BEST STORY EVER | CHRIS GRENIER
A Captain Goes Down with the Ship | by Chris Grenier
I was at Dew Tour two winters ago placed in the prestigious “team captain” role. Which basically entailed supporting and hyping the rest of the Salomon team. More importantly, this position requires no snowboarding whatsoever. I was enjoying the role, getting the team riders excited, and literally had zero pressure to ride. So, it was a relaxed event for me to say the least. Soaking up the perks offered to contest riders: tents full of gourmet food, delicious coffee, massage therapists, etc.
Day 1 was underway and I was chugging coffee when our first rider, Judd Henkes, took his run through the jump section. I was hanging out at the top of the course, mingling with A-list contest riders, coaches, and team managers. Unfortunately, Judd took a heavy bail on his first run and destroyed his ankle, no landed run meant Team Salomon had no score on the board. Judd said, “Chris, you need to take my second run. I can’t ride.” There was only two minutes 'till he had to drop in, I didn’t have any warning, I said, “Fuck it, yes, I’ll do it!” I hadn’t strapped in once all day, I hadn't even looked at the course. The event organizers quickly brought me over to the start area, all the riders were yelling and getting me going. They were hyped I was jumping in their arena. These jumps were huge and fast, and I was riding a Salomon 150cm board with completely detuned edges and not a scent of wax on it. I had no clue what the speed was but I was at the top feeling like Eminem in 8 Mile, “Mom's Spaghetti” vibes. I figured I would start with a Frontside 720 on the first jump, that’s all I planned for. I dropped in with the skier guy following me strapped with the big TV camera, Front 7 the first jump. Land. I was like, “Holy shit, I’m really doing it!” For a second I felt like Sage Kotsenburg at the Sochi Olympics, so I pointed it dead straight at the second jump and go Back 3. Immediately I'm like, “Fuuuuck!“ I knew I had overshot it, over-rotated, came in slow tip forward, and exploded my shoulder. My shoulder was completely out, dislocated and separated, I rode to the bottom of the course with my tail between my legs in excruciating pain. At the bottom, the TV announcer lady was there with her mic, so I said to myself, “Chris, pull it together, there’s a shit load of people watching.” I did the interview like a champ and felt like Tom Brady giving the post-game rundown, killed it. Then proceeded to get heavily made fun of by my friends for dying on Backside 360 on national television.
As embarrassing and as painful as it was, I would go back and do it all over. My friends enjoyed some quality entertainment and I don’t have to live with the regret of a missed opportunity.