Schweitzer Mountain Resort’s premier terrain park, The Stomping Grounds, will play host to the Idaho Slopestyle Championship next Saturday, February 25th. The championship slopestyle event, put on by Smoking Aces Events, boasts a field of more that seventy athletes competing for cash, prizes and bragging rights in a judged freestyle competition format.
Last winter Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Whitefish Mountain Resort and Big Sky Resort played host to the 2016 Smoking Aces Tour: A three stop freestyle competition series. This winter the events have been narrowed down to two state championship events. According to Billy Marcial, Smoking Aces Events Director, the move toward a festival style events helps increase sponsor interest and allows more skiers and snowboarders to compete. “The first year we started these events there were very few competitions in the region so it made sense to spread the events out over the winter. There are a more sanctioned events being organized now, like the recent USASA event at 49 Degrees North and Schweitzer Mountain Resort, which is a great sign of the growth in the sport. Our Idaho and Montana Championship events are open to all athletes with no license or membership fees which allows for a really competitive event, a larger cash purse, and great prizes. These events are open to all skiers and snowboarders and spectators are welcome.”
According to Marcial support from local businesses like 7B Boardshop in Sandpoint and major sponsors like American Bank of Montana and Whitefish Physical Therapy & Sport Center have made Smoking Aces the most well attended freestyle competitions in the region. “The Smoking Aces events would not be possible if it were not for these sponsors and we are extremely thankful for their support.” Other sponsors of the event include Recycled Skateboards Int, Incline Optics, Proof Eye Wear, Deft Optics, Hotel Ruby Ponderay, Local Lifestyle, Glacier World Photography, Evan Brothers Coffee, Voke Tabs, Schweitzer Mountain Resort and Big Sky Resort.
The cost to enter the event is $40 for the Open Division and $35 for all other divisions. Pre-registration is available online and there will be registration on the day of the event in the bottom floor of the Lakeview Lodge from 8:30-11:30am. Training will take place all morning with the event scheduled to begin at 12:00pm.