Sunday, July 26, 2009

Moguls of Death! The Kyle Suske Story

Accidental Hero No. 2 – Kyle Suske
If last week’s exposé on the world of snowboarding birthday cakes was just a bit too lightweight for you this week should be right up your street. This week we look at the most heinous of all snow obstacles – Moguls of Death!

The Accidental Hero column is dedicated to snowboarders who brought something to snowboarding but for whatever reason did not become a household name. In this edition we take and Kyle Suske, snowboarding’s mogul martyr...

Kyle D. Suske was born on November 7, 1983 in Wausau, WI.
He is survived by his parents, his sister and his puppy, Roxanne.
Moguls are probably not highest profile danger you will come across while snowboarding. More high profile snowboarder killers such as avalanches, counterfeit Chinese ski lifts and alcohol all account for more incidents you’ll see reported in the press, but none of those things combines both danger and irritation in quite the same frustrating mix that moguls do.
Let’s take a look at the top Moguls of Death...
Marion ‘Surge’ Knight or “Sugar Bear”. Hip-hop mogul, former CEO of Death Row Records, implemented in the deaths of Tupac and Biggie

Deaths accounted for = None proven

Phil Spector. Music mogul, inventor of the “Wall of Sound” production technique, convicted slaughterer of young ladies.
Deaths accounted for = 1

Genghis Khan. Mongol Emperor, ruler of the largest contiguous empire in history, supporting actor in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
Deaths accounted for = In the hundreds of thousands.

and Gengis Khan probably had a similiar tally

Snow Moguls. Created by skiers, efficient enjoyment destroyers, and guilty of their first recorded killing of a snowboarder in January 2009.

Deaths accounted for = 1

Clearly from that list, Mr Khan was the most deadly from a purely historical perspective but his reign is very much over, whereas the snow mogul’s reign of terror goes on with no end in sight, and now they have tasted blood we face the frightening realisation - what’s stopping them surpassing this tally?
If any of you are unfamiliar to this menace, here is a snowboarder narrowing avoiding death as he demonstrates how most snowboarders descend a field of fearsome moguls

And this is the sight you can expect to see at every mogul field. A whole lot of snowboarders sitting down wondering why the hell they started down this hill...
Mogul field - A series of handy seats for snowboarders

You do get better at dealing with moguls but you never get good or enjoy them, despite what some of the incredibly dull tutorial vids you can find on the Internet say. Grenade have tried to find a way to enjoy them introducing a Mogul Bull Riding event to their Grenade Games. Just to make things bit harder they attempt to ride the moguls with no bindings, on drugs, while all the spectators chuck snowballs at them. How long can this go on before they suffer a dose of mogul death...

So what exactly happened to Kyle Suske? Here’s the article on Kyle’s death straight from the jaws of the Chicago Tribune’s website

Snowboarder killed at central Wisconsin ski area
WAUSAU, Wis. -
The Marathon County Sheriff’s Department says a 25-year-old Athens man has died in a snowboarding accident.

Capt. Diane Lotter says Kyle Suske died Wednesday night at Granite Peak Ski Area near
Wausau while snowboarding with two friends.

Lotter says no one saw the accident but it appears Suske was trying to cross some moguls, lost control, became airborne and landed awkwardly. A friend who was snowboarding ahead of Suske found him face-down in the snow. He was wearing a helmet.

Detective Ryan Weber says an autopsy determined Suske died of blunt force trauma to the chest, which caused his heart to stop.

Weber says the snowboarder was coming down a run for advanced skiers, where smooth groves on either side of the moguls were
rock hard.”

Well of course they were “rock hard”, he was riding in a place clearly sign-posted as Granite Peak. I think one of the big learning’s from Kyle’s story this is to avoid snowboarding on rocks in resorts that sound like they could kill you. Therefore I would recommend avoiding the following resorts this season
  • Perisher Blue – Australia
  • Bled – Slovenia
  • Killington – USA
  • Cannon MountainUSA
  • Niseko – Japan (As far as I know that name doesn’t signify danger. This recommendation is based on my own hard learnt experience)
And I would probably recommend sticking to places with names like Loveland (USA), Heavenly (USA) and Fluffy Powder Sprinkles Land (USA).

You've missed a spot.

So what lesson can we take out of this sad tale?
Kyle’s brave sacrifice is a reminder to all snowboarders that moguls are not just irritating obstacles designed to make snowboarders look ridiculous, they are also potential killers. So just avoid them and leave them to bandy-legged French skiers.

There's an awesome video of some skiers in neon one-pieces camping it up down a mogul field through this link. It is well worth having a look...

So two Accidental Heroes articles and two deaths. We promise there will be no dead snowboarders in the next edition. Unless the moguls kill again.
If you want to read more about dead snowboarders check out Accidental Hero No.1 - Marco Siffredi

1 comment:

  1. Kyle was my best friend and roommate. He will always be a hero in my heart. The moguls that took his life were not finished being turned and shaped(this is a process needed to create moguls in the Midwest) and should have been roped off until they were finish. Kyle had taken that run 1000s of times in his life and was an extremely safe rider. What exactly happened or what he was thinking, I do not know. I was two runs over and about to meet up with him for a night of fun. He will always be a hero in my mind.


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