Caldwell & Avery win first stop of the 3rd Annual A-Rob Smash Life Banked Slalom at Big Sky, Montana [GALLERY]

Words & photos: Reid Morth

2014 marks the third year of the Smash Life Banked Slalom Series. The series kicked-off in Big Sky, Montana and raised money for The A-Rob Plant A Seed Project and celebrated the life of Aaron who was an inspiration to so many people inside and outside of the snowboard community.

Starting at 10am off of Andesite Mountain at Big Sky Resort, a record number of attendants turned out and gathered at the top of the course for a pre-race meeting and moment of celebration for A-Rob. Youth, Woman’s and Grumpy Old Man divisions dropped in first as the sun moved in and out from behind the clouds. Like clockwork riders made their way out of the start gate to the bottom of this year’s long course, with a mid-run jump and high speed bottom section.

The day wound down with a ‘Best Method’ contest— which Kyle Miller took home with a flawless switch method— awards ceremony at the Huntley Lodge and music from the Riot Act, Scavenger and Kalibur at Scissor Bills Saloon— a party that went all night and raised a record amount for the The A-Rob Plant A Seed Project. Yancey Caldwell nailed the fastest run of the day, a 50.79, to take the win in the men’s division, while 14-year-old Tess Avery took the upset of the day, taking down the a women’s division that included established badasses like Saris McComb and Deisree Melancon. Jason Schutz nabbed first in the Grumpy Old Men division (36+) while Travis McCall held it down for the young guns.


1. Tess Avery 58.23
2. Saris McComb 58.31
3. Desiree Melancon 58.47
4. Amy Balbier 58.76


1. Yancey Caldwell 50.79
2. Kyle Miller 52.3
3. Jason Robinson 52.9
4. Spencer Cordovano 53.71
5. Alex Lopez 54.75

Grumpy Old Men

1. Jason Schutz 57.08
2. Ray Kovarski 57.19
3. Steve Davenport 57.31


1. Rhett Leuzinger
2. Travis McCall
3. Talon McCarver


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