Over the past two decades, competitions that were raw and unadulterated have migrated onto the global stage. Events like the US Open & X Games are huge blockbuster shows that are fun, but they’ve lost the luster that made them an experience to be had in person. So, are there any grassroots snowboard contests still around? The answer: HELL YES!
7 Grassroots Snowboard Contests
Hot Dawgz and Hand Rails
Big Bear, CA
September 22, 2018
(2019 date TBD)
With a 140 tons of snow, blue-bird skies, and the creative geniuses behind the terrain features at Bear Mountain, this isn’t just a contest. It’s a party that kicks the season off strong. From live music to DJs bumpin’ the tunes and the best jibbers from around the globe, this is a must for anyone that loves snowboard culture. It’s a rail contest the likes that only SoCal could put out.
Checkout highlights from this year’s competition to ignite the stoke!
Rails to Riches Rail Jam
December 5, 2018
(2019 date TBD)
The East Coast was home to the zaniness of the US Open followed by the World Quarterpipe Championships in Waterville Valley. While the US Open moved out West and the World Quarterpipe is now defunct, there is one competition still going strong in Vermont – Killington’s Rails to Riches rail jam. It kicks off the competition season strong with over $25 Grand on the line. This helps make it the largest and most lucrative rail jam in the East! Those who have what it takes to impress the judges will walk away with cold hard cash and ultimate bragging rights for the entire winter.
Mt Baker, WA
February 8 – 10, 2019
Since 1985, the Legendary Banked Slalom has been THE contest of the year and still has its soul with no plans of selling out. The winner receives a duct tape trophy and an embroidered Carhartt jacket. Due to its popularity, the one change over the years to the LBS is that you need to qualify in one of the sanctioned races happening throughout the year. If you’re fast enough, this is your chance to compete against the pros.
Mt Bachelor, OR
April 12 – 13, 2019
Snowboarding and surfing have always been very close to each other. Surfers chase storms to find the biggest and most amazing waves while snowboarders look for deep powder stashes. Since Mt Bachelor’s Ambassador is legendary surfer Gerry Lopez, why not build a one-of-a-kind contest that is “surf” inspired? This snowboard only event features a series of huge sweeping banked corners, quarterpipes and spines. It incorporates the natural terrain as much as possible, to create wave-like features into a flowing course.
Tom Sims Retro World Championship
Soda Springs, CA
March 2020 (2019 Postponed Due To Health Issues)
Retro outfits, noses caked with Zinka, a hand-dug halfpipe and a grand slalom course… what else could you want? Due to Mike Chantry of Sims Snowboards going through some health issues, it’s been determined that the 36th edition will have to wait until March 2020. Pencil it onto your calendar now for your chance to celebrate the heritage and community within snowboarding. Past years included such legends as Chris Roach, Terry Kidwell and Shaun Palmer riding with current pros like Mark McMorris and Danny Davis. So, if you’re near Tahoe in the spring of 2020, be sure to pull out your vintage boards and go have some fun on the slopes of Soda Springs!
Loveland Pass, CO
1st weekend in April, 2019
Before snowboarding was allowed in most major resorts, it was enjoyed deep in the backcountry at places like Loveland Pass. The Love Games, presented by Satellite Board Shop, stays true to this attitude. On Day 1, the community comes out to build iconic features so they can be sessioned on Day 2. With a beer in one hand and a shovel in the other, this is your chance to be part of history as people send it!
Rally for Rocker
Sugar Bowl, CA
Late April, 2019
Similar to the Love Games, the Rally for Rocker event holds strong to the DIY attitude of snowboarding. No grooming machines, no snowmobiles and no chairlifts. All 100 percent hand dug, this banked slalom contest is a BYOB and BYOF event with proceeds going to a good cause: Rocker Memorial Skatepark.