Photo Feature

Smash Life Banked Slalom 2018 at Alpental, WA

Most people have a favorite uncle. Whether a blood relative or otherwise, he’s that hold-my-beer-and-watch-this kind of guy who always seems to make a good time roll, regardless of the circumstances. The guy who may be a little loose at times, but who’s also gonna be there when you need him. The guy who isn’t afraid to sacrifice a bit of time and effort with the well-being of others in mind. In snowboarding, we’ve got uncle Shane Stalling, the man behind A-Rob’s Smash Life Banked Slalom. And while drunkle Shane may emerge occasionally to chuck a cannonball near a group of unsuspecting 15-year-olds in the pool, uncle Shane’s got a heart of gold.

I first met Shane through Aaron Robinson. In 2010, we went on a road trip through western Montana. Jason Robinson was with us, and so were Crazy Karl and photographer Jeff Hawe. The snow was shit. The company was all time. I learned about Shane’s ability to drink Old Crow, rip on a snowboard, and take both the good and the bad in stride and make the most out of it.

When A-Rob passed away in 2011, Shane, along with a small crew of Montana boys who knew Aaron well, decided to do something to keep A-Rob’s spirit of stoke spreading through the snowboard community. To take a crushing loss and turn it into a source of positivity. That became A-Rob’s Smash Life Banked Slalom. The event has grown over the years, and now has two stops every January: Alpental, WA and Lost Trail, MT. One-hundred percent of the proceeds go to the A-Rob Plant A Seed Project, which helps get youth in need to the mountain in Aaron’s hometown of Whitefish, MT via the dedicated effort of Pam Robinson.

This past weekend, the Alpental event kicked off with a good dose of unpredictable Washington State weather. Although a crew of 20-ish diggers had been on hand since Tuesday—half of whom had driven 12-plus hours from Bozeman and beyond—freezing rain shut the mountain down for the day on Friday. While canceling the event would have been easy, the boys instead waited out the influx of ice, postponed the event a day, and got back to digging through the crust on Saturday.

By the time Sunday morning rolled around, there were 25 berms winding through the trees, and a few hundred folks on hand despite warm temps and a mountain dominated by rain crust. At 730 sharp, despite some late-night antics up in lot 3, uncle Shane was there getting people registered, while Summit Parks guru Joe Pope directed traffic and shook out the cobwebs.

The course ran smooth in the 50-60-second range. Many said it was the best bit of terrain left on the mountain. It’s amazing what a motivated group of 20-plus snowboarders can do. By the time a cross-section of the Washington State snowboard community steamed up Alpental’s lodge for awards, one thing was clear: the work of uncle Shane and a host of dedicated friends had once again brought the snowboard community closer together in remembrance of a lost friend. It was a selfless act if there ever was one—the kind of thing your favorite uncle would do.

A huge thank you to Shane Stalling, Joe Pope and Tipton Power for making the Smash Life Banked Slalom happen year after year. Same goes to the Summit-at-Snoqualmie crew, the diggers, Micah, Todd, J-Rob, Sean Rob, Pam, Chad, Dillon, Moose, Tommy, and on and on—I can’t remember all of your names, but you know who you are. Aaron would be proud.

The Lost Trail stop of the Smash Life Series runs January 20-21 and there are still spots left. Register now! 

Without further ado, here are your top finishers:


  1. Todd Kirby – 51.29
  2. Lucas Debari – 51.36
  3. Christopher Hendrickson – 52.35
  4. Mitch Kirby – 52.75
  5. Jason Robinson – 53.21


  1. Galen Bridgewater – 60.72
  2. Ashley Wendorf – 61.91
  3. Khai Bhagwandin – 62.56
  4. Anna Bengtson – 62.61
  5. Charlene Zoecker – 62.90


  1. Paul Stanley – 53.60
  2. Ryan Ziels – 53.63
  3. Tyler Sloan – 54.02
  4. Brandon Rohrbaugh – 54.76
  5. Robin Foster – 56.77


  1. Nicholas Felt – 54.93
  2. Dan Scanlon – 54.98
  3. Tipton Power – 55.66
  4. Steven Goodell – 56.04
  5. Shawn Freyer – 56.05


  1. Kyle Phillips – 56.09
  2. Jason Loeb – 56.15
  3. Jay Neal – 58.03
  4. Ryan McCurdy – 60.43
  5. Maxx Von Marbod – 61.13


  1. Brooke Geery – 64.89
  2. Jaime Klontz – 65.81


  1. Cali Loeb – 67.83
  2. Jade Knox – 78.03
  3. Jade Sherman – 119.15


  1. Maximus Loeb – 57.79
  2. Miles Freelan – 64.77
  3. Dixsan Martin – 69.08
  4. Devon Bryan – 75.79
  5. Dylan Martin – 131.93


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