"Best snowboard event ever." Yep, people said that. "The way all snowboard events should be." Yeah, they said that, too.
The inaugural Holy Bowly went down last week at Happoone Resort in Hakuba, Nagano, Japan. What, exactly was it? Besides being a truly great time, it was simply a shred session in which a group of snowboarders gathered, built, and then subsequently destroyed, a bowl made out of snow.
Spring bowl sessions have been tradition in Japan for more than a decade now. Crews around the country gather at their respective resorts, design and dig bowls like the one at the Holy Bowly, here, and then session the slush out of them.
Mervin Manufacturing's Event Czar Krush Kulesza has always been intrigued by this subculture, so this year he decided to collaborate with Japan's Master bowl builders Hayato "Bubbles" Maruyama, Goro Komatsu and Shuji Kajiura to build one, invite a bunch of ripping snowboarders from the States to ride with local Japanese shreds in it, and call it an "event."
After several days of building, then some rain, then more digging, everyone finally got to rip the bowl on Sunday and Monday. It was sunny and slushy and really couldn't have been any cooler. It was some kind of gathering -- one defined by creativity and flow, an overwhelming sense of camaraderie.
"The interaction and the community feel was even more than I could've imagined," said a slightly choked up Kulesza.
Everyone agreed on that, too -- and that they'd be coming back next year. Kulesza said The Holy Bowly is definitely going to be an annual event. "I think the best idea is just to take this show on the road," said Kulesza. "Take it all over Japan. It's just getting started, man."