Dylan Bidez: A ripping young rider
KEYSTONE – The last time Dylan Bidez was on television, he was 6 years old.
“They were televising ski school, and I was in ski school at that time,” he said.
“They just followed me and my coach Nathan around.”
This time, Bidez’s moment in the limelight will be considerably more exciting.
The 13-year-old Minturn native was among 27 athletes to survive two cuts in the first Next Snow Search Competition, held last weekend at Keystone Resort.
The competition featured more than 200 skiers and snowboarders ages 9-13 from 51 resorts around the United States and Canada.
Participants were judged on style, attitude, and skill.
The athletes had to fill out a questionnaire about themselves to be invited to the competition. Throughout the weekend, judges met with the kids to get to know their characters.
“It was definitely different. But I was just myself through the whole competition,” Bidez said of the additional “attitude” element.
The Snow Search, organized by Jack Turner of Steamboat Springs, is the first competition of its kind. Skiers and snowboarders of both sexes competed in the same division.
After the first round, the field was narrowed to 50 kids, who then competed in additional events.
For the final selection, 27 skiers, snowboarders, and two adaptive athletes were chosen.
They make up the Next Snow team, which will be featured in the June issue of Sports Illustrated for Kids, which was a sponsor of the event.
Bidez suffered three broken bones earlier in the season, so he had only 19 days of on-snow practice before the competition.
A member of the Copper Mountain freeride team, Bidez already has quite the collection of hardware, including wins at the 2003 USASA halfpipe competition, USASA Western Regional Championships boardercross competition, and the Kahlua Halfpipe Jam at Copper Mountain.
At age 10, he was the 2001 USASA first-place overall finisher. The resume continues.
“There were a lot of people doing really well and doing really good tricks,” he said of the Snow Search.
“It was a tough competition, so it felt really good to make the two cuts.”
Bidez was selected as the best male snowboarder at the competition, based on his scores in the four divisions: terrain, dual slalom, halfpipe and slopestyle.
Bidez came in second in Halfpipe and third in Boardercross at the Western Regionals in Aspen with only 8 days on snow.
Bidez traveled with the USASA Jr. National Team to Trofeo Topolino in Italy with only 10 days on snow. He came in second in BX and sixth in halfpipe. He also placed second on the Rocky Mountain Snowboard Tour at Vail in the open class.
Bidez will be too old for the Next Snow Search Competition next year.
“The event was great. I’d definitely go do it again if I could,” said Bidez. “I felt pretty good, but I think I could have improved on a couple things on my slopestyle run.”
The event will be televised nationally on NBC April 11.
Dan Kelley can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.