If there's anything constant about the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival, it's change. The lineup of events is never the same two years in a row, and starting in 2013 the sports element could be consumed by a Global X Games event — four days of mayhem that will make the Olympics seem slow-paced.
But, in the meantime, the festival goes on as usual, whatever that is, and promises to be an even bigger deal than last year — and maybe the biggest year ever for sports when it comes to sanctioning. In the 2011 WSSF the big news was the evolution of the World Skiing Invitational into the Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) World Champsionships for slopestyle, big air and halfpipe.
This year the big news is for knuckle draggers: The Shred Show, presented by Monster Energy, is now a credited TTR five-star event, just one step down the ladder from events like the Burton US Open and the Billabong Air & Style.
It will also be the first official event of the 2012-2013 TTR calendar, and an early opportunity for riders to earn tour points — a prospect that should attract a few big names to Whistler for the events.
The Shred Show will kick off with a huge hip jump competition at the base of Whistler Mountain on Saturday evening, April 14, with riders competing in a two-round elimination and superfinal format under the lights. At stake is $25,000 in prize money.
Sunday, April 15 will see the return of the Boarderstyle event, an event that combines slopestyle and snowboardcross by sending four riders down the course at the same time.
Last, but not least, the Shred Show Slopestyle will take place on Monday, April 16 in the Blackcomb Terrain Park. If all goes well some of the top Canadian riders like Sebastien Toutant, Mark McMorris, Antoine Truchon, Matts Kulisek, Maxence Parrot and others that are killing it on the pro scene will turn out to compete.
The World Skiing Invitational runs from April 18 to April 22. The slopestyle finals are on April 20, the big air is on April 21 and the superpipe is April 22. A lot of top Canadians are in the running for overall AFP World Tour titles and a chance to win some pretty big prizes; last year's haul was worth over $125,000.
Canadian athletes are in the running to win AFP titles. Dara Howell is currently second in the overall points total, although still almost 1,000 points back of American skier Devin Logan. Rosalind Groenewoud is sitting first in the women's halfpipe rankings, and Kaya Turski — who has won every contest she's entered this year — is second in women's slopestyle.
More details will be announced in the near future.