Banked Slalom expands to weekend festival

TIGHT BERMS:  Jase Peterson takes a turn on last year’s course.
TIGHT BERMS: Jase Peterson takes a turn on last year’s course.

The fifth annual Bluebird Banked Slalom is expanding from a single day race to an all-weekend festival. Burton has come on board as the main sponsor and will introduce the Burton Mountain Festival as part of the 2016 events.

The festival will begin on Saturday, Feb. 13 with a small “Riglet” park for small kids to try snowboarding in a safe environment. Later on Saturday Women’s Ride Day is planned. Burton will bring two trailers full of equipment for testing and demonstrations.

“They’re promoting women’s snowboarding trying to get them more involved,” said Kent Thiessen, a spokesperson for the Bluebird Day Fund and owner of Oronge Boardshop in Kamloops. “They’re going to have a whole bunch of demos for women, there’s going to be a DJ on the semi trailer, it’s going to be a super fun atmosphere.”

Burton is also sponsoring all the women’s categories for the Banked Slalom on Sunday, Feb. 14. All the women’s prizing will be supplied by Burton and any women who register will get free coaching to help them prepare for the course.

“Saturday they can go into the slalom course and that coach will take them down the course, talk about lines, how they should ride certain features, the whole works,” Thiessen said.

The Slalom organizers also hope to attract more racers this year. The race usually has around 85 participants, but Thiessen said they want to get closer to their capacity of 120.

“We’d like to see increasing numbers in the women’s category because of the support that they’re getting from Burton,” Thiessen said. “The male category is always jacked. Our goal this year is building that women’s category.”

The event serves as one of three main fundraisers for the Bluebird Day Fund. The money is used for the snowboard mentorship program with Big Brothers Big Sisters and the freestyle park program.

Volunteers are still needed for course building leading up to the race and on the day of the slalom for set up and gate judges. Volunteers will be provided with a lift pass to help with the event as well as an additional pass for a personal day of riding. To volunteer or for more information, visit Guest Services.