Budding skiers from near and far will be gearing up this weekend to throw down their best at Whitewater Ski Resort’s first ever freeski competition.
The Smith Optics Whitewater Jr. Freeski Open presented by Salomon is the first ever of it’s kind held at the Nelson ski destination.
“We’re really excited about it, we think we have a lot of good terrain and a lot of local athletes that we can showcase,” said Rebeckah Hornung, sales and marketing director for Whitewater Ski Resort.
The two-day event begins Saturday with qualifying runs and will finish Sunday with finals and some big prizes to be had from Smith Optics, Salomon, Dakine, Epic Planks and more.
“With a lot of local talent in the area, we wanted to give them an opportunity because the junior events tend to fill up quite fast at a lot of different resorts,” said Hornung.
The young competitors, ranging in age from 8 to 18, will have to choose a line within the marked terrain — on a Whitewater run yet to be announced — and will be judged based upon line choice, fluidity, style, control and aggressiveness.
“The judges basically look at all the different venue options that give a safe option for them to ski, which is the most important, but also gives them enough features to showcase their talent,” said Hornung, adding that with such a wide range of competitors they need to ensure there’s a different line for everyone to ski.
“There’s not only a lot of local talent, but there’s a lot of people coming from a long way to come and compete in this event.”
Hornung said the competition is a chance for the skiers to push themselves with the support of the freeski community and get noticed.
“The freeskiing community is a pretty important one and Whitewater has a lot of terrain to offer those who like big mountain skiing,” Hornung said.
Those still wanting to register for the event may do so through skiwhitewater.com or at the downtown Whitewater office on Victoria Street.