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|It wouldn't be a party without Danny and the Dingo.|
Twenty-two years ago, when snowboarding was still in its infancy, a fifteen year old named Jamie Lynn showed up to the first Whistler-based Westbeach Classic event and blew minds with his skate-inspired style. It was the beginning of a new era of freestyle shredding, and also the beginning of what we now know as the World Ski and Snowboard Festival: a ten-day blowout party with some snowboarding thrown in. This year, the Shred Show comprises the main snowboard component... and a fair amount of the party component as well.
As event organizer (and OG Westbeach Classic attendee) Dano Pendygrasse says, "The Westbeach Classic was legendary for both the event and the parties that surrounded it and that was a good start point for The Shred Show. We know that riders have had a long winter and want to blow off some steam, so we're doing our best to make this the most fun event of the year. But if you were a kid during the Westbeach Classic years, you were able to see some of the legends of the sport come to Whistler to compete. I'll always remember some of those contests and I'd like for kids today to be able to walk away with some lasting memories too."
|The Mogul Duel is probably the only example we'll ever have of snowboarders getting excited to shred bumps.|
Although the past half-decade has seen some high level snowboarding, this year's event will go beyond. To ensure world-class riding from legends-in-the-making and now, Olympic Slopestyle hopefuls, both the Big Hip (Saturday) and Slopestyle (Monday) are five star TTR contests -- the first of the 2012-13 World Tour -- with Tour points on the line, in addition to a $50,000 prize purse.
"The TTR brings some legitimacy to the event," says Pendygrasse. "We were really successful in making a really fun event in the past, but these days you can't expect the best riders in the world to show up if you don't have a powerful partner like TTR."
That isn't to say, however, that things are getting too serious. Sunday's boarderstyle -- a combination between slopestyle and boardercross, where riders are required to thrown tricks off mandatory airs in the course -- and Tuesday's Moguls Duel are sure to keep things a little more relaxed... or at least give riders a chance to recover from the previous night's get together, highlighted by Trouble Andrew on the main stage.
"We've worked really hard to create a balance between the fun events and the serious ones, so I think that there will be a lot to check out no matter what you're interested in," says Pendygrasse. "If you're into metal, hip hop, dubstep or classics, there are parties that you'll like. If you're not going for the big check in the TTR events, we've held over the Mogul Duel by popular demand. Boarderstyle is back and has caught the attention of some pretty legendary shredders. Wait until you see who lines up at the gate for this one."
Carrying on a legacy that started with the Westbeach Classic, The Shred Show is ready to roll -- a season ender for 2012 that knows its roots, but also has an eye for the future. Starting with the Big Hip contest Saturday, we'll be bringing you coverage here for the entire event. Stay tuned.