BTBounds at Mountain Creek: Jess Tennyson Talks Riding in Jersey for the First Time

Jess' first time on the East Coast to coach at BTBounds including lots of park and pizza.

The first weekend of March, Beyond the Boundaries headed to Mountain Creek, New Jersey for a women’s snowboard camp. BTBounds has been collaborating with Creek since the start; the NJ resort is truly a gem, from the parks to the people. One of the bonuses of BTBounds’ annual trips to New Jersey is getting to introduce friends to Mountain Creek who haven’t been to the area before. Creek is not only home to a super creative park with so many different routes for lapping, it’s also a nucleus of East Coast community and pizza mecca. Jess Tennyson, Never Summer women’s marketing manager, has been a part of BTBounds for years, but this year marked not only her first time to Mountain Creek, but her first time snowboarding east of the Rockies. Read on as she talks camp, how awesome New Jersey is, Italian food, and an upcoming Never Summer Women’s Demo + Ride Day. – Mary T. Walsh

photos: Chris Moran

So earlier this month you went to New Jersey to go snowboarding for the first time, and not only was it your first time on the East Coast, I heard it was your first time riding anywhere east of Colorado? Is that true?!
Haha, yes!! It was my first time to the East Coast at all. I have snowboarded in South Dakota which I suppose is slightly more east than Colorado? But besides that…

The East Coast has a reputation as being cold, hardpack, awesome, etc. What were you expecting and how did that compare to what it actually was like snowboarding in NJ?
I’m sure we’ve all heard the term “Ice Coast” or jokes about East Coast pow days. I also knew they’ve had a tough season out there, so I was definitely expecting ice…and not a lot of coverage. 
I was pleasantly surprised! The coverage part was about right, but the snow was super fun and slushy. Mountain Creek felt like spring boarding! It was awesome. 

On a scale of 1-10, how good were the bagels and pizza? What was your favorite thing you ate while at Creek?
12. I was just reminiscing this morning about the bagels from Hamburg Hot Bagels. The pizza was so good, even the cold leftovers were firing. The best thing I ate though, might actually be the shrimp scampi at Milano’s Italian. 

Creek has a really special vibe to it–the park, the community, all of it–and I always feel that BTBounds weekend really emphasizes all of this. What was your experience like?
Mountain Creek was so special! Their entire team, from marketing to park crew to food and bev, was so good to us. The community of riders there was amazing–snowboarding is very much alive and well in NJ. 

Matt Byerly and the Mountain Creek Park Crew always make a really creative park. Did you get to ride it a bit while you were coaching or before camp started?
Matt and the crew absolutely crushed it. The park had at least sixteen different features and was perfectly set up for progression. They were still building the day before camp, but I got to ride a bit during camp and was so stoked on the setup. Huge shout out to Matt and Mountain Creek Park Crew!

Where do you stand on the Taylor Ham vs. pork roll debate?
I gotta say, I’m on team Taylor Ham. I had a Taylor Ham, egg, cheese, and SPK bagel sandwich one of the mornings, and I’m still thinking about it. 

You have been involved with BTBounds for a long time and this season you’ve been coaching a bunch of the stops! What makes you stoked to be a part of BTBounds, as well as women’s ride days, camps, and events in general?
I cannot speak highly enough about BTBounds. It is the most supportive, empowering learning environment–everyone cheers each other on and it’s always a good time. One of my favorite parts of coaching is watching the excitement a camper has when they land their trick. I feel like every camper walks away with a new (or renewed) confidence in the park, new snowboarding friends, and a few new tricks in the bag. 

You and Christine Savage have built such an incredible program with BTB, and I am honored to be a part of it. 

I love women’s ride days and other events for similar reasons–they create such a safe, supportive environment for learning new things and the vibes are always high. I get giddy on group rides when I look up and realize we have a massive group of lady boarders taking over a mountain. I love this community!

To that end, Never Summer is holding a women’s ride day on March 18th at Loveland, Colorado! Can you tell us a little bit about what folks can expect at the NS Women’s Ride Day? (Also, how they can sign up?)
Yes! It’s a Women’s Demo + Ride Day, where people can demo any women’s Never Summer board they want (if they want–demos definitely aren’t required!) and then get to ride with and get pointers from the Never Summer women’s team riders, followed by an aprés and raffle to cap off the day. We do more of a group ride in the morning and then split into focus groups based on skill level and interest in the afternoon. The main goal is to just rip around together and have fun–hopefully meeting some new friends, trying a new board, and learning a thing or two in the process! 

For more info and to sign up, visit this EventBrite link. We cap these events at 30 people right now (we may open the Loveland one up to 40) so that we can provide enough demo boards and team riders, and spots are filling quickly! 

You mentioned in your Back of House interview in issue 19.1 that you were excited to bolster community in your role at NS through women’s-specific programming and events, and one of the goals was putting on in-person events. How have the ride days been this year–the Loveland event is your third of the season, right?
I am SO excited to finally be doing some in-person events! I have to give major credit one of our team riders, Shawna Mayo, as she really pushed for them to happen this season and has been tag-teaming with me to help coordinate and run these events. We had a great turnout at both the Sierra at Tahoe (on February 18th) and Jay Peak (on February 25th) locations, and we have high hopes for the Loveland one. We’re hoping to expand to more resorts and add more of these Women’s Demo + Ride Day events next season too!

Sign up for the Never Summer Women’s Demo + Ride Day on March 18th at Loveland! Also, learn more about BTBounds.


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