Snowboard Iskola

On Wednesday evening, The Uninvited Invitational kicked off with a welcome party at the Skullcandy offices in Park City. As riders filtered through registration, signing waivers, reunioning, and grabbing North Face duffel gift bags, the gravity of the week began to sink in.

71 riders had arrived to compete. From the US. From Canada. From Europe. From Japan. 71 of the best snowboarders in the world, whose weight isn't generally measured in podiums but in video parts. And there was also a bevy of accomplished pros who were there to support, to make the event happen by working behind the scenes, by building the park features, by judging, emceeing, or some other considered effort that when pitched in, helped to make The Uninvited Invitational a reality.

That the collected group was all in one place not only buoyed a big sense of snowboarding impact but also of devout community. Excitement and appreciation were high.

(Editor's note: We'll get more into the background of The Uninvited Invitational when the riding starts—this post is about what happened before the contest started.)

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The big back room with big windows at Skullcandy was filled with snowboarders from all different places and at all different stages of their careers, all there for the same reason: to be a part of The Uninvited.

Fat Tire beers were being served. Yeti coolers were stocked with sparkling water. There was a table filled with chips and dips, candy, cheese and crackers, and "meat flowers" as Jess Kimura called them—fancy charcuterie that had been rolled into  shape by hand. There was a Polaroid photo station, and at least two puppies, and a friendship bracelet beading table that was filled the entire night. And everywhere you turned there were friends that you hadn't seen since way too long ago in the season. I'm pretty sure it was the best party I've ever been to.

Around 7:30, Jess called everyone's attention to the stage (aka the flatbottom of the Skullcandy miniramp). There was a covered easel and balloons in the mini that no one had really noticed. Nothing seemed out of place. Jess handed the microphone to Norm Schoff, the creator of Garage Mag, and he and Desiree Melancon unveiled the cover of Garage Mag issue 4, featuring a photo of Kennedi Deck taken by Des.

Kennedi's jaw dropped. The entire house went wild.

Desiree, Kennedi, and Garage Mag issue 4.

What a way to kick off The Uninvited Invitational. Kennedi had opener in the first Uninvited video when she was on the come up and since then, her video parts have been a benchmark of where considered style and technical prowess come together. She's someone that others look up to and is just an all-around awesome person. 

And at the second Uninvited Invitational, Kennedi is surprised with the cover of Garage Mag in photo collaboration with friend, photographer, and fellow trailblazing street rider, Desiree Melancon. (Des also had a cameo in the first movie.) And a room full of legends, pros, ams, and up-and-comers erupted. This is what is special about snowboarding. And The Uninvited captures that specialness and shares it.

Kennedi's cover brought the house down. And the riding hasn't even started yet.

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Tomorrow the qualifiers kick off at Woodward Park City. Stay tuned for more updates and follow @the__uninvited to see it in relatively real time.