A women-only snowboarding competition is guaranteed to help make the end of the ski and ride season even better this year - for spectators, hangers on and the women competing.
The first-ever-televised, women-only Supergirl Snow Pro slopestyle competition will take place at Breckenridge Ski Resort on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m., in conjunction with Breck's Spring Fever Fest.
The free event actually represents several firsts: It's the only televised World Snowboard Tour sanctioned event in the U.S., and it's the first time the course is completely designed by the female riders, with 25 of the top female boarders in the world competing. The World Snowboard Tour is part of Switzerland's TTR Pro Snowboarding nonprofit, widely recognized as the major worldwide snowboarding competition accreditation group.
"This is kind of a big deal because this is the first event like it that's by women, for women," said Celia Miller, of Breckenridge, who's been a professional rider in Summit County for about 6 1/2 years.
She said the park builders at each resort typically design slopestyle courses, and men and women compete on the same course.
"They hit the 70 foot jumps, and so do we," she said. "But the guys are doing different tricks than us. We have our own style and our own way of doing things."
And that's why this course - to be constructed on Park Lane under Chair 5, viewer's left of the Peak 8 base area and stage - is different.
"We've all been going back and forth via email, and we decided on the features we wanted. We can all hit the big jumps, but we wanted to make sure this was a fun and progressive event so that we can all showcase our talents," Miller said. "And we're all friends; we travel throughout the year together. We're competitive with the guys and among ourselves, but for this, we just want to have a fun event where we're all enjoying it."
"This was a big push for me," said Chanelle Sladics, another pro rider. "I've worked closely with the TTR the past few years, and they make themselves very available to the riders. I really feel they have the best intentions for the riders and growth of the sport, so I wanted to support them back as much as possible. Fabia Gruebler works really hard to get the women's side of the sport support, so she has been a great asset for us this event."
Sladics also is the founder of the Community Cup, a platform for environmental awareness and sustainability. The Community Cup will be held in conjunction with the Supergirl Snow Pro, and organizers hope to make the event zero-waste. They are also sponsoring on-site yoga and green workshops, along with "meet the pros" autograph sessions in the event's Eco Village. Organizations such as the Non-Toxic Revolution, Keep-A-Breast, Protect Our Winters, Plastic Pollution Coalition, 5Gyres and One Life will be represented.
The Snow Pro is actually the first event of the 2013 Supergirl Jam Series: a large-scale all-female competition and lifestyle series developed as a celebration of girl power, featuring more than 150 top female pros competing in snowboarding, skateboarding and surfing at events throughout the year.
This is the seventh-annual Supergirl Jam Series women's snowboarding comp. Last year's event was actually held on Venice Beach, Calif., where organizers trucked in snow and created park features for beach-going spectators. But this year, the girls wanted to move the event back to its obvious home in the mountains.
"I ride for Breckenridge, and I think they make the best park in the world," Sladics said. "Also, since ecology is a big part of the Community Cup's initiatives, Vail Resorts sets a good example composting leftover food, serving food on plates using real utensils and great recycling initiatives, amongst many other items. Community Cup's concept has been in development for the past two years, and it was always designed to be hosted here. We are so stoked to be colliding with the Breck Spring Fever concert series, as that adds such a great element to the event."