The 5th Annual Boardroom Banked
Well, that was an absolute beauty of a day.
Each year, we try and make the day a little better, a little more legitimate, a little more fun. And while we want to say each year is our favorite, this year … this year just hit different. 140 snowboarders. 140! In the lowest snow year ever, where the tide has been low and the vibes have been hanging on by a thread, 140 of you showed up and showed out. We cannot thank you enough.
When we started this event six years ago (we missed a year due to COVID), all we wanted to do was create a day for snowboarders, by snowboarders. Not a rail jam, or a slopestyle event, but a day and a course that everyone could come and have some fun on. That first year was terrible — the course was SO gnarly and we had a very limited idea of what in the hell we were doing. But we took our lumps, took the criticism and decided to come back and make it better. Each year, we think we’ve done that.
As anyone who has ever done an event can tell you, the actual day of the event may be the easiest part. It’s the hours of planning, digging the course, creating the scene and coordinating with each different critical aspect that’s so difficult. And I won’t lie to you guys — Sunday morning, I was stressing. I wouldn’t trade the team we have for anyone in the world, but at the end of the day, it’s our name on the event. As it turns out, all that worry was for nothing because YOU made it such a special day.
Major props go to PistenBully operator Paul Granger, whom Holiday Valley graciously gave to us to use for the entirety of Friday night. Paul is a maestro on the controls, and he helped us pile snow for the berms in just 7 hours with snowpack NOT conducive to shaping berms. Stick taps, Paul!
A cold, damp, 35º March day, we didn’t catch any sun (but didn’t catch any rain, either!) We started the groms off first. What’s so great about The Banked is how many younger kids come to rip. Youngest age was maybe 4 or 5 years old. Big shoutout to the HoliMont and Holiday Valley snowboard teams, who showed up in droves. The future is strong. Holiday Valley’s Tosh Klein took 1st, with 245’s Gunnar Clinch 2nd and Willem Johnson placing 3rd.
Ladies went next, and what a STRONG showing. What was really cool? There were a couple girls in the grom division who wanted to step up and race against older girls. But what was even cooler? Carli Harrington, who took 1st, and Jenny Timineri, who took 2nd, gathered all the girls after their runs finished for a girls group photo. Those two are unbelievable advocates for women’s snowboarding in our area and we can’t thank them enough for the support.
The men’s division showcased an absolute murderer’s row of local riders, many of which have podiumed before. It’s a lot of fun watching some of these dudes ride — strong on their edges, technically sound, getting low but staying high on the berms. A few of them were putting on clinics. In the end, however, it was Evan Deglopper who took home 1st, narrowly beating out dark horse candidate (and local favorite) Gil Keenan and pocket beer connoisseur Phil Mashyna. We do have to shout Evan out separately, homie put in WORK building the course. Well done boys.
And finally…the OGs. Don’t try and tell these old timers they can’t rip anymore, because you’ll get dusted. And coincidentally, 1st place finisher and Neon Wave ambassador Doug Grebner ended up taking fastest time overall anyway. Who would have thought! HoliMont builder Chris Perks just barely got knocked off from a repeat with his 2nd place finish, and Erie’s own Pisurf builder RYan Burked rounded out the podium in 3rd. The OG constituted the largest division in this year’s Banked, with 50 riders signing up.
The Banked is a day to celebrate snowboarding, but the primary reason we do it is to raise some money for an organization we’re passionate about. For the 2nd year in a row, we were proud to partner with the P.U.N.T. Pediatric Cancer Collaborative, a Buffalo-based non-profit assisting families dealing with the difficulties of pediatric cancer. Maddie Szpaicher, an integral part of P.U.N.T., is an Ellicottville native and close friend. Last year, we gave them a check for $3,000 and this year’s looks to be even higher. A total dollar amount will be announced soon.
All in all, Sunday’s event was one for the books. We cannot thank you enough for your support both Sunday and in years past, and your continued support of The Boardroom. Without your help, this event doesn’t happen. But seeing as we maxed out our riders limit again and were turning people down…we don’t think it’s going anywhere.
Special thanks: Evan Deglopper and Brad Boyer, two Boardroom lifers who make this event what it is by digging, hyping and riding; my Boardroom crew for their hours in helping stuff goodie bags, brainstorm ideas and hustle; Mike Nenno, Richie Morgan and the rest of the Training Center crew for their unbelievably efficient work when it comes to fencing, gating and timing the race; Niki Klein, our liaison at the resort and huge supporter of the event, for helping us with the event logistics side; Dash Hegeman, marketing director at HV, for helping us push the event to the masses; Paul Granger, for understanding what we wanted to do with the course and making it happen; John Nelson, who graciously took the time to come DJ; Tim Keller and ThreeSixty Events for helping us with Red Bull; Dan Minner, Laura Kohler and the rest of the crew from Ellicottville Brewing Company, donating tons of beer and swag and money to P.U.N.T.; Brad Rowell and West Rose for donating AND cooking hot dogs (“The Glizzards of Oz”) and of course every single person who came to ride, donate, volunteer or just high5.
DONATE TO P.U.N.T. HERE
Join us Sunday, March 5th for the running of The 5th Annual Boardroom Banked! A banked slalom on Champagne at Holiday Valley, the Banked is a day by snowboarders, for snowboarders. 140 snowboarders will rip our hand- and machine-dug course, and the fastest time wins bragging rights and a sweet handmade trophy. Registration is $45 and gets you 3 runs through the course (we'll take the top 2 of 3), a goodie bag, lunch, and a Phunkshun facemask that doubles as a bib.
While the Banked is mainly a day to celebrate snowboarding, we also use it to raise money for a great cause. Last year we partnered with the P.U.N.T. Pediatric Cancer Collaborative, a Buffalo-based non-profit that assists families affected by pediatric cancer and we're so thrilled to partner with them again. In 2022, we raised over $3,000 for P.U.N.T., and through 5 years we've raised over $10,000 for various charities around the region.
Registration is now open, and we encourage you to sign up ASAP as last year we were turning people down the day of the event. Register here and we'll see you Sunday, March 5th!
A full event schedule will be released as we get closer, so keep it locked to our Instagram (@BoardroomEville) for the latest updates.