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January 26, 2009

Half Pipes and Pizza Rolls

Once again, when it comes to conjuring up new sick shit to try on a snow-covered hillside (or park bench or picnic table or rooftop...) Vermonters have their competitors on their knees, literally. This morning I got word from Whitney Phillips at Mad River Rockets in Warren. He reports that 19-year-old Tom Mull of Manchester, Vermont just won a nationwide video contest sponsored by Totino's Pizza Rolls. Tom's homemade video, which features himself, his brother Steve, Josh Gauthier and a few other Vermont "free sledders" who ride Mad River Rockets, took home Totino's Grand Prize for their aerial acrobatics.

Aside from airing Tom's video in a Totino's Pizza Roll commercial during this year's Winter X Games, Tom and three of his friends will get an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2010 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado and, presumably, a healthy supply of pizza rolls to keep them, uh, rolling for weeks to come. (Don't get it? Just check out the video.)

According to Phillips, what makes this story even cooler (besides the free national exposure for a Vermont-grown sport and company) is that Mull took up freesledding due to a degenerative hip disorder that's made skiing and snowboarding impossible for him. (In the last two years, he's had both hips replaced.) It's amazing to see what these guys can do on a small piece of molded plastic. Sweet!

Whoa! That looks like so much fun!

Hell on the knees, though. Or is it? I wonder how they get the rotation?

Sick article. To answer your question Margot, it's only hell on the knees if you're riding an icy landing with no return. Otherwise, my knees are beautiful. The rotation comes from planting the hand, throwing the shoulders, and then following with the waste. Or something like that.

Glad to hear these guys have a new sponsorship from ProTec. Hopefully they will be rocking helmets in future videos. I'd like to see them stick around for a while, and not end up with preventable head injuries. Protection rules!

Good point, Tom. Head injuries are an ugly thing, but so easily preventable. Now, I just hope my knees are up to the challenge...

WOW, great video and way to represent VT! Inspired me to give sledding a try before the snow melts. Congrats Tom!

We actually dropped the sponsorship from Pro-Tec. Now we're on ShredReady. Should be getting some snazzy helmets soon. Check out their website:

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