World’s biggest comp at Copper Mountain |

World’s biggest comp at Copper Mountain

Bryce Evans
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
Summit Daily/Mark FoxWill Sequino of Littleton soars out of the halfpipe while participating in the 2008 USASA Nationals at Copper Mountain. The annual event returns to Copper this week for its 21st running. Nearly 1,600 athletes will compete starting Sunday in snowboarding and freeskiing events. Nationals run through April 10.

With nearly 1,600 of the country’s best amateur riders and freeskiers competing at Copper Mountain, Paul Krahulec isn’t shy about the importance of the 2010 United States of America Snowboard Association National Championships.

“It’s the largest gathering of snowboarders and freeskiers in one place in the world,” said Krahulec, who works with USASA’s Rocky Mountain Series. ” … People will be utterly amazed in the talent on display, not just from the pro-level-aged riders but kids that are 14 and under.

“This is the future of the sport.”

Starting Sunday at 7:50 a.m., these next-generation athletes – all regional qualifiers from across the country – will compete in slopestyle, halfpipe, boardercross, slalom and giant slalom.

The competitions run through Friday with a plethora of events taking place each day. Athletes are put into age and ability categories, ranging from beginner children all the way up to amateur adult riders and skiers.

The schedule of events is thick each day with a multitude of competitions. The earliest events kick off at 7:50 each morning, and there is an awards ceremony at Copper’s Burning Stones Plaza each evening from 4-6.

Although the week is truly about the amateur competitions, the highlight may come from a handful of the best pipe pros in the world.

Wednesday, the inaugural Monster Mash Invitational will take place at the Main Vein pipe at 4 p.m. The event will be a pro competition featuring 15 of the best riders in the world. Those already committed to competing are Breckenridge’s two-time X Games champ Steve Fisher, multiple U.S. Open winner Danny Kass, Olympians Louie Vito and J.J. Thomas as well as Chad Otterstrom.

Nearly all of the pros have competed in the USASA Nationals in the past and were even part of USASA’s PacSun Team.

And the winner’s check of $5,000 is donated back to the USASA in the winner’s name.

“We have some of the best riders in the world (competing in the Monster Mash) just because of how much USASA meant to them as a snowboarder,” said Miah Wheeler, coach of the PacSun Team.

Because of the week’s many competitions, Copper’s Catalyst Terrain Park, Main Vein halfpipe, Vein Glory, Copperopolis and NASTAR course will be closed to the public at varying times until April 10 when Nationals conclude.

For more information on the event, including a detailed schedule, visit

The USASA is a grassroots snowboard organization with over 5,000 members, who compete in more than 500 events in 36 regional series across the U.S. Competitors range in age from 7-70, according to a press release.

This year is the 21st annual USASA Nationals.

Bryce Evans can be reached at (970) 668-4634 or at

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