SOS season starts Saturday |

SOS season starts Saturday

Ryan Slabaugh

Gehard expects all 16 U.S.A. Snowboard Association competitions this season to go off without a hitch. The action begins Saturday with a giant-slalom race in Steamboat.

“We just want to get as many people as possible to register,” Gehard said. “We’re trying to get the Front-Range market. We have commercials running, and we’re hoping to get kids from (University of Colorado and Denver University) to come up on the weekend.”

Gehard expects between 75 and 100 competitors for the events, which feature slalom, giant slalom, halfpipe, slopestyle and boardercross disciplines.

Six events will be held at either Vail or Beaver Creek. The races help serve youth with risk factors in their lives and, in the 10 years of the program’s existence, have helped over 8,000 youth to learn snowboarding.

This year offers some changes, beyond the marketing side. For the first time, skiers can compete against other skiers in the slopestyle and halfpipe competitions. Whether or not the competitions will aid a skier’s chance at nationals is still up in the air.

“It’s not set in stone, yet, but it looks like it’s going to happen,” Gehard said. “They can always come out and compete.”

To compete in the events, a rider must purchase a one-time annual USASA membership fee of $40, and pay a $25 competition fee for each event.

For more information on the racing series, contact Mike Gehard at (970) 845-7040, or go online at

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