Snowboarding was founded on a very different contest circuit than what went down last month at the spectacularly popular X-Games. With rail jams, slopestyle and video contests being judged via texts and tweets from the comfort of your couch, there’s another contest out there that defines snowboarding. In the late 80’s and early 90’s contests revolved around giant slalom and halfpipe with scarcely the popularity that contests hold today with the media coverage. Around this birth of snowboard competition a giant slalom event hosted by snowboarders for snowboarders emerged in the Pacific Northwest at Mt. Baker dubbed, The Baker Banked Slalom.
The banked slalom event is a timed event, which really breaks it down to the smallest denomination or criteria. Be the fastest on the track and take home the prize. For the past 27 years, the annual event has showcased the top pros of every generation, pushing through the turns with fresh waxed boards to take home the coveted Golden Duct tape first place prize. Jackson Hole soon got into the action and has hosted Dick’s Ditch Banked Slalom event for the past 14 years.
Now in Utah we also have a few traditions in the banked slalom arena that with the stars aligning just right are back-to-back this weekend at Canyons Resort and Brighton Ski Resort. The first contest at Brighton is the annual 32 Boots Banked Slalom and Rail Jam event hosted every March 2, (3-2) on Millicent with a little twist by hosting two events. Although a fairly new event, it sales-out every year with the young guns throwing down for the rails jam while the old men usually walk out with bragging rights to the banked event.
The Canis Lupus Challenge hosted by The Canyons Resort has been ran annual for at least 8 years, which I’ve competed in 3 times in the past. This ½ mile natural gully is full of twists, drops, trees, rocks and other natural hazards. There are three gates at the top of the course and than it’s a race to the bottom. I really had no idea how fast anyone could go down this course until I started racing down it and getting faster times each run. Jedi mind tricks help out tremendously when shooting down this ditch at 20 mph.
For those of you who really like the X-Games and would like to compete in the rail jam, slopestyle and pipe contest, Park City Mountain Resort is hosting the annual King of the Wasatch three day contest, also falling on this weekend.
So a lot is going down out there and I hope to see you in the starting gate with a fresh wax waiting to take your turn at an event that has defined snowboarding just as the athletes that have won their right be called, the fastest in the field.
To register for 32 day:32 Banked Slalom & Rail Jam. Print Flyer for a $32 day pass!
Canis Lupus Challenge: The Canyons Events
King of the Wasatch:USASA Intermountain Series