Sidehit Séance at Waterville Valley

Sparse clouds are moving quickly overhead at New Hampshire’s Waterville Valley Resort. Roughly 18 inches of snow fell here a few days ago and more from the west is headed this way. But right now, conditions on the mountain feel mellow. Winds are light, temps are lingering in the mid-30s, and we’re seeing a lot more sun than previously expected. It’s quite the weather window for the Sidehit Séance by Snowboy Productions.

ABOVE Don’t fall. Jordan Phillips, Len Jørgensen, Connor Cavanagh, Ruby Peyton and Ralph Kucharek running train on the volcano. Photo: Ben Shanks Kindlon

Following up on the success of the inaugural Sidehit Séance at Sugarbush Resort in Warren, VT, Snowboy’s Krush Kulesza and his motley crew of creators returned to New England for the second iteration of the event here in New Hampshire. A collaboration with Vermont-based Rome Snowboards, Sidehit Séance centers around the idea of interlacing carefully constructed side-hits with a flowing terrain park for a three-day, invite-only jam session before opening things up to the public. This year’s setup showcases a gap built off a frozen tree, tubes, bonks, a large snow volcano reminiscent of the Holy Bowly, and more. “There are lots of transitions and sneaky gap possibilities,” Krush says about the Sidehit Séance course at Waterville. “Then we put in some of the features that we’re known for to add to the whole mix.”

ABOVE Madison Blackley tweaks over the gap on day two. Photo: Pat Ryan

ABOVE All smiles with Kevin Raksnis towards the top of the course. Photo: Pat Ryan

ABOVE Casey Savage (left) and Shaun Murphy are no strangers to snowboarding trees. Photos: Pat Ryan

ABOVE Nate Haust finds a sneaky sender from the cat track into the landing of a small cliff feature on-course at the 2023 Sidehit Seance. Photo: Ben Shanks Kindlon

To cap it off, at the bottom of the park stands a quarterpipe which can be attacked straight on, as a hip, or a spine. “You can’t talk about Waterville without thinking about the World Quarters,” Krush says. “There’s no gauntlet included in this version, but it’s kind of a World Quarters tribute for people here in the know. It seems like it had been a while since we’ve seen some big stuff going down at Waterville. They used to kill it in the early 2000s, and it felt like it could use some love. And they welcomed us with open arms.”

ABOVE Timmy Sullivan turning it up to 11 all week. Here he cranks a method on the hip/quarterpipe. Photo: Pat Ryan

ABOVE Ruby Peyton stomping the daylight out of her mute grab. Photo: Ben Shanks Kindlon

ABOVE Backside 180 bonk by John Garoutte. Photo: Pat Ryan

ABOVE Hunter Knoll, frontside grab on day one. Photo: Ben Shanks Kindlon

Riders in attendance waste no time in tearing the park apart, each bringing their own tailored approach to the playful layout. Energy levels ebb throughout each day but, despite the high intensity of certain tricks going down, the Séance’s overall atmosphere stays rather relaxed. That’s in large part because there’s no winner being named at the end of this session. We’re just here to create and connect. To foster friendships and inspiration. To enjoy.

ABOVE Len Jørgensen, backside 180. Photo: Ben Shanks Kindlon

ABOVE Nice guy, mean handplant. Even when he’s looking down, Ralph Kucharek knows what’s up. Photo: Ben Shanks Kindlon

ABOVE One of Snowboy Productions’ diggers, Laura Rogoski, celebrating two years of sobriety the best way possible, with airtime. This year the company’s event series is called the Space Creators Tour, a fun play on words by the clever crew at Snowboy. In addition to creating fun spaces to ride, they’re creating safe spaces to connect off the hill, too. Laura is founder of the “We’re All Mental” zine and community and hosts weekly Mental Meetups to provide free mental health support to snowboarders. Learn more at weareallmental.com. Photos: Ben Shanks Kindlon

ABOVE Head honcho, Krush Kulesza. Photo: Ben Shanks Kindlon

“I love doing events in the Midwest, the Northwest and the East Coast,” Krush says as snowboarders carve around us on-course. “It’s not always where the focus is for a lot of the industry, so when we can all get together here, it means a lot to people. They remember it. That helps make me want to come back and do something every year if we can.”

ABOVE The video recap of the 2023 Sidehit Séance by Snowboy Productions.

Edited by Ely Campeanu.

Filmed by Ely Campeanu, Devin Bernard, Kirsten Potts and Karlos Jeri.

Riders in order of appearance: Len Jorgensen, Laura Rogoski, Brandon Reis, Pat McMannus, Noah Coville, Martin Lasser, Eryll Brennan, Jordan Phillips, Joey Leon, Avery Bard, Connor Gross, Hunter Knoll, Luke Mathison, Drake Warner, Nick Fox, Sean Dillon, Shaun Murphy, Michael Hoy, Frank Jobin, Madison Blackley, Max Glatzl, Jeff Hopkins, Casey Savage, Connor Cavannagh, Timmy Sullivan, Kevin Raksnis, Nate Haust, Max Lyons, Ralph Kucharek, John Garoutte, TJ Thran, Ava Peterson, Ruby Peyton & Haven Kennedy.

Special thanks to Krush, Laura and the rest of the Snowboy Productions crew, as well as Matt Stillman and the folks over at Rome and the crew at Waterville Parks for an unforgettable week in Waterville Valley. We hope to see you again at the next Sidehit Séance. 


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