders, we had the vibes, and now we had the weather.
The first feature to be sessioned was a natural cliff drop by the entrance of the course. Madison Blackley and Pat McManus led the charge by warming up with a selection of clean grabs and smooth landings. As riders were dialing their lines in one feature quickly stood out as a team favorite. A gap off of buried tree branches with a landing on other tree branches was the closest thing we had to a traditional 'jump.' Naturally, slopestyle phenoms Connor Cavanagh and Frank Jobin were all over this gap, throwing spins and flips that probably should not have been possible. Up-and-coming grom Haven Kennedy wasn't far behind either.
|Connor Cavanagh tree to tree
The day finished off with a huge session on the lower section. Always a favorite in any Snowboy event, the large volcano got plenty of love. Ruby Peyton, Michael Hoy, and Martin Laesser were effortlessly tweaking grabs like it was the 90's. Ralph Kucharek, nimbler than anyone his height should be, finished the day strong on the lower quarterpipe with an assortment of handplants.
|Madison Blackley straight off the cliff
|Michael Hoy straight outta Johnny Tsunami
The start of day two saw our resident jib experts Ava Peterson, Drake Warner, Noah Coville, and Joey Leon searching for any steel, wood, or rock they could get their hands on. After a flat tube session lasting most of the morning led everyone back to the volcano. Rad dad Jordan Phillips was teaching the young'ns how to do a proper method, and certified air men Jeff Hopkins and Casey Savage sent it to the moon.
|I mean, c'mon! Jeff Hopkins should've been an astronaut
|Joey Leon never met a piece of steel he didn't like
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No...that's just Dingus.
Casey Savage mega tailgrab
Day three saw some absolute heaters go down as boarders realized that the Seance was in fact about to end. As some riders were opting to hike single features in an effort to get their final bangers, Nate Haust, Len Jorgensen, and Max Glatzl were pulling Iron Man duty all day. Going top-to-bottom hike laps from open to close, these three found just about every line possible on the Sidehit Seance course.
|Nate Haust: the silent destroyer
|Len Jorgensen with a video game grab
As energy levels dwindled the Seance turned to good old fashioned party boarding. A hellride from the top of the course culminated in a train of slashes at the bottom quarterpipe. As is tradition the crew found a second wind after the party lap and proceeded to do it again and again. As the sun started to set over the New Hampshire mountains we said our goodbyes to the Seance course for good and headed back to the condo.
Sitting around a small New Hampshire diner eating insane portions of biscuits and gravy the crew was already reminiscing about the week. What was originally slated to be a classic grey, cold New England week in March ended up as three perfectly bluebird days. The vibes conjured up by the Seance did not disappoint, as seen in full effect in the full recap. Watch the full insanity go down below!