2013 Gear • Finding Altay Rider Profile: 小眼 • Trick Tips Air & Style Beijing
THE FIRST ISSUE
v. – to hold or participate in a session n. - a meeting of a group of people to pursue an activity
名词：一群人集体地做自己想做的事情 动词: 聚集参与自己想做的事情
Session is China’s snowboard magazine. Filled with exclusive, original content from both China and around the world, we keep you tuned in to the Chinese and international snowboarding communities and inspire you to get out and ride. Behind Session’s pages one finds a group of four friends spanning from New York to Beijing, and a snowboard community that supports them. The inspiration for Session comes from our desire to give readers an experience that recreates the feeling of being part of a killer on-snow Session. What makes up a Session? The recipe is simple: all you need is your crew, your snowboard and a spot. With a relaxed vibe and the dedication to stomp your newest trick, the rest comes naturally. Progression. Style. Originality. In a “sport” that is evolving at warp speeds across the globe, a Session is still what you find at the heart of every advance of trends and tricks. This is why every Session delivers what each rider hungers for and comes back for season after season: checking out other rider’s gear, then choosing your own set-up. Rolling up to a fresh spot, then discovering the perfect feature. Watching your friends stomp a new trick, then dropping in and trying it yourself. At the end of the day when the Sess is over, you’re 100% satisfied with what went down, but still amped and ready to slay the next Session. Sincerely, Baopi, Nate, Sam and Xiaolong
Jason Robinson at Nanshan. Photo by Ryan “Huggy” Hughes/snowboardermag.com Instagram: snowboardermag 7
Andrew Wang at Nanshan. Photo by Ryan “Huggy” Hughes/snowboardermag.com Instagram: snowboardermag 9
Jason Robinson and Blake Paul at Nanshan. Photo by Ryan “Huggy” Hughes/snowboardermag.com Instagram: snowboardermag 11
Blair Habenicht at Beidahu. Photo by Ryan “Huggy” Hughes/snowboardermag.com Instagram: snowboardermag 13
Ville Eerik Uotilla at Nanshan. Photo: Sam Cornwall Find Session China on Instagram 15
SESSION CHINA VOL. 1 2012/3 5 Welcome
18 Boots 28 Outerwear 42 Helmets & Goggles
Air & Style Beijing 2012
Interview with Devun Walsh
BS 180 Japan
The crew goes in search of snow and adventure in Xinjiang.
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sessionchina sessionchina.com firstname.lastname@example.org Atsushi Ishikawa during the semifinals of the Nanshan Open 2013. Photo: Sam Cornwall
BOOT Boots. The most important part of your setup. You’ve probably heard that before—because it’s true. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a pro, your comfort stems from your feet. If your boots are too big, too small, too loose, too tight, too stiff, or too soft, you won’t have a good day. Everyone’s feet are different, so try on as many different pairs as possible. Once you narrow it down to boots that feel good, take a few demo pairs out on the mountain to get a feel for how they ride. A stiffer boot will give you quick edge-to-edge response, usually preferred by aggressive riders for hitting big jumps and charging hard, but not your best bet for getting steezy on rails. Keep in mind that stiff boots aren’t as comfortable as soft boots. A softer boot works better for riders who prefer a cruisy-surf style, sick presses on rails and general park steeze. For optimum board control, buy your boots a half-size too small and then wear them around the house for a few hours to mold the boot to your foot. Fast-lacing systems generally provide convenience and stay tight throughout the day. Some prefer the old-school lacing method, but I could never get regular laces as tight as the fast-lacing systems. There are a host of good to boots choose from. We’ve picked some of our favorites this year from Rome, ThirtyTwo and Vans.
Andy Nudds at the Nanshan Open 2013. Photo: Sam Cornwall 18
OUTER WEAR Thereâ€™s an overwhelming amount of choices in the jackets and pants category. While the obvious way to shop for outerwear is fashion first, consider the technical aspects, as well. Check the waterproof rating. If you like to ride in adverse weather, buy something with a waterproof rating over 10,000. Also, keep in mind that you want your pants to be the most waterproof because most of us spend a lot of time sitting on our asses. A high waterproof rating will keep your bottom dry. Other features to look for include snowskirts in jackets and pants to help keep the snow out when you eat shit. I recently switched to bib-style pants. While theyâ€™re not the most fashionable option, they are the most effective way to keep snow out. Some styles have waist snow-skirts which can be pretty effective too. Jackets these days have so many gizmos and extra features. We like big pockets, articulating hoods and fleece-lined collars. Check out each jacket for hidden pockets and other goodies. When you try on jackets and pants, move around in the store like you are riding. Stretch your hands over your head and bend over to simulate different things that might happen while you ride. If you still feel good in all of those silly positions, its a good fit. Some like it baggy, some like it tight. Find your own style.
Jason Robinson finds his style at Beidahu. Photo by Ryan “Huggy” Hughes/snowboardermag.com Instagram: snowboardermag 29
ThirtyTwo Cyclone Jacket ThirtyTwo Slauson Pant 30
ThirtyTwo Sonora Jacket ThirtyTwo Blahzay Pant 31
Quiksilver Rendevous Beanie Oakley Unification Pro Jacket Quiksilver Escape Pant 32
Owner/Operator Earflap Hat Lib Tech Strait Jacket Oakley Motility Pant 33
Quiksilver Rendezvous Beanie Lib Tech Wayne Jacket Quiksilver Shadow Pant 34
Lib Tech Recyler Jacket Lib Tech Wayne Bib Pant 35
Coal Harbor Analog Com Fiz Jacket Owner/Operator 111 Pant 36
Lib Tech Bish Beanie Analog Alder Jacket Analog Alder Pant 37
Coal Cameron Oakley GB Eco Jacket Roxy Torah Bright Pant 38
Coal Florence Oakley MFR Jacket Oakley GB Pant 39
Coal Scotty Oakley Moving Jacket Oakley MFR Pant 40
Owner/Operator Mt. Chiller Hat Owner/Operator Primaloft C.P.O. Oakley MFR Pant 41
HELMETS GOGGLES You should wear a helmet. Your brain is the most important part of your body, and is teeming with information you can easily damage in a bad crash. More and more studies are revealing significant long-term effects of head injuries, even minor ones. While the best way to prevent brain damage is not hitting our heads when we fall, accidents by definition tend to get a little...out of control. Wearing a helmet offers additional protection, but its still not a perfect solution. Even when wearing one, don’t do anything you wouldn’t normally do. Superwide lenses are all the rage in goggle design these days. I must say, when I strapped on my new Trouble Andrew Electric EG2s, the extra range of peripheral vision was like experiencing goggles in a whole new way. These bad boys don’t limit your vision at all—I felt like I wasn’t even wearing goggles. Now that all the brands make superwides, check out the newest models and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Be sure to try different lenses for different lighting conditions, too. Ruts, ice and our other snow friends appear clearer through a rose or yellow tinted lens, and your eyes will thank you for wearing a dark lens when the sun gets gnar-gnar.
Zhu Hong talks to the press after her 3rd place finish in the Nanshan Open. Photo: Sam Cornwall 43
Smith Allure Smith Virtue Owner/Operator Anorak 44
Electric EG2 Coal Harbor Roxy One Look Sweater 45
Pro-Tec Riot Oakley Splice Roxy One Look Sweater 46
Oakley Crowbar Coal Scotty Oakley Moving Jkt 47
Electric EG2 Lib-Tech Cobbulator Quiksilver Corruption Hoodie 48
Smith Maze Smith I/O X Quiksilver Fracture Jkt 49
Electric EG2.5 Coal Knit Clava Owner/Operator Ranch Jkt 50
Oakley Danny Kass Quiksilver Travis Beanie Quiksilver Next Mission 51
Backside 180 Japan
Backside 180 J
Japan grabs can give any trick huge style 1. Approach: After gauging the jumpâ€™s speed, drop points, just ask Travis Rice, Nicholas Mueller, in. Approach the lip without carvingâ€”this will make and Xiao Hu. They are a bit tricky to do, espe- sure you have a flat base on the takeoff. cially mastering the tweak, but the rewards are 2. Takeoff: Maintain a flat base with your knees worth it. Before trying this trick: Dial backside 180s and straight air Japan grabs. 52
bent. Keep your weight over your toes and pop just a little bit more off your back foot. Once in the air,
Backside 180 Japan
Key to the trick: Make sure you choose a jump that gives you enough hang time. The Japan takes a bit more time to grab, tweak, and release. If thereâ€™s not enough pop, your tweak will either never happen or be too rushed.
have a solid grip on your edge, stick your chest out and pull your board up behind you. This is the tweak, initiate a slow backside spin. Keep your knees bent and it feels like you are doing a quad muscle stretch. and reach your front hand down to grab the board beYou should be at about a 90 degree spin when youâ€™re tween your feet. tweaking. 3. The Grab: Grab first, then tweak. Bring your 4. Landing: To undo the tweak bring your knees up knees up to your chest and reach your front hand to your chest and release your grab. This means your down to your board. Grab the board between your knees are already bent and ready to absorb the landbindings just inside your front foot. Make sure to ing. As with all backside 180s, land slightly on your keep your elbow outside your front knee. Once you toe edge to stop your spin and ride out straight. 53
Session: Age? Xiaoyan: 21.
Favorite people to ride with? Can I say chicks?
Hometown? Anshan, Liaoning Province.
Why? I’m empty and I’m lonely.
Favorite movie star? Singer? Optimus Prime.
Years Riding? Two years.
TV? Don’t really watch TV. Walking Dead, I guess.
Sponsors? None yet.
Video games? League of Legends… Can being embarrassed just count as my answer?
Contest results? Haven’t competed in any big competitions, just smaaller more casual ones. No rankings. How did you start snowboarding? Skateboarding. Who supported you? My older cousin. And of course my buddies at Anshan. Why do you snowboard so much? It’s like smoking… Place you want to ride most? Bear Mountain.
What are you doing today? Riding. Tonight? Drinking. Best on-snow memory? First time off a kicker... Best off-snow memory? Does my first girlfriend count? Anything else you’d like to add? Whose question is this? Why are you putting me on the spot?
Favorite riders? Horgmo. Photo: Xiao Long 54
Photo: Erin 0â€™Hara
Photos By Sam Cornwall
Devun (2nd from left) hard at work, speaking with the trick caller, judge Theirry Monay and head judge Daniel Meier.
Devun Walsh is a true backcountry legend. His distinct style and decades of experience in the Whistler backcountry have earned him dozens of video parts and countless fans worldwide. His accomplishments have made him a pillar in the international snowboarding community, and they have showed their esteem for his opinion by selecting him to be a judge at Air & Style Beijing. This was Devun’s third time to Beijing, and we were lucky to speak with him about his judging, his time in China, his numerous pro models and his plans for this season. Here is an edited excerpt of our conversation. Session Magazine: You’re judging this year like
you have in the past two years, what’s your criteria?
Devun Walsh: Well, my criteria for judging is looking for good air, smooth styley spins, and stomps, pretty much. Good tricks! S: I heard last night that you’re one of the better judges, but that you’re slower to get the score in, is that true? D: So that’s what it is, I am a slow judge.
S: As a judge, do you have trouble keeping all the tricks and spins straight in your mind? When these guys get going they’re spinning like tops.
D: I like to take it all into consideration, so I guess it’s true.
D: Yeah, they start to get a bit confusing when they get up to the 12’s. And you know, that’s part of the problem. We’re judging and we’re on such a quick turn around. It’s like: “Is that a 10 or a 12? Oh, it was a 14! Oh god…” It’s a bit confusing.
S: This is your third trip here to Air & Style in Beijing, has it changed much?
S: It’s hard to keep track. What are your plans for filming this year?
S: That’s the rumor.
D: Well, the first year [the Air & Style] was in the other [Olympic Sports Center] stadium, and then last year it moved to the Bird’s Nest, so [this year] it looks pretty similar. I haven’t gotten to really see it from the judging tower yet, but it looks very similar to last year, which was a great event. I think the jump [last year] was quite a bit better from the previous year.
D: This year is still kinda up in the air. We’re going to make some webisodes, something like that. We filmed the DC movie [Must Be Nice] last year and it came out in the fall. Moving forward I think we’re just going to have a tight group of friends and film some webisodes that are going to drop next fall. So look for that, and I think we’re going to have a pretty mellow year. S: Sticking around BC [British Columbia, Canada]? D: A little bit of traveling depending on weather. It’s all weather dependent. If it’s good in BC we’re going to stay there, and if it’s not good we’ll probably travel a bit. But for the most part, planning on being in BC. S: You have a little kid, right? D: Yea, I have two daughters, a 6 month old and a 2 and a half year old. S: So, what do your daughters think of your work?
D: My daughter, who is two and a half, is so keen to start snowboarding this year. I think we’re going to start her on some skis first. If she wants to snowboard, she can snowboard, then sort of figure it out from there. But, I’m so excited to get her out there with me. It will be a lot of fun. S: That sounds fun. Talking more about China, since you’ve been here three times, have you learned any Chinese? D: [Laughs] Actually I haven’t learned any Chinese. Terrible! I don’t know why! I did see the Great Wall, done some serious shopping, went golfing, it was good. I fell in the lake [at the golf course], though, cuz it was an ice-covered lake and my ball went on it, so… But, other than that, ya, I’ve had great trips here. Some late-night markets, too. Five a.m. silkworm eating, chicken-wing eating—pretty awesome. S: Definitely. So, how many seasons have you been sponsored?
Photo: Nate Jones
Photo: Nate Jones
D: This would be... I think this is my 18th year as a pro. So, quite some time. S: So, 10 or 12 signature models? D: I’ve had a signature model for… Boy, I just looked at them the other day, I’ve had one for almost every year, so it’s crazy. S: That’s a lot! D: Well, I have this room, and it’s just full of boards. It’s at my mom’s house—they’re not even all up. It’s awesome. One day it’s going to be a cool room somewhere in my house, or in my garage.
D: I haven’t hit a jump like this in a while. I think I might go to the Air & Style in Innsbruck, because it’s 20 years [old this year]. So, a lot of the old guys who used to [compete] are going to go and everyone’s going to hit [the jump]—Terje, Peter [Line], hopefully, me. So that should be pretty cool. Have a little style session. S: I want to see that! D: Yea. It looks fun! ...Until you get to the drop-in... S: It does look scary from the top. D: It does.
S: When was the last time you hit a jump like this? Are we going to see a Devun Walsh backside five over one of these big air jumps?
Thanks, Devun! You can see Devun in DC’s Must Be Nice on sessionchina.com and our Weibo and Facebook pages.
点击 查看 72
The Kadona Theorum: gold = 3(1440Âş)16 years old History-making triple cork from Yuki Kadona. Remember that name. Heâ€™s only 16, and threw down the best trick of the Super Final. 73
Big things are going to come from the first Asian winner of the Air & Style. 74
Ohhh pop champange...
Ohhh we pop champange ohhh... 75
阿勒泰奇遇记 Finding Altay Words by Bobby Carleo Photos by Sam Cornwall
Where were we? Beyond the festive street lamps, we saw nothing. No mountains, just…stark black. Shops were shuttered up. What time was it? One, two, three in the morning? And somehow the old man leading us through town insisted on helping with our bags with a colorful smile. The lights reflecting off the all-enveloping snow reminded us this was the town at its most lively: the middle of Spring Festival. Families had returned home to reunite for the holiday along the same route we’d taken here: from megalopolises like Beijing through Urumqi and into this little town. But it was late. Indeed, shortly after we’d landed the lights at the airport had completely and unexpectedly shut down—it had, in fact, closed for the night—leaving us stranded in the freezing dark, wedged between the single runway and a dense line of trees. The taxi that had agreed to come back for us was nowhere to be seen. 76
This led to us accepting a generous invitation to squeeze in, with all our crap, to a raucous van of young Chinese—the last ride out for the last shift of employees. They serenaded us into town, mixing Mandarin pop songs with holiday jingle—a hospitality as unexpected as it was overwhelming. Despite the temperature, there was a definite warmness to the people here. We were no longer in Beijing. This Wonka-esque town gave us bearings on this new world fast, however, despite our addled state. A single sign at the far end of the street shone a large red character for “noodles.” Beat, dazed, and more than happy to find warm food at this hour, we made our way into a yellow-lit, smoky room bursting with drunken, rowdy Khazaks. Ostensibly eager to befriend us, waves of rushed, excessively emotional introductions gave way to vehement ranting and expounding on the area’s history—their homeland. Welcome to Altay, little mountain hamlet of extremes.
We woke up the next morning to find whiteness everywhere. Untouched mountains of it. Despite our complete lack of planning, we’d struck white gold…or so it seemed.
ately offered to comp our tickets, which began our tense but fruitful relationship with the local Tourism Bureau, as well as the nascent realization of just how incredible Altay would be to us.
Around noon, which is morning in Xinjiang (4000km west of, but in the same timezone as, Beijing), we figured out how to get up to Jiangjun Shan, the local ski area (translated literally, “General’s Mountain”). We crammed into the ski area’s “minibus”, a smaller than usual van already packed with people, skis, poles, snowboards, cameras, tripods, and bags poking and jabbing out every which way (not to mention Ted’s ski boots, which he had absconded with from a small ski resort in Urumqi).
The chairlift offered access to endless powder runs, but we quickly scoped out a spot to set up a kicker and started struggling with some outrageously uncooperative snow—a harbinger of things to come. Construction finished the following day surrounded by a constant crowd of children, local officials, bags of roasted chicken and news cameras. We hadn’t even each hit the thing when the brutal importance, and difficulty, of policing the jump forced itself on us. Whenever our backs turned, young men insisted on proving their manhood by beelining it off the kicker, just bursting with enthusiasm but with little more than a whistle and prayer the powder below would be kind.
Spilling out into the parking lot, we found a brand new ski area sitting directly behind our hotel. Tickets ran 60rmb a day (about $10), but that didn’t wind up mattering much to us. The Director of Tourism immedi-
Those guys, in the end, fared about as well as us. The 77
Bobby goes big. 79
Hike up, strap in, send it. Nate, fronstide 7. 81
snow was soft enough, but it’s unfortunate granular texture made it slow and, as we now discovered, impossible to ride away in off a big kicker. Darkness encroached, and I finished off the day by nearly concussing myself back to Beijing (and giving myself a quality shiner to show for it). Knowing the jump meant unwelcome holiday business for the nearest hospital (wherever the hell that was), Nate completely disassembled it...which we heard no end of complaining about thereafter. Such was the locals’ enthusiasm for skiing and snowboarding. In fact, the general vibe here—a healthy and life-affirming emphasis on enjoying oneself—fit the sports incredibly well. It was a view of life I suspect grew from the place itself. Skiing was new here, yet ancient—Altay does, after all, claim itself the “Birthplace of Skiing.” While insane techno music pumped spastically through the resort’s loudspeakers, the act of snowboarding by the locals was a natural result of long seasons surrounded by snow and incline, rather than a trend. I was a bit afraid to drink half-concussed, but there wasn’t much choice. The Tourism Chief was taking us out to dinner. Sam valiantly stepped up and took over toasting, proving a quick study in his formal (read: com82
petitive) Chinese drinking debut. The booze smoothed the way for the Bureau to reveal their motive. They requested to film a documentary of our trip. We weren’t sure what that meant, or whether they were even entirely serious. The night proved unforgettable, in any case, moving on to consuming home-brew baijiu with a mostly random group of 40-plus men at their office, rapping, “House of the Rising Sun,” blackouts and Ted wrestling a very tall man named Big Mountain, our new private videographer, over a box of beer. So began our Real World Xinjiang stint. The following night we were conducted out halfway through dinner to be filmed watching ourselves on the local TV news. The restaurant had no TV, so they took us to a hole-in-thewall shop next door where we coincidentally found delicious cellphone-shaped cookies. Things then went from weird to magical next, as the Bureau filmed us riding ice horses and swinging logs at the town’s pint-sized version of Harbin’s world-famous Ice World. A marvel of rainbow colored slides, castles, reindeer, gongs, tunnels, gateways and bridges, we returned with snowboards and cameras the following night. When the Bureau escorted Nate and Ted out to the
mountains on the other side of the valley, replete with film crew, the pure white sand-snow put a stop to things before they even began. Their small entourage seemed less than stoked at the footage of Ted plunked down in the snow with a backpack of beers and smokes, the two Americans half asleep and enjoying the scenery. Sam and I, meanwhile, had weaseled out a day of freedom by “scouting for urban spots.” By the river we found a couple rail possibilities and a surprisingly talented local graffiti artist throwing up a piece for his girlfriend’s birthday. Near a reasonable wall ride and bomb drop some friendly men chatted in their room of hanging carcasses. Most importantly, on our way back we passed the dude selling delectable meat-stuffed Uyghur bread, which unlocked yet another mini-world of Altay to us. Stuffed bread led to lamb on a stick, which led to soup, which led to some special evenings.
As we got to know the family-like group that operated and frequented the restaurant, we discovered a simple, smiling population that, even while celebrating our foreignness, imbued us with feelings of immediate comfort and familiarity (and huge appetites—the food was out of this world). I would guess taking us in had something to do with the fact that they were, themselves, a cast of characters. Most memorable among them—surpassing even the gruff, battle-worn Kashgari, our own living Rambo— was a friend I’ll call Chraj, even though the four of us held strikingly little consensus on the pronunciation of his name. Chraj, maybe 30 or so, jaunted through his small section of town like a king, or possibly local jester, constantly whistling a bird call and occasionally answered by a friend. Chraj’s emphatic version of friendship and hospitality included repeated requests that we join him in his favorite pastime, charas—unsurprisingly 83
Photo: Nate Jones
Photo: Nate Jones
popular with such a fun-loving guy in a community where alcohol is forbidden. We thus gained our most personal encounter with the locals. Our unmarried friend brought us to his “apartment,” where a setting of older-than-death bunk beds furnished a likewise dilapidated, barren room bathed romantically in candlelight—the home of somewhere between four and six young men, and not unreminiscent of a cave dwelling. There was a small heat source, and no electricity in the room as far as I could tell, no furniture beyond some crate-table things...not even cups. The large bottle of soda he had instructed us to buy was consumed out of a plastic basin, presumably also used for washing, in a ritualistic fashion. It says worlds that this man shared a good portion of what must have been his only luxury in life—his hash—with a group of Americans he had never laid eyes on before, and who he couldn’t communicate with except through hand signals and the occasional guessed word. 86
The Tourism Bureau never gave up on us, and as Spring Festival was winding down we had their van bring us up into an area we’d discovered earlier when they’d paraded us about at some sort of bewildering race-type event. We made it about halfway up the access road before getting stuck. As their van’s wheels spun helplessly, the Bureau released us from their gilded clutches, telling us not to waste our precious energy digging them out. Quicksand snow or no, we were in the middle of a vast white playground under limitless blue skies. A few cliff drops and snowmobile pull-ins later, we found the Dam, a behemoth of a feature full of challenge and creative possibility: wallrides, layback slides, transfers—whatever we could think of. Shared with a variety of local characters (one of who rode a down on the back of Ted’s skis), Altay had surprised us yet again with unforeseen amusement and adventure—doubtlessly one of the most rewarding days of our trip. We had, at this point, become almost part of the natural
Photo: Nate Jones
landscape ourselves. We had routines: Khazak breakfast, Uyghur dinner. So the end came as a kind of sudden rush. We hadn’t planned on staying so long, and would have to book it straight back to Beijing—no riding in Urumqi and no plan for getting back. After smiling our way through awkward taped interviews for the Bureau, they sped us to the bus station where we overnighted it to Urumqi. The New Year Rush meant we were lucky to get even standing-only tickets (same price as seats) for the reasonably fast train back— 36-some odd hours. Very quickly, the aisles overflowed with passengers sitting, lying, standing, contorting, and stepping one on top of another. We dealt with it variously through baijiu and the welcome blurs of heavy hangovers.
floor between cars. Nate and I similarly packed in a few hours of painfully uncomfortable, chilly and disgusting sleep in that no man’s land—the loneliest spot on the train. We were only occasionally kicked by men chainsmoking and spitting at three in the morning on our way through the desert. That train brought us in touch with so great an array of people, and such absurd adventures, that it closed our trip out perfectly. We made it back to Beijing in states of intense physical and emotional exhaustion, full of blissful memories of Altay and ecstatic to have escaped railroad confinement. The things we do for snowboarding. The things snowboarding does for us.
A gang of Uyghur teenagers scampered after Ted all night as he made round after round through the train, overwhelming passengers with friendship, only to have his iPod stolen when he passed out on the frozen iron 87
Congratulations to Zhu Hong for 3rd place at the 2013 Nanshan Open! Thanks for putting on a great show! 88
Photos by Sam Cornwall
Session is Bobby Carleo, Sam Cornwall, Nate Jones and Xiao Long. Contributers include Caroline Tsang, Leng Wen and Ryan “Huggy” Hughes
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