Along For The Ride: Darkside Snowboards' Slash and Berm

Words and photos by: Ralph Kucharek

In 1989, Billy and Teeta Langlands opened the legendary shop we know today, Darkside Snowboards. The shop's roots began down the road from Killington Resort and since then has expanded to Okemo and Stowe. While each location has its own distinct authentic character, they have also played an integral role in nurturing Vermont’s snowboarding community, North to South. The “Dark Park” and Slash and Berm Banked Slalom are two of their grassroots actions that continue to fuel snowboarding in the green mountain state.  

Bonfire Outerwear, Snowboard Jackets, Snowboard Pants, Ralph Kucharek

Billy Langlands (owner) and Tucker Zink (manager) talking shop and berms after Sunday's event. 

On March 11-12, 2017 over fifty competitors braved arctic temperatures at Killington and Darkside's Slash and Berm Banked Slalom. Riders unified together into teams of four to test their edging, jumping, and jibbing abilities in a non-traditional banked slalom. And, in true good-hearted fashion, the proceeds raised from the two-day event were donated to the High Fives Foundation. For the past four years, Saturday’s race is individually timed, while Sunday’s race counts the culmination of each team’s three best times.

Bonfire Outerwear, Snowboard Jackets, Snowboard Pants, Ralph Kucharek

The man, the myth, the Jay "Rosey" Rosenbaum about to snake the line.

The slalom designed and built by Killington Parks' own, Jay Rosenbaum and staff, tried riders through a combination of snow and wooden features throughout the Stash Park. It was the third year I have attended and the courses have all been different and unique, and always challenging and fun. The addition of a mandatory 20-stair firecracker, jibs, quick jumps, and icy berms made navigation at high speeds much more nerve racking. Again, this year’s course did not disappoint. The fate of the coveted “bear” trophies new home and the winning team that would be etched onto it for eternity rested within one timer.   

Bonfire Outerwear, Snowboard Jackets, Snowboard Pants, Ralph Kucharek

Killington Parks staff watching Sugarbush Parks own Richie Pic blasting by.
   

Closing the most recent chapter of Slash and Berm history was the “Darkside Dream Team." After 100 runs the team of hometown heavy hitter Tim Major, Darkside store manager Tucker Zink, Mike Fanning, and dark horse Tucker Speer proved to be the quickest team on the mountain. They wrote and closed the most recent chapter in Darkside Snowboards history by dominating the podium and keeping the title within the family. In the end, the coveted bear continued to stay in its den at Darkside for 365 more days until next years Slash and Berm Banked Slalom. Until next time and cheers to your local snowboard shop.  

Bonfire Outerwear, Snowboard Jackets, Snowboard Pants, Ralph Kucharek

Tucker Speer. The quickest competitor of the day.  Do you think it's because he is a tucker?

Results:

Overall Woman

Rachel Stem - N/A

Overall Man

Tucker Speer - 1:13.56

TEAM:

1st - Darkside Dream Team

Tucker Speer -1:13.56

Tim Major - 1:13.64

Mike Fanning - 1:14.08

Tucker Zink - 1:16.87

2nd - The Fifth Phase

Ralph Kucharek - 1:14.10

Evan Ricker - 1:15.96

Jesse Gomez - 1:17.81

Jay Rosenbaum - 1:19.56

3rd - Board Barn

Wyatt Mosher - 1:16.72

Mike Murphy - 1:18.46

Will Mercer - 1.18.51

Nate Dunn - 1:25.46

Note: Bonfire Outerwear's Ralph Kucharek is a veteran banked slalom competitor. Supposedly, Bonfire's Kane Pant and Klamath Jacket improve speed on all terrain, proving they are tried, true, and tested. 



Jenna Kuklinski
Jenna Kuklinski

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