We won’t lie – the competition scene is a hair confusing this season. What once was a unified tour has again fractioned with the FWT in Europe, the Subaru Freeride Series in North America and unafiliated events scattered about as well. With that said, the Subaru Freeride Series went down at Snowbird this past weekend…
The conditions were firm and athlete list featuring a few iconic names with a gaggle of never-heard-ofs (who absolutely rip). The finals started a bit late which precluded the men from going into a hopeful “super final” event.
It has to be frustrating to be an athlete looking to compete right now. For one, it feels the general freeskiing public has little understanding of these events and athleticism, risk taking and overall skiing ability often displayed. Two, what used to be the “farm system” to the silver screen and glossy pages of magazines has you now competing with the Brody Levens and Sierra Quitiquits of the world for sponsorship dollars – that is to say, those who are good at getting exposure but may not be the absolute most athletically impressive. Three, the competition scene is fragmented (to say the least). What comp matters? Where do you go? Who will be impressed?
Tough call. Good thing its just sliding on snow – and maybe the big mountain competition scene was really meant to be something you do for yourself anyway. In any case – the highlights…
1. Ashley Bembenek, 131.33
2. Kele Thorsen, 129.00
3. Alaina Huestis, 127.67
(shout out to friend of Earlyups Kaki Orr who attempted a really rowdy exit to her line and legend Crystal Wright for an awesome performance on day 2)
1. Grant Howard, 75.00
2. Lars Chickering-Ayers, 74.00 (whoop!)
3. Andrew Pollard, 72.67
For those that want to check the whole event out here is a replay…