We want to start off by officially welcoming everyone to another amazing skiing and snowboarding season. We are so excited for the 2017 Smokin' Aces Tour and want to share with everyone some of the reasons to get stoked! With the Smokin' Aces Tour coming into its fourth season, the tour has now become a staple event series. Over the past four years we have averaged 70 competitors per event. That means a high level of competition, as well as a high level of riding. We strive to make our events as rider friendly as possible. Even in an industry rife with high expenses, we have strived to keep our entry fees low. We have maintained our dedication to avoid silly membership fees and other overhead costs. All skill levels are welcome to participate in our competitions and we welcome progression and style.
Progression has become overused word within skiing and snowboarding alike; however, we are striving for progression with our event formats. We have gone back to the drawing board in the efforts to make the 2017 Smokin' Aces Tour a bigger and a better competitive experience for everyone. We have made the move to host the 2017 Idaho Championship Slopestyle @ Schweitzer Mountain Resort on February 25th, and the 2017 Montana Championship Slopestyle @ Big Sky Resort on March 2015. We will also be hosting the Wild Card Rail Jam @ Big Sky Resort on March 24th. This event will be a night event in the Swifty 2.0 Terrain Park; just above the Big Sky Village. While we are moving away from crowing a tour champion and instead we will be crowning state champions. We will also be increasing the total prize purse at each event. That means we will be giving away more gear, more money and more opportunities to win big!
With the changes in the tour come changes in each event. We analyzed our competitor number numbers and made slight changes to our amateur divisions. Here is a breakdown of our divisions (please keep in mind skiers and snowboarders will continue to compete separately):
13 & Under (Groms) // 14 & Over (Amateurs) // Open (Pros) // Women's
We believe these changes will increase the number of competitors per division, while maintaining a fair playing ground. At first glance one may say you would have 14 year olds competing against 20 year olds... From our analysis of competitor numbers over past dozen events we have hosted we have seen a significant drop off of competitors over the age of 17 years old. These competitors are already participating in the Open Division. We stress that these divisions are based more on skill level than age. We have had competitors as young as 12 years old podium in the Open Division, and riders in the 20's put up scores that would have not resulted in a podium finish in the 13 & Under Division. We suggest competitors choose the age divisions if they feel their skill level does not qualify them for the Open Division.