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Mountainboard madness in Snowmass

Mike Hagan
Aspen Times Staff Writer

During Aspen’s X-Games the word “crazy” floated through the air almost as often as a snowboarder. And while events like the Boardercross and Big Air look crazy to those of us who prefer to have our boards on the snow, one must remember that a crash involves a human body slamming onto “soft” snow.

Now picture the same events on dirt. Guys and girls on huge skateboards with big wheels racing side by side through a high-speed, curvy course down Fanny Hill in Snowmass. Also picture these people launching off of huge jumps and doing wild antics in the air before landing back on the dirt.

Ouch!

Well, that’s exactly what will be on center stage this weekend during a special three days at Snowmass that will also feature music, food and plenty of other events to keep people busy.

Beginning today and ending Saturday night, the U.S. Open Mountainboarding Championships will take over Fanny Hill. Today will be training day, followed by preliminary racing on Friday and the finals on Saturday. It’s the first time this relatively new event has made its appearance in the Roaring Fork Valley.

“Mountainboarding is on the cusp of becoming a much bigger sport,” said Kyle Sharp, a member of the Snowmass Marketing and Special Events board, in the Snowmass Sun. “It’s a good opportunity for Snowmass, and this is poised to become an even bigger event.

“Snowmass has the potential to become a mecca for mountainboarding.”

Those who have witnessed mountainboarding know just what an adrenaline-filled sport it is. It combines skateboarding with snowboarding, and is guaranteed to offer any audience plenty of grueling action, complete with thrills and spills.

Dirt Boardercross, one of the two main events this weekend, consists of heats of four riders charging head to head down the mountainside. The course is similar to snowboarding boardercross, with riders flying down Fanny Hill over rollers, through bermed turns and off of a series of jumps.

Big Air is just like it sounds – riders hucking themselves off of a huge jump and performing incredible aerial maneuvers.

The mountainboarding action, however, isn’t all that’s planned during the next three days. The late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan’s brother, Jimmy Vaughan, will play a free concert tonight. Local band Jes Grew will perform on Saturday night, followed by the Skatalites.

There will also be a free movie, beer and pasta party, climbing tower, bungee trampoline, free mountainboard demos, Frisbee golf, paintball and kids activities.


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