Truckee snowboarder Chas Guldemond sits atop world rankings
October 27, 2008
If you have followed the world of professional freestyle snowboarding at all in the last few seasons, youve undoubtedly heard of Truckee super-shredder Chas Guldemond. A contest killer for the last three years, Guldemonds all-around terrain park prowess has placed him on podium after podium, including results in major pro contests this summer that have left him standing especially proud. Guldemond is currently the worlds top-ranked freestyle snowboarder in the Swatch TTR (Ticket to Ride) world snowboard tour, the sports most prestigious international standings.Though hes now back at home in Glenshire and training hard for the upcoming winter, Guldemond had a very eventful summer en route to becoming the TTR series leader. He first grabbed the top spot late July at the New Zealand Open, but not before knocking himself unconscious for a few minutes in the halfpipe contest.I rode really well the first day in New Zealand and got third place in the slopestyle comp, said Guldemond, reminiscing about the summer. The halfpipe contest was the next day and I remember having a great semifinal run, but the next thing I knew I was going down the mountain in an ambulance.A flat landing on a Cab 1080 knocked Guldemond unconscious for nearly five minutes. Despite the major concussion, Guldemonds slopestyle podium finish gave him the points necessary to take the crown of TTR points leader.Guldemond returned to Truckee briefly after the injury, but soon he was headed to Australia to defend his position at three more contests: the Oakley Style Wars, the Boost Mobile SnoSho and the Australian Open.The Oakley Style Wars was a jam-format big air contest held over three days. Guldemond got there a day late, nursing the memory of the last time he was on a board the backboard of a New Zealand ambulance.Heading to Style Wars after the injury, I just wanted to get my feet back underneath me, said Guldemond. My head didnt really mess with me and I made good riding decisions, so it ended up going really well.Though he only had two judged days to everyone elses three, Guldemond took home fifth place at the Oakley Style Wars and enough points to maintain his TTR lead. Rolling on from Style Wars, Guldemond headed across the Outback to the Boost Mobile SnoSho and the Australian Open. The SnoSho event had a unique format in which riders spun a wheel to determine which trick they had to throw. The wheel was stacked with ridiculous tricks, some of which Guldemond had never done. As luck would have it, his first spin he drew one of those unpracticed tricks a frontside 1080. I naturally spin backside and I had never landed a frontside 1080, so I just took off and tossed it, said Guldemond. Somehow I landed on my feet. For the rest of the contest I was having a really good time.Following up the 1080 with four more stomped tricks, Guldemond was the first rider to land five tricks off the wheel, thereby winning the contest and maintaining his TTR lead.A day after the SnoSho, Guldemond jumped into the mix at the even bigger Australian Open. The first day was the halfpipe contest in which he pulled off one of his best pro halfpipe finishes ever fifth place. Moving on to his favored discipline of slopestyle, he hoped to bump up his final showing down under with another victory.Stomping a sick run in the semifinals, his chances of taking the title looked promising, but he slid out on his final run backside 1260 to cab 1080 dropping him into fourth place. Though disappointed not to podium, the grief was short-lived as he boarded the plane to California with his name still engraved on the top of the TTR standings.Having been back in the States for over a month now, Guldemond has been training hard in the gym and the skatepark. Hell need all the practice he can get in the coming weeks as his next TTR title defense will be Dec. 1 at the Canadian Open. Immediately after that, hell be ripping with the absolute superstars of snowboarding in front of 70,000 fans at the Nissan X-Trail Jam in Tokyo, Japan, on Dec. 15.Excited and understandably a little nervous about the upcoming events, Guldemond is focused on the only things he can be until contest day staying healthy and strong. Because as he knows, there is really nothing to worry about. After four title defenses already, he feels he has the skills to do it again. Its just a matter of shining when the spotlight rolls to his drop-in.Anything can happen. I got 1440s, other guys have double corked tricks. It will all come down to what you can land on that given day, said Guldemond. Hopefully Ill be unstoppable.