When we first heard about Airblaster’s Side Hit Social at Boreal, we only had a vague idea of what to expect. We knew since Boreal is the “King of Freestyle,” we were in for some sick features and top notch riding, but was it a typical competition with judges and scoring? There was only one way to find out. Local Freshies headed west bright and early. Since we’d never been to Boreal it was the perfect time to check out this locale as well as the event. One of the closest ski resorts to the Bay Area, it’s perfectly situated for day trippers from the coast and surrounding areas. For us though it meant a picturesque drive around the western shore of Lake Tahoe and a short jaunt west on I-80. As we arrived the parking lot was only half full. We already noticed many contestants wearing their numbers for the event. The camaraderie was good and the stoke was high. That and the bluebird skies meant this was guaranteed to be a great day! Another first for us was Woodward Tahoe. This is the structure labeled in black and yellow that can be seen directly of the interstate. It was our first stop before heading up on hill.
The Dream Camp
Woodward Tahoe is the newest venture for Boreal Mountain and Soda Springs. We were fortunate enough to meet up with Matt Peterson, the Director of Marketing, to give us a quick tour of the building. From the outside, it looks like a normal warehouse building, but once you step inside you see it’s a whole lot more!
After grabbing some quick directions, we headed downstairs to the hallways underneath the skatepark in search of Matt’s office. Down the dimly lit corridor we noticed a skater approaching. “Yo Matt!” He quickly stops and slaps high fives as he greets us. Grabbing his board and opening the door next to him we enter the park. I have to tell you it was almost like a magical kingdom. If we were this excited I can only imagine how the young groms that get to train here feel! As we walk up to the top of a drop-in that, which runs into a huge foam pit, he explains what the summer season has to offer.
Snowboarding and Skiing in the Summer?
The word Boreal comes from the Greek word Boreas denoting the “God of the North Wind.” It seems fitting that they are one of the only ski resorts in North America with the capability of harnessing the capability to make snow up to 70 degrees, by owning a Snow Factory snowmaking machine. This translates into Woodward Tahoe being able offer eight weeks of lift operated summer skiing and snowboarding. Kids ranging from 7-19 can attend this summer camp for a week at a time. The lodging is right on hill meaning that they are in a safe controlled environment.
Digital Media Camp?
Arriving in the business office’s, Matt introduced us to some members of the Boreal/ Woodward crew. Of course we knew about Woodward and some of the features of the the camp. What was not apparent was all the other options the camp had to offer. One that was unexpected and might be coolest camp concept we had ever heard about is the Digital Media Camp! It teaches participants how to film and produce their own media by giving them tools and skills necessary! Included in the training attendees are school in using Mac computers and Red cameras! This is only a small glimpse of what Woodward offers. Later we will provide an exclusive look into the camp and provide a full overview of the greatest summer camp on the planet!
Finishing up the tour he highlighted that this summer there will be two summer shred days that will be opened to the public. One will be June 11th and the second one sometime in July. Check our calendar as we will post that date when it’s available.
With some high fives and a pound we exited the bunker and headed onto the snow
Hopping onto the main lift we ascended from the valley on our way to the top. We could hear Motorhead blaring to the right of us and the MC pumpin’ up the riders and spectators. The features came into view as we cruised past the trees. Getting off the lift Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows could be seen in the distance. Strapping into our boards the warm sun hit our faces and it was finally time for a couple laps before the competition. The corn snow underneath our decks had softened up perfectly as we slashed turn after turn with ease. Then we arrived at the entry to the course.
The flyers called the Side Hit Social a community event and until we arrived it didn’t really click. This wasn’t one where you just watch the pros, but it was for everybody to get together young and old; pro and amateur all to session together. The park layout was very similar to the Holy Bowly. At the top there were a few different size table tops that could be hit in multiple different ways.
Just a bit further down,the “Volcano!”
This hit resembled a cone with a cup in the middle, which could either ridden or jumped. Riders were going off on this feature and this is where the largest tricks of the day were pulled. Finally toward the bottom lay a bowl that contained a tombstone, a tree stump and a large truck tire. It had it all and participant creativity was the only limitation! Right on the one side of the bowl sat the Airblaster shade tent. From this vantage point you had a clear view of the course. To riders left of the bowl was a perfectly shaped booter. As the social continued and riders went bigger and bigger, some even jumped right over! Standing there watching the event unfold was exciting and most of all contestants and spectators mingled right in the midst of the energy. It felt more like a session with your friends than a contest.
Like a machine gun, there was a non-stop flurry of action. Trick after another after went off right in front of the crowd. In the end, this was one of the most creative and exciting events I had ever been to. Boreal partnered with Airblaster put on a great event. It was inviting and exciting, which made everyone feel involved. The organization did a great job putting this event together and really making this an awesome kickoff to spring!
Stay tuned as we take you inside Woodward for and exclusive look of what actually goes on inside on of the top freestyle training facilities in the nation!