Olympic silver medalist Kyle Mack gets wish to compete in Dew Tour Streetstyle
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What: Dew Tour Streetstyle
When: Friday, 6-7:45 p.m.
Where: Intersection of Main Street/Washington Avenue, downtown Breckenridge
After a few years of nagging Dew Tour organizers to let him into their streetstyle competition, Silverthorne resident Kyle Mack will get his chance to showcase his street skills on Friday under the lights in downtown Breckenridge.
“I’m so ready to come in there and compete against these rail rats and see what I can do,” Mack said, “see if my skill level competes with them.”
Mack rocketed to instant Olympic fame last year when he won the silver medal in the debut Olympic snowboard big air competition. The iconic image of Mack executing his trademark “Bloody Dracula” grab high above the South Korean snow back in February could serve almost as a Jerry West-like NBA silhouette for park and pipe snowboarding.
It’s a trick that required the native Michigander to complete four full 360-degree horizontal rotations while also grabbing the rear of his snowboard with both of his mittened-hands. The move is named as such because, if a snowboarder fails to get it around, there’s a distinct possibility he or she will smash their face into the snow.
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“It’s style,” Mack said of the move. “It’s something no one else does. Something that really spoke to me and made me want to try it and do it.
“Whenever I ride I always try to be different and do something different with my style and try to always be creative in my own way so people can see my creativity, and that’s something I will always bring to slopestyle. Something that I have always stood out with.”
Mack will showcase his snowboarding versatility at a streetstyle event that certainly isn’t built to execute tricks of that magnitude. Rather, Mack will return to his snowboarding roots, which he developed on the smaller hills and shoveled streets in and around his hometown of West Bloomfield, Michigan.
When Mack told some of his pro snowboader buddies Nik Baden, Red Gerard, Brock Crouch and Judd Henkes he’d gotten into streetstyle, they all had his back.
“They were saying that I got this,” Mack said, “that I’m finally competing in something that I’m going to come in with some heat that no one is ready for. It’s been really cool to see all of my friends reactions that I’m in it, they are actually all stoked and they are all cheering for me.”
Back in that suburb of Detroit as a kid, Mack was more into rail-jam-based contests, where he evolved his crafty approach to street features. At the streestyle course at the intersection of Breckenridge’s Main Street and Washington Avenue on Friday at 6 p.m., Mack will go up against other top streetriders including Canadian Darcy Sharpe, who is a multi-time streetstyle winner and one of the favorites heading into Friday’s contest.
“I’m excited to see what he’s bringing this year,” Mack said, “and to see what I can switch up against him and to see what the judges like. And then Brandon Davis with his style — it’s cool to see streetstyle, because it’s a lot of style. When you get all squirmy and ugly, they don’t really like it. So it’s a good show.”
Nursing a bum ankle suffered at a World Cup big air event in Cardrona, New Zealand, in September, Mack said he isn’t yet sure what exact run he’ll have through the streetstyle course. It figures to include his customary pull-backs, pretzels and presses. In snowboarding, a pull-back is when a snowboarder turns 270 onto a feature before coming off switch, or the opposite way. A pretzel occurs when a snowboarder executes a board-slide, instead of continuing and spinning the same way, the snowboarder goes the opposite way and spins out.
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Mack’s entry into Friday’s streetstyle competition certainly isn’t the first time he’s chosen to seek out atypical contests built for more stylish riding. A few months back, Mack competed in the first-ever White Festival event in France where snowboarders were towed into a stadium of four features.
“So it was kind of like you could do anything you wanted,” Mack said “From a hip, to a quarter pipe to a rail — you literally could do anything you wanted with that. And that was the coolest part. … You snowboard to be different and to do different things. I enjoy things that are different and not normal, and sooner or later hopefully people that follow snowboarding will start kind of getting it and liking that too.”
On the heels of his silver-medal Olympic run, Mack is still dialed into the competition scene, including Sunday’s snowboard slopestyle competition. But his main priority right now is his movie he’s currently filming with the Mayhem snowboarding gang that includes Baden, Gerard, Crouch, Davis and Drew Hastings. The film will include street and backcountry footage shot in Colorado, Montana, Japan and Finland.
“It’s a little more talking than a typical snowboarding movie,” Mack said. “It’s a little more behind the scenes, but it’s still going to have good snowboarding, still going to have good crews. … to show everyone what snowboarding takes. And what it really takes to make a video and what it really takes to stay in the competition level. To show kids to chase your dreams and things are possible. And, if you want it, you are going to have to go out and work for it, because even though a lot of people get to see all of the good that we have, they don’t really see the bad.”
As for the future progression of competitions like slopestyle, Mack said he’d like to see more riders throw in creative grabs and takes on spin-cycle tricks such as 1260s and 1440s. When it comes to the evolution of courses, he’d like to see slope courses take a hint from Snow Park Technologies’ fresh take on the modified superpipe at Dew Tour this week.
“It’d be cool to see big hips and big quarter pipes in a slopestyle run,” Mack said. “To be honest, things that you don’t normally see would be sick. That would be the sickest contest. It would allow for way more stylish tricks. It would allow for being more creative snowboarding than seeing who could spin to win.
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