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Cold Stoke at the 2017 Gerry Lopez Big Wave Challenge

Patagonia  /  Apr 19, 2017  /  3 Min Read  /  Surfing

Photo: Richard Hallman

Snowboarding began as a way of riding waves in their frozen form. There are still plenty of snow shredders who take their inspiration from surf style—and plenty of surfers who are just as stoked to get up into the mountains.

Each year at Mt. Bachelor, the Gerry Lopez Big Wave Challenge celebrates the links between the sports, with a course full of spines, transitions and banked corners shaped into stationary waves for laybacks, tail throws, airs and rail turns.

It’s a gathering of the tribe with a variety of awards for inspired performances that show commitment, speed, power, flow, style, difficult maneuvers and flow throughout the entire run. But ultimately, as Gerry says, winning isn’t the point: “When you can come and have a good time and leave with a smile on your face … then that’s a good event.”

Photo: Richard Hallman

Jason Slezak throws a shaka for spring snow. Photo: Richard Hallman

Photo: Richard Hallman

Gerry introduced more of an expression session style of judging at this year’s event. One of the new awards was best slash. Photo: Richard Hallman

Photo: Richard Hallman

Each section of the course was named after a favorite surf spot. Photo: Richard Hallman

Photo: Richard Hallman

Aloha shirts were encouraged. Photo: Richard Hallman

Photo: Richard Hallman

Just like the beach at Waikiki, Mt. Bachelor in spring brings out the wahines.  Photo: Richard Hallman

Photo: Richard Hallman

Alex Yoder shows the judges some skate style, another one of the new award categories. Photo: Richard Hallman

Photo: Richard Hallman

Airs and Pipeline aren’t typically synonymous but Forrest Shearer makes it look perfectly natural. Photo: Richard Hallman

Photo: Richard Hallman

Sea or snow, Gerry Lopez always rides with pure style and commitment. Photo: Richard Hallman

Photo: Richard Hallman

Congratulations to all the winners! Photo: Richard Hallman

Big thanks to everyone who came out and unleashed their surf style over the weekend. Mahalos to Mt. Bachelor for their hospitality year after year, to all the event sponsors and to Gerry for hosting this wonderful event.

For more coverage, head over to The Snowboarder’s Journal, Transworld Snowboarding and Snowboard Mag.

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