The first edition of the winter 2023 Empire Games / Superdemo took place last Saturday, January 28, at Station Touristique Stoneham. With amazing snowy conditions, next level obstacles built by Today’s Parks and the support from Monster, Burton, Volcom and Oakley, the event was one to remember.
Starting as early as Wednesday January 25, the Empire, Stoneham and Todays parks teams worked day and night to create the long-awaited Empire Games course and let us tell you that this one was off the charts.
On Saturday, everything was ready to welcome the riders. An insane boarder cross type race along with a fully unique obstacle for the rail jam. Obstacle that will be given to the hosting resort as a gift from Empire and Today’s Parks.
It was with great enthusiasm that the Stoneham Empire Games riders dropped in on our fresh course to test its difficulty. It was impressive to see how quickly the participants got used to the absurd and unique obstacles we put in front of them. All seemed to have a crazy amount of fun carving, jumping and slashing through the course, but at the end of the day, only 3 riders would climb on the podium for each category.
With about 50 riders in the 15 and under category, another 50 riders in the Men’s category and 20 riders in the Women’s division, we knew the day would be awesome and that we would be treated with great performances from the riders. Out of the 120 people registered for the Banked Slalom, only a few were able to get their spot on the podium with times going as low as 40 seconds to clear the whole course. Now, that’s what we call speed!
Congrats to our winners who went back home with cold hard cash in their pockets and the glory of conquering the first Empire Games event of the season. Find the official podium list below.
1- Phil Jacques
2- Alex Cantin
3- Mathieu Morency
The last and most important division of the Empire Games was so good and exciting that the judges were standing on their chairs throughout the whole competition. The guys showed us how fast they could really go and went through the banked slalom in record times.
After leading a serious battle, only two riders made it to the finals. Phil Jacques cleared the finish line first and went home with the $500 cash prize for 1st position. In second position, Alex Cantin with $300 and in third, Mathieu Morency, who got his hands on a respectable $200.
1- Audrey Mcmaniman
2- Marguerite Sweeney
Once again, the women stood out during their session at the Stoneham Empire Games. Each year the skill level in women snowboarding seems to multiply exponentially. If you had seen them rip through our banked slalom, you would understand what we're talking about.
After leading a more than legitimate battle, Audrey Mcmaniman took the first position with an insane race time, followed by Marguerite Sweeney and Alex-An Gilbert in second and third position.
Podium 15 and under:
2-Noah Gadri Tounkara
3- Alex Renaud
The battle was really tight in the junior division. As the youth proceeded to decimate the course with almost as much ease as the adults, they showed us what’s up and believe us, the future looks bright. The current generation may well be scared, young guns are hungry and still have many years ahead of them to progress and develop their styles.
At the end of the competition, it was Simon Renaud who took the first position, followed by Noah Gadri Tounkara taking second place and Alex Renaud in third. To all the young people who participated in the event, keep on shredding! You seriously impressed us.
THE SUPER DEMO VILLAGE
As the tradition goes, the Super Demo Village was waiting for you at the bottom of the slopes. More than a dozen brands were present to allow you to try out their products from next year. Boots, bindings and boards, there was a huge selection of products to try from brands such as Burton, Volcom, Oakley, Salomon, Lib Tech, Gnu, Arbor, Union, Capita, Yes, Now, Jones, Bataleon, Nidecker, Flow, Bent Metal, Nitro, Rome, Sims, Ride, K2, Monster.
Along with product testing opportunities, the Super Demo Village featured a bunch of activations to make sure everybody at the resort could be included in our event. Among the main activations, we had some beverage sampling at the Monster Tent, we had basketball games and tournaments at the Empire tent, Burton even put together a board waxing station. Overall, fun was the theme of the day on the slopes, but also at the bottom of the hill with our traditional Super Demo.
THE LEGACY RAIL JAM
Last but not least, the Legacy Rail Jam. This year, we will be giving the Rail Jam obstacle to the hosting mountain. Let us tell you that with our 3 rails setup including a battleship rail, a curved and angled rail and more, Stoneham riders and staff were happy that this was going to become their own legacy rail setup.
With a setup like that, the Rail Jam was extremely impressive. Out of the 3 rails on the setup, the emphasis has mostly been on the big Battle ship rail. More than 20 of the best riders in Quebec took part in the jam. Between 200 and 300 people braved the cold to come and see this rather impressive show.
The battle was fierce this year, but at the end of the day, only three riders would be going home with cash in their pockets. Congrats to our Stoneham Legacy Rail Jam winners!
1-Gabriel Gosselin ($1250)
3- Frank Jobin ($750)
3- Michel Gregoire ($500)