In these dark and trying times we need heroes. Here are some of the most consistent, creative, and downright wild contests and setups over the years.
War of Rails
War of rails was fairly short lived but it brought some creative features, and quality skiing. An event most of us(other than a few sick fucks) wish still continued. This is definitely worth a spot in this list.
West Coast Sessions
Out of all the ski contests that have come and gone this is the one I was most sad about. Killer attention to detail, gorgeous jumps, and the athletes always delivered. What an event! Bummed it's done but glad it ran for a while. It was a good one.
Hot Dawgs And Hand Rails
One of the best rail oriented contests from the west coast every season. Hotdawgs and handrails is strictly a knuckledragger event but if you like cool setups you can understand why it's included in this list. Some of the best talent in snerbering as well as some creative classic setups over the years. Always a classic way to start the season.
They built some pretty cool stuff and for the friggin thousandth time, the one setup was a dog bone not a friggin dick! Creative setups and skiing!
Ahead of it's time bringing some pretty wild features out for the pros to play. Candide is sort of a legend, so it's no surprise that this makes the list.
Jon Olson Super Sessions
Also ahead of it's time and pretty friggin legendary. The team edits, new tricks, giant booters, what's not to love? Jon was one of those guys that seemed as passionate about making the jump perfect as getting a good trick. Seeing pros out there with rake and shovels, especially if they know what they're doing is always pretty cool. Jon was at the front of the dub flip squad and these sessions were a peak of big jumps, big names, and bigger tricks.
Another knuckledragger event. Eastern Boarder's Last Call at Loon is as OG as pretty much any event. It's been going on for seemingly forever, and the setups are consistently as creative as they are gnar. Things you've never seen along with other clean built giants that will throw mixed emotions of frothing to ride and a slight bit of pucker seeing the scale of some of these beasts. Many of the best snowboarders, and pretty much anyone who's anyone from the east coast has ridden this event. If you want to make a name for yourself on the beast coast snowboard scene, you should probably throw down here. The vibes are mellow, but people show up to ride. Bringing your A game is a must if you want to do well.
A newer event to throw in the mix but if you watched any of the footage from here, you know it was "serious" business. Big tricks, killer vibes, I wasn't there, but I wish I was.(Obviously just to drink beers and talk shit)
If there was ever the perfect mix of perfectly manicured features, and heavy hitting skiing it would be Nine Knights. As consistently creative as any event I've ever heard of. Nine Knights has drop hammers all around over the years. Plenty of firsts, HUGEEEEEEEEEE airs, and some of the worlds finest riding the sickest playground in freeskiing. Schneestern delivers the goods year after year building perfect sculptures that almost seem too perfect to be built out of snow. Have no fear, the group of athletes that descends each year absolutely tears it up using every feature the builders thought of, and even a few they didn't. This build is truly a piece of art, and showcases both the craft of the builders as well as the burly tricks of the skiers. Long live this event. Long live the king!
Rails to Riches
Another east coast event that feels consistently core. Rails to riches is a premier rail jam where the talent is stacked but people can show up, throw down, and make a name for themselves. A little $$$$ as the name suggests never hurt either. Unfortunately the closest I got to attending was hitting the pre and post newschoolers party a few years back. I don't remember who won the comp, but me and mingg did pretty well in beer pong.
Another snowboard event(Jesus this guy and his love for damn knuckledraggers and unnatural sin) Hear me out! Super park has been a pretty big deal in terms of epic features, and some heavy heavy riding. Also some classic moments involving snowmobiles and near turf war beefs. Super park has consistently delivered and deserves a spot in this list.
EC headware was a household name and Giraffic Park was pretty friggin cool. A giant booter on the east coast is always chill. Sure it only happened once and wasn't really a contest as far as I remember but EC Headware was sick, the east coast is sick, and if you're a real OG from those parts you know...
So this thing was pretty damn sweet. Straight jacket - Unleashed, and Poor Boys - Propaganda built a friggin loop out of snow. This is taking it back almost 2 decades. What the hell were these guys thinking? Still sick, and although it collapsed once(everyone eventually recovered).I mean, hell, the thing collapsed, and they still finished the project. Ultra sick and one of the early "where the hell can these sports go" moments.
Xgames, Dewtour, US Open etc..
They're great contests, I look forward to the setups every year, but they're out there, you've seen them. Even with progress like the Us Open 2015 with the 1/4 pipe take offs(that's stuck with mainstream contests), the new dew tour modified pipe comps, x games consistently fire courses. I wanted to shed light on the smaller comps and the OG's. The events that embrace the creative, the weird, the good vibes above all. I wish there were more events in skiing, especially the more core ones, but we've been gifted with some fucking awesome ones over the years, and as old ones disappear, new ones pop up in their place.
Skiing is weird, it's gone in all kinds of directions, but it's been cool to watch that ride. If anything, some of the more recent contests, and content out there has shown us that skiing is huge. There's a bunch of different paths you can take, but it's all just skiing. Hope you're having some fun out there on summer setups or whatever else ya'll are doing. Winter will be here soon enough. Stay healthy and pray for some friggin snow!