While still a fairly new sport here at Dublin, snowboarding has become an important part of winter life at the school. Our newly opened Norm "Pro" Wight Ski Area is open to boarders to use throughout the season, and with the alpine ski team, the group regularly practices at nearby Crotched Mountain in Francestown, New Hampshire.
As our program has evolved, we've been able to send more athletes to Lakes Region League Snowboard Series competitions throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. These events are open to a range of talent levels, from beginner to expert, with races held in the Giant Slalom, Slopestyle, and Boardercross. In 2015, we won the Lakes Region Boys Slopestyle Championship For the first time.
Our favorite race, though, happens right in our backyard, when snowboarders from competing schools descend on Crotched in January for the mountain's annual snowboard competition. It's a fun, relaxed environment where athletes can race against one another and strike up friendships with snowboarders from competing schools.
Recent Slopestyle Competitions at Crotched Mountain
Mother nature has finally blessed us with some snow here in Dublin! The snowboarders have been hard at work on dry-land training, and today they took to the snow for the first time this season. Many of our more experienced riders spent the weekend hard at work on a mini-course right in the heart of Dublin's campus, and our veterans spent some time on it today. Our rookies have been getting accustomed to their new equipment and practiced some starts and stops today alongside our veterans. Tomorrow, we'll head over to Crotched Mountain to pick up rentals for those who need them. Thanks for all of your continued support. Friday will be our first day on the mountain, and we can't wait!
In locating the new Slopeside Dormitory, we had to remove the old Arts Building which served in recent years as our Outing Club. The Outing Club was home to our Mountain Biking, Nordic Skiing, Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding programs. We originally intended to put the new Outing Club into the basement of the Slopeside Dormitory but thought better due to the impact on the height of the building and the potential for fumes and fire from ski waxing.
The Snowboarding team took to the lovely Ragged Mountain on Wednesday for the last slopestyle competition of the season. The course, by far the longest of the season, offered a few unique challenges to our riders: a cannon rail to start, two down flat down options--one rail and one box--and two sizable jumps. The stakes were set high after Proctor's number-one rider pulled a 360 off of the cannon rail.
Yifu Zhang (Beijing, China) and Jack Pearce (Milford, NJ) took big risks that paid off: while both have been riding boxes comfortably during the season, they each rode the cannon rail, marking the first time that either of them had ridden any kind of rail feature. Alissa Muise (Blue Hill, ME) and Imogen VonMertens (Hancock, NH) hit impressive ollies off of each knuckle, and Lucy Martin (New Canaan, CT) smoothly took down the box feature on both rides. Emil Hristache (Peterborough, NH) landed a frontside 270 off of the rail cannon and a smooth method off of the second jump. Arthur Garcia (Union City, NJ) took down the box in style, and Garret Autera (Roswell, GA) continued his characteristic frontside 180s. Alexander “AJ” Simpson's (New York, NY) classic freestyle moves were also at home in this park; he continues to work toward a frontside 540. We have faith in you, AJ! All in all, it was a mellow and fun day for all.
On February 1 the Dublin School Snowboard Team traveled to Okemo Mtn in Ludlow, Vermont. The Lakes Region Slopestyle competition took place on the most demanding Park of the Series this year. Senior Captain Emil Hristache (Peterborough, NH) took 1st Place overall and showed the League he is back after missing his Junior Year to injury. With new tricks and classic style he showed the crowd how to throw it down!
His team mates continued to improve and showed their willingness to challenge themselves with Garret Autera (Roswell, GA) and Arthur Garcia (Union City, NJ) meeting that standard.
Alissa Muise (Blue Hill, ME) showed nerve and poise as she opened the competition with her first run. It's important to note that she had never run a course this difficult or ever competed in Slopestyle. Alissa had an amazing 6th place finish to lead the Girls Team to a 3rd place Team bronze for the day.
Coach Graves and Coach Rabb are thrilled with the progress of the Team and the recent results as they represent the Dublin Wildcats.
The Dublin School Snowboard Team traveled to Gunstock Mountain Resort to compete in a Giant Slalom competition. It was a dominating performance by both the Girls and Boys teams.
Senior Captain Lucy Martin (New Canaan, CT) lead her team with support from Junior Alissa Muise (Blue Hill, ME) and Freshman Imogen VonMertens (Hancock, NH) to a season best 2nd place finish as a team.
On the Boys side, it was also a team effort led by Alexander “AJ” Simpson (New York, NY) blasting down the course with Team Captain Emil Hristache (Peterborough, NH) close on his heels with Top 5 performances! Captain Joe DuPont-Roche (Peterborough, NH) supported by a breakout run by Yifu Zhang (Beijing, China) enabled the Team to capture First Place in their division.
Paul Graves is one of the originals, his involvement in snowboarding as old as the sport itself. He was the first professional and sponsored rider — for Snurfer early in his career and later for Rossignol Snowboards — thanks to his surface 360’s and flip dismount, which paved the way for freestyle riding and won Paul the National Freestyle Championship in 1979. The first television commercial to feature snowboarding starred Paul carving down the Canadian Rockies on behalf of Labatt’s Blue. But most notably, Paul founded the first national snowboarding championship in 1982 at Suicide Six in Woodstock, Vermont. He later passed the event on to his friend Jake Burton, and the U.S. Open became the pinnacle competition of the season.
Paul, who Time Magazine called “a snowboarding pioneer,” has appeared on NBC, CBS, ESPN, Snowboard Life, The Discovery Channel, Eastern Edge, MTV Sports, Vermont Life and more, speaking to the history and advancement of snowboarding over the past 51 years. He also consulted for ESPN during the first Winter XGames and for the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympic Games, the first time snowboarding was ever included. Given that Paul’s efforts have always been purely for the advancement of the sport, Paul was named an Ambassador to the State of Vermont in 1996.
Today, Paul stays connected to the industry from his home in Dublin, NH where he lives with his wife, and occasionally, a visiting daughter, son-in-law or grandchild.