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Championship tests athletes’ many skills

CARDIFF-BY-THE-SEA — X-Game winners, Olympians and sports legends took part in the fourth
annual Ultimate Boarder Championship. The one-week event is the Ironman of snowboarding, surfing and skateboarding.
“It’s not just how good you are in one disapline anymore,” Tim Hoover, founder and CEO of the Ultimate Boarder Championship, said. “We’re filling a void. It’s the triathlon for this generation of kids.”
Teams and individuals competed for a $50,000 total prize purse.
Competitors ranged in age from 7-year-old up-and-comers to 46-year-old sports legends, which allows athletes to develop their skills while they compete alongside role models.
Athletes are challenged to “cross over” and show off their best in all three board sports. While it is somewhat common to snowboard and skateboard, or surf and skateboard, it takes a highly skilled athlete to excel at all three sports.
“I’ve grown up skateboarding, go to Tahoe to snowboard every chance I get and surf when the waves are good,” Chad Shelter, third-time Ultimate Boarder champ, said. “The stance is the same on all of them and you do some of the same tricks in snow, water, wood, it’s just different elements.”
The snowboarding competition took place at Mammoth Mountain on April 2.
“It felt like we held the event in Chicago,” Hoover said. The winds were with us this year.”
Hoover said the winds were 65 to 75 mph in Mammoth and 40 mph during surf competition in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Despite windy conditions competitors met an amazing snowboarding course in Mammoth and “contestable” waves in Cardiff-by-the-Sea.
Chas Guldemond, professional snowboarder of Reno, Nevada, took first place in the snowboarding competition beating out fellow professional Trevor Jacob by just 1.6 points.
On his final run Guldemond connected a 900 and switch double cork 1080.
“At all my events I have entered this year, it keeps coming down to my last run,” Guldemond said. “Overall it was a great day with spring conditions, and it was really fun to watch surfers and skaters all ride together.”
Jacob took snowboarding second place and finished overall Ultimate Boarder Championship second.
The surfing competition was held at Cardiff Reef on April 7. Stormy waves and head high sets provided challenging conditions.
Nathan Zoller, of Laguna Beach, took first in the surfing competition. “It was a whirlwind day and I was just excited to make the finals,” Zoller said.
Other top competitors held on with satisfactory scores.
“I was just hoping to catch a few waves,” Jacob said. “That’s the thing about Ultimate Boarder — you have to be good at all three board sports to win this thing. You can’t just be good at two disciplines and bomb one.”
The winds faded and the sun came out for the final day of skateboarding competition on April 9. Teams and individuals showed off technical grinds and big aerial maneuvers on vert and mini ramps at the Cardiff Reef parking lot.
“The skateboarding leg is going to be the great equalizer of this competition,” Chris Cote, surf webcast host for the event and Transworld Surf editor, said. “That’s where people will lay it all down and where you will see the biggest slams and the most entertaining part of Ultimate Boarder.”
Shelter placed fourth in skateboarding and won the overall Ultimate Boarder Championship for his third consecutive year.
“I am incredibly stoked to have come out on top, especially since this was the toughest year of competition yet in terms of the high caliber of athletes and the rough elements,” Shetler said.
“Overall it was a pretty amazing week, and getting to miss work to go snowboarding, surfing and skateboarding, is definitely something you can’t beat,” Shelter added.
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