Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Enjoy the Snow, See a Show

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Enjoy the Snow, See a Show

Article excerpt

In the '70s, there were "hot-dog" contests followed by extreme pursuits in the '80s and '90s. Now, as more and more kids hit terrain parks, freeriding and freeskiing contests are on the rise.

In fact, slopestyle is now an official Olympic event, scheduled for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. In these events, skiers and snowboarders put together a series of tricks such as spins, corks and grabs that show off their skills in the air.

But you don't have to go to the Olympics to catch the pros. From the Dew Tour to Nike rail jams to the Burton US Open, there are plenty of events in the East spotlighting amateurs and professionals. Most take place right on the slopes, so you can ski and spend time watching the athletes and enjoying the carnival-like atmosphere.

This Saturday, Camelback hosts Nike/The Chosen, a snowboarding and freeski rail jam with a $3,000 purse for top winners. There will be lots of lights, music and, of course, action, starting at 5 p.m.

Ski The East Freeride Tour stops at Mad River Glen on Saturday, followed by Jay Peak on Jan. 28 and Sugarbush on Feb. 4. Competitors are judged on creativity of jumps, terrain use and the line they take down the mountain.

"More kids are getting involved -- it's become so popular all events are sold out," said Eric Friedman, Mad River Glen marketing director.

At press time, Killington was completing its Olympic-size halfpipe, measuring 22 feet high and 500 feet long, for the Winter Dew Tour, Jan. 19-22. Top athletes compete in slopestyle and superpipe events that air live on NBC. The event attracts about 20,000 spectators who watch the action and visit the Festival Village with sponsor tents and free samples.

The Gatorade Free Flow tour hits Okemo Mountain on Jan. 28-29, with slopestyle and superpipe competitions for amateur skiers and snowboarders. There's also a junior jam for the younger crowd.

"This event provides one of the best platforms for amateurs looking to break into the professional contest scene, providing professional contest experience to the future stars of the sport," said Chris Prybylo, general manager of the Winter Dew Tour and Gatorade Free Flow Tour. …

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