We are nearing the halfway point of the season. It goes by so fast and the second half is always better than the first half. Skills and confidence are starting to creep up and contests are in full swing. Thank you to everyone who makes the season happen. Coaches bring enthusiasm, patience, and motivation every day, volunteers keep the wheels turning at our events, and parents keep getting the kids healthy snacks all season long. Everyone has an important part to play—many thanks to everyone.
In this update, you will find the following:
Thank you, Matty
USASA is the beginning of snowboarders being able to participate in professionally managed events designed to positively influence the future of snowboarding. USASA events are designed to accommodate the training is fun (stacking skills) and competition is fun (employing those skills in different venues) phases of snowboarding. The Winning is fun stage of snowboarding begins later. With the training is fun and competition is fun phases of snowboarding in mind, it is important to choose appropriate events tailored to each snowboarders goals and to monitor your snowboarders for fatigue. (check out these recommendations to parents from sports psychologists Lisa and Patrick Cohn.)
There is a USASA contest every week between now and early March. While a lot of the younger kids (12 and under) will spend time training for each event, it is not mandatory that anyone competes in an event they don’t want to do. I do recommend that the kids compete in either pipe or sbx if not both. Many of the kids naturally gravitate towards slopestyle, but pipe and cross build a technical skill set that will greatly benefit them in any path they choose to take (including big mountain).
This weekend is halfpipe, next weekend is cross, and then we get into slope season. The end of February Aspen event is quite fun. I recommend that weekend to everyone as a finale for the USASA regional season.
Noram Slope and Cross
Noram is short for North America Cup. Norams are part of what happens after USASA and is the beginning of the winning is fun phase (BEGINNING!). The winners of the North America cup get a spot on the World Cup tour. To compete in Norams a snowboarder has to be 13 years old for slope and pipe and 15 years old for boarderx.
Our boarderx squad recently went to Sunshine village in Banff Canada to compete in the first 2 stops of the Noram Boarderx tour. That group stayed for another week after the contest to participate in a world cup level SBX camp. Most of the cross crew is 15-16 years old and is just learning what it takes to be competitive at the Noram level.
The Slope squad traveled to Sun Peaks Canada, outside of Kamloops in BC. Competition at the noramlevel is very high and one of our girls was able to take 3rd in the second day of slope comps in a field that included snowboarders from this past Olympics!
Our youngest snowboarders in the fun is fun phase of snowboarding are also in the heart of their contest season. They had their first event at Keystone last Sunday and will do another event at Abasin on Feb. 5th. The first contest was a GS and SL race and the next one will be a Big Mountain and Mogul event. These events are filling up insanely quickly, please see the messages and notes in the playmetrics app.
Big mountain will start their contest season off at Copper Mountain in Early February. Before they start competing they will head to Silverton for a little powder session to get ready for the busy travel schedule ahead. Registrations for all big mountain contests are now open and likely full.
Spring camps usually take place the first 2 weeks of May. We are in the process of organizing these camps with Copper Mountain. Spring Camps are probably the most valuable camps we do. Skills are high, weather is good, snow and airbags are soft. Stay tuned for more info.
We will be offering summer camp options for kids who were in ITS, 101, USASA, IFSA and FIS level programs this season. Most of those camps will be at Woodward Copper, we are looking at other options aswell.
Feedback from many of the kids is that playmetrics is a little confusing. We will be working on rearranging some things.