Experience big air

When Olympian and X Games gold medalist Chas Guldemond stands atop a big air ramp, he soaks it all in – the atmosphere, the crowd, the risk – and then he takes the plunge … reaching speeds of almost 40 miles per hour before launching into the air, soaring more than 70 feet.

Snowboarder, Chas Guldemond being awesome

Come along for the ride

New Hampshire native Chas Guldemond explains just what it’s like to perform a big air jump, and Sage Kotsenburg demonstrates the two big components – the takeoff and the flight.

Sage Kotsenburg is among the top names in competitive snowboarding.

Kotsenburg, 22, of Park City, Utah, won an Olympic gold medal in slopestyle at the 2014 Games in Sochi and is a regular at the X Games.

Chas Guldemond, who grew up in Laconia, N.H., but now lives in Nevada, was also on the US snowboard team at the Sochi Games and was a gold medalist at the X Games in Tignes, France, in 2011. At 29, Guldemond is one of the veterans of the professional snowboarding world, but he retains a youthful enthusiasm for his sport.

Both are scheduled to compete in Big Air at Fenway Park Feb. 11-12, where they’ll perform tricks on a snowboard ramp towering 140 feet – some 7 feet above the light fixtures on top of the Green Monster.

“It’s an amazing experience. The other day, I made finals at the Dew Tour for, like, the 10th year in a row or something like that, and it’s pretty amazing to still be staying at the top of this sport,” Guldemond said.

Making a big jump count

The point is not just to hit a big jump and fly as far as you can. Tricks are what separate riders in the eyes of the judges, and all tricks are a combination of five concepts.


Judges score riders on a 100-point scale based on difficulty, amplitude, execution, and landing. Deductions are made for minor faults – such as hand dragging – and major faults – such as not landing on the board/skis. Judges consult with riders to learn about the tricks they will be attempting, and also must know what a rider’s natural stance is.

Spencer Shaw, Chas Guldemond, Brett Esser at the 2011 Sprint US Snowboard Grand Prix at Mammoth Carin Yates