The best way to describe The Show: A Snowboarding Event is that it's an event by riders for riders who can ride anything - but with a lot to offer spectators as well as the athletes.
That's because The Show, like the Grenade Games that preceded it, is all about stepping out and having fun on boards.
That's not to say that you won't see some amazing skills on display, because they're pretty much mandatory in every event. The Grand Opening slopestyle on Saturday night at the base of Whistler will feature a hip jump, rails and some other features. The Mogul Mash will test riders through the bumps and in the air. The boarderstyle will test riders at speed and in the air. Dustin Craven's FUN Pipe Jam, taking place on a superpipe with 22-foot walls, will stack athletes up against World Cup-calibre riders.
It's a fish-out-of-water experience for most riders used to riding the park, and there will be lots of flopping around on deck as the search for the best all-around riders continues.
Presented by Monster Energy, The Show gets underway on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with the Mogul Mash Qualifier Run. The course will be the GMC Race Centre on Blackcomb. It's not as steep as the moguls competitions from the past two years, but with a bigger emphasis on jumps.
The finals will take place on Sunday from noon to 3 p.m., hopefully with soft and absorbent conditions.
On Saturday night under the lights is the Grand Opening, a slopestyle at the base of Whistler Mountain with a $10,000 prize purse. The action gets underway at 8 p.m.
Next up is the Boarderstyle competition on Monday. This is a completely new event format, combining snowboardcross and slopestyle into a single event. The object is to be fastest to the bottom, but there are also points for air and style.
Training and course inspection starts at 10 a.m., the time trials are at 11 a.m. and the finals start at 2 p.m.
Last, but definitely not the least, is Dustin Craven's FUN Pipe Jam, which runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is an elimination superpipe contest where riders are cut after every round until there's just one man/woman left standing.
The Show also comes with a hefty social calendar, which starts on Saturday night at the GLC with "The Sh*t Show" and Trouble Andrew performing. Later that evening is The Late Show DJ party at the Whistler Conference Centre.
Sunday night is Pub Night at Black's Pub. Tuesday night at the GLC is The Side Show, a circus-sideshow themed event that will feature a Tarot card reader, a snake charmer with a live python, a magician, a burlesque dance, a belly dancer, a go-go girl on a swing and more.
Full details and times are available online, as well as a complete list of athletes. Visit www.wssf.com/even/show-snowboarding-event for more.