Bear Blog


TALES FROM THE DAWG: Game Plan for the 11th Annual Event

Tales From the Dawg Banner for web

“After 11 years I still get excited when Hot Dawgz & Hand Rails comes along because it means that winter is almost here”, said Clayton Shoemaker (Director of Park Development & Youth Marketing) with a paint roller in his hand while standing at the base of a gargantuan new feature for the HDHR set up. In fact Clayton and the rest of the Park Crew have been working overtime to get this year’s course set up in shape, even working Saturday’s leading up to the event!

Over the past few weeks, Tales From the Dawg has focused on the history of HDHR. We’ve made readers look up at the sky, and put on their thinking face while we started the chime music and rippled their screens…  But now the flashback is over! With the 11th Annual HDHR only 11 Days away it’s time to focus on what will be going down this year at the biggest winter kickoff party of the year!B&W Building HDHR (1 of 2)

“What started with 40 tons of ice chipped into snow the first year has more than tripled this year and it’ll take 5 semi-trucks just to supply us with the ice we need,” said Chris Riddle (Vice President of Marketing for BBMR). It fact this year not only will there be more snow, but there will also be more course! “Our Park Crew has designed a split course, offering two sections that riders can hit. The crowd will be placed in the center of the action between these two courses and also between two dualing DJ’s atop towering scaffolding.”

Once HDHR hits we notice one thing… people really start to think about winter, and we’re noticing that already! While most park crews are still in the process of building their features for the upcoming winter, we at Bear Mountain are already showing our new features to the general public by letting pro riders be the first to hit them! HDHR allows all who attend the chance to see pro riders hit these new features before they are put into the Red Bull Plaza this coming winter where the general public can enjoy them.B&W Building HDHR (2 of 2)

“As a resort and as a park we are always trying to be progressive even when it’s not winter,” said Clayton Shoemaker as he and his crew were fixing a garage door to the side of some scaffolding. “And that really is a testament to the commitment we have to our guests and riders. This year we’re trying to make the features more dynamic. We’re keeping it urban, but also trying to add a little industrial flair. At HDHR we’ll be seeing features that I’ve never seen anyone hit before including a few roof rides and it’ll be exciting to see how the best handle it.”

Here’s how the competition will go down. We’ll have two separate course set ups with the crowd in the middle of the action. Half of our riders will start on the right course while the other half of the riders will start on the left. Then when it’s time for the Second Heat the riders will switch courses, having them show their range of skill when they can’t keep hitting the same set up over and over again.

When asked what the best part about HDHR was Shoemaker jokingly replied, “Once our work is done and we’re watching the riders from the sun deck while having a drink with the rest of the park crew!” After seeing the incredible work the Park Crew has done on this course we think that they deserve two…

Join us Saturday, September 27th for this year’s 11th Annual Hot Dawgz & Hand Rails.Tune in Saturday for another edition of Tales From the Dawg where we’ll be interviewing Team Rider Scotty Vine to his perspective on HDHR!

Filed Under: Hot Dawgz & Hand Rails.

Posted: 9/16/14, 2:39pm, by Dustin Murphy. See Post


TALES FROM THE DAWG: Team Rider Zak Hale

Tales From the Dawg Banner for web

Zak Hale… We caught up for a quick interview with him a few weeks ago and just as his tricks are nicely pulled off his comments were straight and to the point.  Hale’s been living in San Clemente this summer and he’s there until October when he starts moving around for the winter season.  He just been doing his thing… surfing, skating and doing his physical training. But even though Utah will be his base camp Hale is excited to come back to Bear once the winter hits and of course for this year’s 11th Annual Hot Dawgz and Hand Rails (HDHR).Zak Hale Getting Air

During our interview Hale was reminded of his long history with Bear Mountain as he was reminiscing about how he actually learned to Snowboard at Bear as a kid.  He moved to Big Bear at the age of 4 and the rest is history…”It really all just went from there. I learned to ride at Bear when I was 5… I’d do all the contest and growing up there one thing lead to another.  I eventually got more sponsors and here I am today.” Hale was also remembering the very first HDHR. “11 years… that’s crazy to think about”.  And in those 11 years Hale has competed in every single HDHR with the exception of the first one where he was only a young spectator.

The year Hale won 3rd place was of particular significance to him.  “I don’t remember exactly what year it was, but it was great to be up on the podium in front of all my friends from High School.  That was pretty cool for sure.”  Since that time Zak Hale has definitely been one of the local kids in the industry making it happen.

It was a pleasure catching up with Zak and get his perspective on HDHR.  After his interview got finished up nice and quick we stated… “Well, that was easy enough”, to which he responded “Easy peezy lemon squeezy.”  If only we could make our own riding look as effortless and “easy peezy” as Zak does on any given day in the People’s Park.

Zak Hale
Join us Saturday, September 27th for this year’s 11th Annual Hot Dawgz & Hand Rails. Tune in next Tuesday for another edition of Tales From the Dawg where we’ll be bringing you up to speed on what the plan is for this year at the 11th Annual HDHR!

Filed Under: Hot Dawgz & Hand Rails.

Posted: 9/12/14, 9:31am, by Dustin Murphy. See Post


TALES FROM THE DAWG: Bear Mountain & Red Bull Change the Game

Tales From the Dawg Banner for web

Hot Dawgz and Hand Rails is now in its 11th year. It’s hard to believe how fast time flies… But what got us to this point here in Bear Mountain history? Even though it seems like yesterday when this event was in its creation period a lot has happened since our inaugural year. Let’s enjoy a little flashback, shall we? Everybody look up at the sky, put on your thinking face, and we’ll start the chime music and ripple your screen…

Bear Mountain & Red Bull Change the Game

TFTD Old HDHR Rave Card (1 of 1)
After the success of the inaugural year of Hot Dawgz and Hand Rails (HDHR) there was only one direction for the event to go… UP!  Each year the footprint of the event got bigger and bigger and so did the features.

“We at Bear Mountain always had the vision to take features from our HDHR event and create a little area where kids could hit all of them in our park.” Clayton Shoemaker, Director of Park Development and Youth Marketing explained. “We wanted HDHR to be almost a sneak preview for new features that would be added to our park once winter came. When the relationship was made with Red Bull for them to become a part of HDHR we seized the opportunity to grow.  We had the vision and Red Bull helped us make it happen.”

TFTD Red Bull Plaza (1 of 2)In 2010 for the 8th Annual HDHR Red Bull signed on to sponsor the event. That year the Bear Mountain Park Crew was able to take the build to the next level pushing the progression of the riders as well as the build. What started that year eventually grew into a little area of the People’s Park that we’ve all come to know and love, The Red Bull Plaza.

“The first year Red Bull joined the game, we took one feature from HDHR and place it in Street Scene.” said Clayton Shoemaker. “That is what spawned the Red Bull Plaza which we’d implement in the following season.”

TFTD Red Bull Plaza (2 of 2)
In future years the Red Bull Plaza would grow and even move to a few locations on the mountain including Powder Bowl and Street Scene. In the 2012/13 Season The Red Bull Plaza even featured an infamous cop car feature which was designed in collaboration with SPT and which quickly became a favorite for riders to hit. The entire Red Bull Plaza that year including the cop car feature was even featured on an episode of Mountain Movers on the National Geographic channel and with nationwide exposure Bear Mountain was once again in the national spotlight for its progress in park development.

The Red Bull Plaza would eventually find its home near the base of the mountain in what we refer to as “Lower Park Run” which had proven to be the perfect home for the Plaza as it can been seen by spectators enjoying a drink at our world famous sun deck in front of the Beach Bar!

Join us Saturday, September 27th for this year’s 11th Annual Hot Dawgz & Hand Rails. Tune in Friday, September 12th for more “Tales from the Dawg” as we interview Team Rider Zak Hale!

Filed Under: Hot Dawgz & Hand Rails.

Posted: 9/9/14, 3:47pm, by Dustin Murphy. See Post


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