King of the Wasatch reigns over PCMR
The King of the Wasatch Snowboarding Competition is an apt title for the Park City Snowboarding Team’s (PCSBT) premier fundraiser because, to borrow a bit of kid slang, ‘It rules.’
The competition, which was held over the weekend at Park city Mountain Resort (PCMR), features halfpipe and slopestyle competitions for young riders and twin-tip skiers across the Intermountain West. The event welcomed over 100 participants and their families, making it one of most well-attended youth events on the mountain.
The event is the part of a circuit of regional competitions for snowboarding clubs from Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming called the Intermountain Snowboarding Series (ISS) races.
The King of the Wasatch and the ISS are so popular because they give young boarders a chance to shine.
The series was created by PCSBT director and head coach Michael Bell to give his young snowboarders a venue to show off their skills. He also realized that many clubs in the area were attending random snowboarding competitions around the country with no consistent platform for advancement.
"I wanted to integrate the region with a solid series of events," Bell said. Bell was quite pleased with the performance of his team, with many age groups making it onto the podium.
Athletes with the highest skill levels on the regional club teams will compete at national Grand Prix events, but for the younger children, the ISS provides the only source of regular competition.
The King of the Wasatch event also helps the PCSBT team support themselves.
The event helps to raise about half of the team’s operating budget. The PCSBT includes a full-time freestyle team and race training team, as well as a junior team that trains on the weekends. The team includes both young kids and young adults.
"The whole series is the largest fundraiser for the team overall," Bell said. According to Bell, the entire ISS has become so successful in recent years that this year it may be the largest regional circuit in the country.
The event is continuing to grow on the marketing front as well. This year local and national sponsors, such as Zumiez, Ogio, Skull Candy, Demon, Tech Nine and Kahuna Snowboards are contributing.
"There is substantial kiddie level market with kids’ action sports," Bell said.
The Collection/Snickers pro snowboarding tour came on board after seeing the large young audience the event reaches.
PCSBT also partnered with hip-hop radio station U92 to publicize the event throughout the valley on a station that caters to a young audience.
Bell is also quite proud of his three-year relationship with The Truth, the state’s anti-tobacco campaign, which allows the young audience to learn about the health risks of tobacco in a fun atmosphere.
In the coming weeks, similar competitions will be held as a part of the ISS at other regional locations. At the end of the circuit, the best five of seven results in the halfpipe and the best five of six in slopestyle competition. The total score will be combined to determine the overall season winners that will qualify for the national competition. All of the races are sanctioned by the United States of America Snowboarding Association (USASA) and the winners will compete at the national championships at Northstar at Tahoe Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe, Calif. in the spring.
For more information on the PCSBT, log onto www. pcsbt.org.
Results from the competition may be found in our scoreboard section, beginning on B4.
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Buses, trains and gondolas doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but they make up the transit alternatives for the mountain transportation system the Central Wasatch Commission is trying to create, mostly in the Cottonwood canyons.