Photo gallery: Merrill Mini Pipe Invitationals 2014

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Three years ago, Bode Merrill had a vision. That vision consisted of possibly the most rudimentary feature in snowboarding, where freestyle riding was first beginning to take shape and evolve—the mini pipe. Hand-dug, choppy, and uneven, the stunt ditch is arguably the most iconic shape in snowboarding. But what progression has morphed the mini pipe into is not something inviting or encouraging. Superpipes are scary as fuck.

So Bode decided to take a step back and revisit what made this two-sided transition great and founded the Merrill Mini Pipe Invitationals, now in its third year at High Cascade Snowboard Camp‘s prized mini pipe. It is not so much a competition as it is a gathering of friends want to have fun and refocus attention on one of the most fun things you do on a snowboard. You can just drop in and ride. There is no need training or a coach, just the perspective to harness creativity and flow from side to side, going big or small, handplants or 360s.

The Merrill Mini Pipe Invitationals is a showcase of style from snowboarders in nearly every aspect of the sport, which is pretty rare to find at an event these days. This year was a hit, even after Mt. Hood’s classic cloud cover socked in the glacier and postponed the event for a day. We’re already looking forward to what Bode will bring to the pipe next year, and it is our pleasure to present the results of this summer’s showdown.

Chad Otterstrom, Brendan Gerard (Red is a little young to be at Charlie's) and Austin Sweetin accepting their awards from Bode Merrill.

Chad Otterstrom, Brendan Gerard (Red is a little young to be at Charlie’s) and Austin Sweetin accepting their prestigious awards from Bode Merrill. Photo: Cole Martin

Here’s why some competitors chose to be part of the Merrill Mini Pipe Invitationals:

“Micro pipe is the ripe pipe.” – Austin Sweetin
“It’s sick and a good setup. But where are the rails?” – Frank April
“Bode is my friend.  He told me I should. So I did.” – Johnny Brady
“Why, did I poach?” – Johnny O’Connor
“Bode just came up to me and told me I have no choice. I had to be a part of it.” – Max Warbington
“Best contest of the summer, the reason I train.” – Alex “Littlest” Sherman
“For the best time.” – Garrett Warnick
“Why the fuck not!?!” – Chris Beresford
“It was a chance to ride with a bunch of awesome snowboarders.” – Chad Otterstrom
“I basically didn’t, my name was on the list.” – Ted “Bundy” Borland

An enormous thank you to Billabong, Salomon Snowboards, Skullcandy, Anon Optics, and High Cascade for supporting an incredible event in snowboarding.

RESULTS

The top three winners received handmade trophies from Big Mike Gonsalves:
1. Austin Sweetin
2. Red Gerard
3. Chad Otterstrom

Other top honors went to:
Best grab: Ozzy Henning
Best crash: Scott Blum
Best handplant: Dustin Craven
Best poacher: Jay Hergert