[Gallery] Love Games 2013 stokes the early season flame in CO

Love Games 2013 went off this weekend, bringing out Colorado’s own core snowboarding community to enjoying a full day of backcountry jibbing off of Loveland Pass.

The brainchild of Raul Pinto and JG Mazzotta, Love Games is a contest created for snowboarders, by snowboarders. As Pinto states,  “I think Colorado has a lot more soul than what is shown on TV, so we invented Love Games.” No rules or regulations, no triple corks or inflated egos; simply put, it’s a jam session for any and all who love to snowboard, and want to hit a few tree rails with their friends. Here is one contest that gets back to the roots of snowboarding, to riding because it’s really freaking fun, without any overarching agenda. The only prerequisites for competing? 10 bucks and a stoke to shred. Love Games 2013 marked the 3rd edition of this homegrown event, with the 4th installment set to go off in the spring of 2014.

Love Games 2013 from Keegan Schultz on Vimeo.

It was immediately clear upon arrival that Love Games is nothing if not easy going. The crowd rolled in throughout the morning, turning one shoulder of Loveland pass into a packed mini parking lot while cars continued to make the trek to the top of the pass and back, dropping riders off to take backcountry runs between sessions. With temps dropping to a frosty 3 degrees, a bonfire was kindled mid-morning, adding a dose of camp vibes to the scene. A moment of silence was held before the contest began, beer poured out as a tribute to friends lost.

Peppering the hill were tree rails and jibs, a mini wall-ride, a handful of solid booters and a platform complete with down rail, upping the ante for any riders that were down to hit it. One of the highlights of Love Games, second only to the jam session itself, was the fact that all the riders came out early to help refine the features, making sure the landings were solid and spray painting any rocky spots to help people avoid them. It’s a rare and awesome thing to see snowboarders help create their own contest; no park crews of machinery here, just a crew of people getting creative, drinking beer and using their snowboards as shovels. In preparation for the day of, a crew of Satellite Boardshop, Analog and Nightmare riders spent 4 days prepping the ‘course,’ with Nightmare taking credit for the badass handrail.

Sponsors like Vans, The North Face, Burton Colorado, Red Bull, Analog, CAPiTA, Skullcandy, Nightmare Snowboards, ZEAL Optics and of course Pinto and Mazzotta’s own Satellite Boardshop helped in making this edition of Love Games a great time, bringing out food, drinks, and hooking the riders up with prizes like axe trophies, a CAPiTA board, outerwear, and even a trip to Tahoe.

Reflecting on Love Games round 3, Pinto notes, “I was stoked to see the participation on each and everybody’s part.. This event can’t really happen without each individual, from the Analog crew making the axes/ trophies and flying a winner to Tahoe, to Vans BBQing, to The North Face doing on hill snacks to Redbull bringing podiums and financially backing the event, and all the random heads that came out to shovel, drink a beer and ride the pass…It was so good to see everybody out. In my opinion, if your not at this event then your missing a big part of snowboarding.”

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