Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team
What do you get when you put Zeb Powell, Jesse Augustinus, Miles Fallon, Sean Neary and Benny Milam in an RV to road trip the East Coast?
The fabric in which snowboarding’s culture is sewn is founded upon the rebellious idea of cramming as many of your friends into a vehicle as possible and hitting the road to explore new areas. The East Coast of the United States of America is arguably the best place to do so. With hundreds of resorts within a five-hour drive of New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, it truly is a park rider’s dream.
That’s precisely the idea behind the Red Bull Slide-In Tour—now in its second year—as the powerhouse squad comprised of Zeb Powell, Jesse Augustinus, Miles Fallon, Sean Neary and Benny Milam came from all corners of the globe to see what the mountains on the right coast had to offer.
Zeb Powell is the next big thing in snowboarding, coming off a gold medal at his first ever Winter X Games appearance. His riding defies the basic laws of gravity and physics and when he straps in, everyone in attendance stops to watch. Sean Neary is precise in his approach and stylish beyond his years. A tried-and-true east coaster, Sean is a staple in the scene across the eastern seaboard and can ride anything you put in front of him. Jesse Augustinus hails from the Netherlands and his riding is clean and calculated, focusing mainly on rails but adaptable to any and all terrain. Miles Fallon is one of the most explosive young riders the scene has to offer and is equally proficient at riding rails, jumps, transition and powder; the ultimate Swiss Army knife, and Benny Milam is pure power, fluidity and an all-around incredible snowboarder. Together, this elite crew piled into the Red Bull RV and embarked upon a whirlwind tour to Mountain Creek, New Jersey, Stratton Mountain and Killington, Vermont, and Loon Mountain, New Hampshire to put on a show the local crowds have never before seen.
While the East Coast may not be known for towering peaks and bottomless powder, what it lacks in steepness and deepness, is made up for in terrain park features. Park riding is the staple of east coast snowboarding, the park is where riders cut their teeth and earn their stripes before many make the eventual move out west to live out their dreams. However, it’s these parks that give riders the fundamental skillset that translate to all types, varieties and genres of snowboarding. The four mountains that this crew destroyed play host to some of the most stellar terrain parks on earth.
With unique setups provided by the resorts at each stop, the possibilities were endless. Zeb, Jesse and Sean flipped, pressed and slid everything in sight in Mountain Creek’s South Peak and signed some autographs for the New Jersey crowd before making their way to Stratton. That’s when they went to session the Big Ben Park that was littered with a plethora of boxes, rails and jumps before hitting Grizzly’s Bar & Grill (another Stratton staple) ending the day below Stratton’s infamous clocktower (the host of many a raucous US Open afterparty).
The following day they headed to Killington. After an early start, the dudes had a session at The Burton Stash setup and the main park with some local homies before honoring the life and legacy of the one and only Jake Burton Carpenter, a day celebrated across the globe by hundreds of thousands of riders to pay homage to the most influential snowboarder who has ever strapped in. It was a touching tribute to the man who embodied the sport of snowboarding and an incredible end to an insane day at Killington. That evening, the crew dropped by Darkside Snowboard Shop, an integral cog in the east coast retailer scene and got a quick session in on their famed Dark Park, a DIY setup behind the building, before calling it a night.
The next day the squad hit the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury, Vermont before making their way north to Jay Peak, Vermont, a mountain widely considered one of the freeriding meccas of the East Coast. However, while the freeriding at Jay is ridiculous, their parks are incredible. Sean, Zeb and Jesse went nuts on-hill with the local crew before packing back into the RV and heading southeast to Loon Mountain, New Hampshire where they met up with Benny and Miles. Oh, and Jesse also got the call that he took home bronze in his X Games Real Snow 2020 efforts. Pretty dope.
After meeting up with Benny and Miles at Loon Mountain, New Hampshire, the crew headed up on the hill where the conditions were firm to say the least. This is a stark reminder to all non-east coasters that the conditions on the east dictate what you can ride, but like all good riders that emerge from that area, they persevered, and when things softened up, it was game on. The crew tore apart Loon’s park for the next few days while finding time for a private evening session and a little chill time at the local spa to ease some sore muscles.
All in all, the Red Bull Slide-In Tour was an immense success for the riders, the resorts, and the fans. The East Coast is a special place in snowboarding’s history and there’s good reason why. People from the region take great pride in where they call home, and they never forget that, which is what makes the place unforgettable. There’s a work ethic and a diligence that being an east coast rider teaches you and it looks to us like all those involved in the Red Bull Slide-In Tour this year came away with a great sense of that ideology.
Watch the athletes in action during the Slide in Tour on Red Bull TV here.