UCSB Triumphs at Red Bull Snow Warz
by Kelsey Leland


UCSB snow bums took to the hills last month for Red Bull Snow Warz, an annual snowboarding event that combines taurine-fueled riding with good old-fashioned school-to-school rivalry — and of course, one big “fuck you” to the institution of pre-finals week cramming.
And how did we fare? UCSB competitors claimed second place out of more than 60 participating teams at the March 13­–15 event, which took place at Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort in Mammoth Lakes, CA.

“It felt pretty good, because everyone skied and snowboarded really well,” says Lundy Schneider, a skier for the UCSB­–UCLA combined team. “We had a really good time,” he says, laughing.
Red Bull Snow Warz, an annual event sponsored by Red Bull, Inc., brings students together from over 50 colleges nationwide for a freestyle snowboarding and skiing competition, where teams of four to six riders compete for bragging rights, dignity — and grand-prize ski resort season passes.
It’s a weekend of snow, slopes, energy drinks, other drinks, and grandma-fucking. Blowup-doll grandma fucking, that is.
Because even with their school’s reputation and personal pride on the line, participants reveled in playfulness and self-mockery. Many competitors ditched standard snow garb in favor of more creative attire: costumes included 1960s flower children, a skeleton, some serious Harvard mockery, and of course, the infamous senior-seducer.
Snowboarders and skiers from all levels of experience are encouraged to compete — and with no registration fee and heavily discounted lodging and lift ticket prices, why the hell not?
“It’s good scene throughout the whole time. All the competitors were there to ride, but there’s a lot of people that came just to watch and party,” says Schneider.
The event began with a kick-off celebration at Red Bull headquarters in Los Angeles, where students boozed up for the six-hour bus ride to Mammoth. “It was ridiculous,” says Santa Barbara snowboarder Bryan Karaffa, who competed with the UCSB–UCLA team. “They got a half pipe in their cubicles.”
The post-competition festivities, which took place at The Canyon Lodge at the foot of the slopes, featured a full bar and famed DJ Valida from Los Angeles. “It was sick,” Karaffa says. “We took over the whole town.”
But in true UCSB form, the event balances its chaos and carousal with serious commitment and competence.
This year’s judging panel, which included snowboarding pro Zach Leach, skiing pro Omar Otte and 17-year-old snowboarding phenomenon Forest Bailey, scored each competitor for style, magnitude, and overall difficulty of tricks. “The judges like the crowd pleasers,” says Schneider, who rides for Liberty Skis.
Schneider, who has been skiing since he could walk and divides his time seasonally between Santa Barbara and Mammoth Lake, landed a “cork 900,” spinning two-and-a-half times and landing backwards from the 40 foot jump.
How do riders handle the transition from all-out partying to all-out competing? Simple, says Karaffa: “I was all cracked out on Red Bull, so it was good.”
For more information on Red Bull Snow Warz, visit www.redbullusa.com/snowwarz.