To honor ‘G’: Elite snowboarders take to banked slalom Friday to remember the late Gerhard Gross
It’s not often you’ll find park and pipe snowboarders the caliber of Olympic medalists Chloe Kim and Arielle Gold entering into a banked slalom competition. On Friday morning at 11:30, though, dozens of the world’s best snowboarders will take to the Dew Tour’s modified banked slalom course in honor of an important man, whom the close-knit snowboarding community lost this past summer.
Mid-day Friday, Dew Tour will put on the Gerhard Gross Memorial Race in honor of Gross, who died in August at the age of 39 from stage 4 stomach cancer.
Most anyone who has been in the snowboard industry for the past 15 years knew “G” in some way, as Gross transitioned into snowboard-related team managing, magazine editing and content directing after his own career as a professional snowboarder. He was seemingly always on the mountain, documenting and contributing to countless snowboarding events.
The memorial will celebrate Gross’ life and passion for snowboarding by racing in his name while also serving as a charity fundraiser for his family. All proceeds from the event will support his wife Kristen and son, Gerhard IV.
The race format allows for these elite athletes to come race at any time during the 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. racing window. Once there, athletes will use their best of two timed runs to compete for a podium spot in men’s and women’s snowboard divisions, though winning will hardly be the focus.
Gross most recently worked as the content director for Dew Tour following his time as the editor at Transworld Snowboarding. That said, he wore many different hats across the snowboard scene for nearly two decades.
Through that time, he forged relationships with riders such as Canadian multi-time X Games medalist Spencer O’Brien, who knew Gross for about 15 years and described him as a figure “many Canadian snowboarders looked up to.”
“In 2016 when Dew Tour began the new format with the Team Challenge,” O’Brien said, “a lot of that was influenced by Gerhard and his ideas and ideals around snowboarding. This is such a great way for him to be remembered and to support his family. It’s a great example of the snowboard community coming together and honoring one of their own.
“I think it speaks to the man that he was, and I think it speaks to the community snowboarding has. It really is a special group of people, and everyone looks out for one another and takes care of each other. Everyone involved maybe didn’t have a personal relationship with Gerhard, but they know someone who did.”
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