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Vail, keep on rockin’

Rob Bak

Editor’s note: This is the final edition of Vail Team rider Rob Bak’s rider journal for The Session. Check out Bak’s three previous journals online at http://www.vaildaily.com. The following is a recap of Saturday.And so, the final episode of my wonderful, horrible life. Today’s competition at The Session was pretty intense. I woke up today and went and had some lunch at the Westside Cafe in Vail. That kind of set the standard today for me and a couple of guys who stood around the VIP tent all day. After I hurt my back last night in the rails competition, there was no way I was going to do any jumping today.I want to give major props to Dr. Joel Dekenich and his crew at Colorado Chiropractic and Sports Medicine. They were the chiropractors and massage therapists on site. When I got into the arena around 1 p.m., I went and saw them and they adjusted me. They told me to drink lots of water and a few beers. I just want to say thanks to those guys because I feel somewhat better now. Also, when I got into town and got to The Session course, I was wondering where my CAPITA teammate TJ Schneider was. I looked up and there he was in the air going off one of the jumps. It just happened to be the jump where he threw down his 1080 on the last kicker on the course. That was pretty sweet. He had some problems with it in the final, but in practice he was stomping it and that was pretty crazy. In the finals, he was ollying all the way down from the knuckle of the last jump to the bottom because he screwed up on the second jump. It was pretty funny seeing that. Anyway, due to the graphic nature of everything being thrown down by Shaun White, who was doing 900s every which way, tonight’s slopestlye was pretty sweet.I think the line he won on was a fakie backside 900 to a backside 900 to a cab 900 to a frontside 900. It was just wild. That scored a 97. It was a pretty good finals. I would say, however, that Shaun wasn’t the only one killing it. Everybody was trying to hold their own. Chad Otterstrom told me right afterward, “The jumps got really fun at the end. They stopped being so scary.” I thought that was pretty sweet. The jumps were big, but everyone said they were pretty smooth. The women’s rail contest was pretty sweet, too. Jacquie Berg – she definitely got the gnarly slammed-trick award today with her backflip out of the quarterpipe, over the photographers and onto the flat snow in the back of the course. I think she was like, “You know what Bak? You got nothing. I’ll show you how to crash.”Girls definitely crash harder than dudes.Our local girl Rachel Nelson slaughtered it, bringing home $2,000. That was definitely sweet. I also want to give props to my little man Timmy, who was one kid that came into the VIP tent and with whom I walked with all the way to the registration tent so that I could get a pen to autograph his Session poster. He had almost everybody’s signatures on it.Timmy definitely stoked me out. He was like, “Are you OK from yesterday?” It was pretty cool. I had a lot of people asking me how I was feeling and who were surprised that I was out there. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I also saw former San Antonio Spur David Robinson tonight. I never got to talk to him, but he was hanging out in the VIP area. When I first saw him, I was like, “Holy cow, that dude’s tall.”Then I realized it was David Robinson and I understood why people call him The Admiral. David Robinson would have killed it tonight if he was in the slopestyle contest. He would have dwarfed those jumps.Seriously, though, I could tell that he was impressed with tonight’s event because I saw him with his video camera and when he was taking photos. The look on his face when he was showing his boys what he shot was like, “Whoa.”You could tell it was the look of someone who was dumbfounded by something he’d never experienced before. He was a major professional basketball player, and now he’s seeing what major professional snowboarders can do. I think he realizes basketball players are wusses. As a former basketball player myself, I speak from experience.All you do is run up and down the court. Unless you’re one of the Indiana Pacers – then you’re tough. Another cool thing today was when my friend Mark Liesak gave me a Gwar sticker. That’s one of my favorite bands, and he knows some of the guys in the band so he gave me some stickers. That was sweet.To conclude, this year’s Session was wicked awesome. I think the Vail Valley Foundation definitely put on a hell of a show. Those guys definitely know how to party. It almost reminded me of a good punk-rock show, or like a Gwar show. For example, Gwar doesn’t just play music – they’re dressed up and they do some crazy theatrical stuff on stage. This year’s contest kind of felt like that. There were fireballs. There was tons of money getting thrown around. There was also a wind machine where you stand inside this booth and you try to catch as many dollar bills as you can in a 10-second period. We’ll see what happens next year, but for sure, this year Vail and everybody here running the event put on a great show. It’s going to get even better tonight with the final post Session party. Also, to all those little kids out there who were stoked and were in awe of seeing all their favorite pros this week – you guys make it all happen. As far as the whole week goes, doing this journal has been great. Everybody has told me that this is a rad commentary/Rob-doesn’t-know-what-he’s-doing-but-it-kind-of-makes-sense sort of thing. I’ve been really stoked to do it and I definitely hope I can do it again sometime for some reason. I definitely won’t do it for the U.S. Freeskiing Open next week, though.Vail, keep on rockin!Rob Bak rides for CAPITA, Oakley, Team Vail , DC Shoes, Emagesnow.com and Colorado Chiropractic Sports Medicine.Vail, Colorado


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