Malay Day, take IV
VAIL Just what would get a few hundred friends to come out and ride on a rainy spring day?It would have to be something special. Or in this case, someone special.On Thursday, the crowd came and filled Vails terrain park on Golden Peak for the fourth annual Malay Day, which commemorates the life Josh Malay, a local pro rider who lost his life in February 2004 in a snowboarding accident.A lot of us have Joshs spirit in our hearts, and we have other friends who have passed away. We ride for them, too, said Rob Bak, one of Malays good friends. (Today) its been raining, and its probably one of the worst days of the spring, but who cares? Rain or shine, were still going to have fun.And it wasnt just the locals who came in droves. Friends from across the state and the mountains took part in the pipe, rail and jump jam or were on hand to just ride for Malay.
Its a pretty big day, said Ed Herbold, Malays photographer, who came from Utah back to Vail for the event. To come out and have fun for a friend who ripped it and was one of the best to ever live, youve gotta come home.(Josh) was so positive and touched so many people. He was one of those kids, he looked all gnarly, but the second you said hi, he was the coolest kid and said things like, Hey come on, lets go hike the pipe, or hike this jump and make anything happen we possibly can.Both Herbold and Bak were among the faithful donning signature Malay mohawks.Last night we had a big mohawk party, Bak said. (Josh) used to run a big blue one.
When the riders assembled on top of the halfpipe for the first jam, they yelled one anothers name and gave bear hugs.Its good to see familiar faces and catch up with people, see how the winter has been going at the end of the season, said Scott Askins, who rode with Malay a few times and came from Summit County for the event to show his support.During the pipe jam, there were times when the rain, fog and snow mixture limited visibility to about 30 feet. But even then, the riders kept going big and the crowd down bottom let those up top know just what was happening with loud cheers.Its one of those days where everyone is just having fun instead of a contest, Herbold said. Its just high-five, drink beer, have fun.Pat Milbery, whose infectious smile made its way around the second he arrived, was pumped to see the events popularity continue. Its way cool to have a legacy carried on, Milbery said. The day is dedicated to (Joshs) life and the personality he had.Today is a day to get rad. Dont be sad get rad.Plenty of Malays other close friends were present, like Ninja Isaacs, who was also Malays manager. Malays younger brother, Sean was on hand, and although Malays mother, Pat, wasnt there this year, she stayed in the loop all day, receiving plenty of phone calls.There are messages Im going to save, Pat said.
When Malay hit the mountain, people watched.He was an influence to all these kids and now theyre getting to be 17, 18, said Bak, who coaches for Ski & Snowboard Club Vail. At the time they first saw him, they were 13, 14 years old, now they are getting a bit older and want to ride for the cause.Bryan Daino, who rides SSCV, remembers seeing Malay ride.Id seen him around, just killing it pretty much, Daino said. Everyone liked him and was friends with him.
The park was filled with plenty of young talent Thursday, from locals Clair and Dylan Bidez to Broc Waring to Daino. Pro riders Louie Vito and Chad Otterstrom were shredding, as was freeskiier John Spriggs.It isnt just snowboarding, its freeskiers, its everybody, Bak said.After the pipe jam, the shredding moved over to the rail jam, a unique course set up by Stephen Laterra. In the middle of the course was a hip with a metal trash barrel on top, and riders pulled all sorts of tricks, including one who jumped the barrel, rolled over at the landing and then took a sip from a beer hed been holding the entire time.The jump jam off a 45-foot monster closed out the day. Trefor Davies took first place, adding to his recent Logmasters victory. Dylan Bidez took second.After the winners were announced and the event officially ended, there wasnt a mass exodus down the hill. Everyone stuck around for a bit longer to soak in a bit more of Malay Day.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.