A Slice of Nationals with Rascha Jelks

“The whole reason I went was to skip a week of school and ride powder in the sunshine — it’s the perfect excuse.”

-Rascha Jelks, president of BUST

Copper Mountain, USASA Nationals 2011 (Photo courtesy of Christine Binko)

BUST President Rascha Jelks was invited to compete in the women’s boardercross at the United States of America Snowboard Association (USASA) Nationals last year.  They were held at Copper Mountain, near Denver, from April 2-8. Five other BUST members went with (three girls and two guys, which she thought was cool) for six days of nonstop shredding.

First off, what was the highlight of your trip?

There’s this event they do called Monster Mash.  It’s with all the pro’s and winners from the half-pipe competitions. They got up in the pipe and were getting mad air. All the pros and little kids riding together. It was really cool. Howard got in there too, Coach Howie.

Wow, I can only imagine how cool that was to see.  Overall, your experience was….

The snow was amazing, which was kind of our downfall, I guess. It was gorgeous. Except, the boardercross competition was on the fourth day and we had been riding in hip-deep powder for four days. We were totally worn out by the end. And, we had been bumming rides to the mountain, so by the time we got there, we had missed warm-ups.

So, you were tired and now you get no practice run to test the course.

Yup. Basically, our first run was our warm-up and I face plant into the first roller (an obstacle riders can jump or pump). Honestly, I jumped out of the starting gate, went up the little hill and face-planted. I had to take off my board and walk up it and strap back in.

Besides your first run fiasco, how did the competition go?

I got 9th overall in Women’s Jams, the bracket for ages 18-22 I believe. But that doesn’t matter, the cool thing about it was everyone from the North East hung out together. We got close to the guys from UVM (University of Vermont); they shredded.

At least you got some solid, out-west riding then. What else did you take away from this experience?

I learned that I’m a warrior– sleeping on a couch for three nights, taking one cold shower, and cuddling with my friend Christine for body heat.

Do you plan on competing again this year?

Definitely. We’re going to competitions in Vermont this year. I’m going to do Open instead of Jams, so I have more competition.

BUST Girls at Nationals, April 2011 (Photo courtesy of Christine Binko)