The Banked Slalom

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The purist form of skiing and snowboarding

For anyone that has skied or snowboarded with a couple of friends there is always that one time that your crew stands on top of the park and says, “Let’s race down.” The thrill of chaos and friendly competition with your buddies leads to a melee of action. If you dig this sort of thing, we know the perfect event for you. It’s known as the banked slalom. This is a race on a winding course filled with whoops, rollers, kickers, banked turns and of course chopped up snow. Luckily, this is a popular event and there are many competitions around the country for you to watch. Here are a few of the most popular.

Mt. Baker Banked SlalomLate February


Just like the Daytona 500 for Nascar race fans the hallowed Mt. Baker Banked Slalom or the Legendary Banked Slalom is considered the most prestigious of all the banked slalom events. Why is it so famous? Well, it happens to be one of the oldest banked slalom events in snowboarding. This event is actually considered the incubator of the boardercross event you now know. Finally, the list of winners reads like the hall of fame of snowboarding. Here are just a few:

  • Tom Sims (Won the 1st annual)
  • Terje Haakonsen
  • Shaun Palmer
  • Craig Kelly
  • Xavier De Le Rue
  • Rob Morrow

Dirksen Derby – Mt. Bachelor – Mid – December

Another awesome banked slalom event that was started in 2007 is the Dirksen Derby. It is named after the pro snowboarder Josh Dirksen who started the event. This is a gathering of snowboarders, sit-skiers, artists, musicians, film makers, friends and family from all around the globe. The purpose, to help fund raise for a local named Tyler Eklund who was in a snowboard related accident that left him paralyzed.

A-Robs Smash Life Banked SlalomAlpental and Big Sky


Besides the Dirksen Derby the A-Robs Smash Life Banked Slalom is a great event. Held annually this event celebrates the life of Aaron Robinson and his love of snowboarding and friends. It also raises money for The A-Rob Plant a Seed Project, which is about assisting less fortunate kids in Montana’s Flathead Valley so they can get involved in snowboarding and skiing.

Banzai Banked Slalom Kirkwood and Sugar Bowl – Late February/Early March

Rahlves Banzai Tour 2016

Anyone that has seen Dahron Rahlves ski, you know he pushes the limit every time. It’s no surprise the name of his event matches his style of skiing. A little different than the other banked slalom races. The Banzai Tour is based on the historic Sugar Bowl “Silver Belt” race from the 40’s. The “Silver Belt” was a slalom run that plummeted down steep terrain through gullies, cliffs and bumps. At the time it was considered one of the most challenging races. In its modern format it is a hybrid of big mountain freeride meets ski / boarder-cross action. Taking place at a few Lake Tahoe resorts, this head to head action runs four at a time, top to bottom, down a wide open course over natural terrain and snow conditions. This is the ultimate test of skiing and riding skills.

For more about the final stop of the event check out our event calendar found here

Mike Baker Banked Slalom – Waterville Valley – Mid March

Even though the West Coast usually gets more snow and has bigger mountains the east coast is the home for contests and events that are energetic and unique. The Mike Baker Banked Slalom definitely lives up to that hype.  If you are anywhere near New Hampshire we highly suggest checking out this event.



For more about the event check out our event calendar found here

Slash and Burn Banked SlalomHowelsen Hill in Steamboat Springs, Colorado – Mid – March


Just like the origination of the Legendary Banked Slalom in Washingont the Slash and Burn Banked Slalom in Steamboat Colorado it is a small grassroots event continuing to expand annually. In keeping with that hardcore spirit, part of the proceeds for this event will go to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club to help fund future generations of shredders, which will hopefully carry on the torch of fun, soul-filled events like this one.

For more about the final stop of the event check out our event calendar found here

If you’ve already missed your Banked Slalom event in your neck of the woods don’t worry there might be another one.  If not, we’ll have you covered next year as we highlight these cool energetic events.


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