Many of Canada's top snowboard athletes will be in Whistler this weekend for second weekend of the World Ski and Snowboard Festival and The Shred Show, a five-star World Snowboard Tour event that includes $50,000 in prize money, plus a unique event that combines elements of snowboardcross with elements of slopestyle.
Events get underway today (Thursday, April 18) with the now third annual "Boarderstyle" competition, where athletes race down the snowboardcross in groups of four. There are mandatory rails and athletes have to spin at least 360 degress on the final feature to move on. Last year snowboard legend Terje Haakonsen dropped in to compete, while Kiwi snowboarder Will Jackways took the win. Racing is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., followed by awards.
The invitational slopestyle event is on Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., taking place in the Nintendo Terrain Park on Blackcomb on one of the biggest courses ever built on Whistler Blackcomb. Confirmed athletes include Canada's Maxence Parrot, who is currently ranked sixth on the World Snowboard Tour with a second place finish at X Games, American Eric Willett, who is currently ranked eighth, Whistler Valley Snowboard Club standout Darcy Sharpe, who is ranked 12th, as well as top names like Antoine Truchon, Sage Kostenburg, Robby Balharry, Matts Kulisek, Charles Reid and others. The complete list is at www.wssf.com. First place gets $15,000 so the athletes won't be holding anything back.
The snowboard big air, also an invitational, takes place on Saturday night, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. with a 70-foot table under the lights.
The invite list is similar to the slopestyle event, with a few additional names Whistlerites will recognize like Dustin Craven and Mark Sollars.
It's also a big day for music, with G. Love and Special Sauce at 4 p.m. and Trouble Andrew and Swollen Members playing before, during and after the big air competition.