Tokyo Police Club, Mother Mother play Sun Peaks
Snow sport enthusiasts, spectators, music fans and athletes splashed through the slushy snow at Sun Peaks Resort March 27 and 28 to watch the Dew Tour Am Series unfold.
The third annual amateur slopestyle ski and snowboarding competition sponsored by Mountain Dew created an atmosphere on the mountain that showcased the characteristics of ski culture with friendly competition, two live concerts, and yes, free food.
Despite the giveaways, the concerts and the live snow sport entertainment, the Dew Tour event was far from busy. Early spring for mountains all over Western Canada has melted much of the mountain, so the volume of skiers and boarders on the hill has dropped dramatically. Still, the spectators that did come watched in awe through sunglasses and goggles as skiers and boarders launched themselves ten feet in the air off three consecutive big air jumps.
Spectators listened to modern beats blasting from the commentator’s tower beside the last big air jump of the course. The music could be heard from the Village Day Lodge, where some tiptoed through the slush puddles to receive complementary bottles of Mountain Dew, bags of Doritos and freshly pressed Dew Tour tshirts. Others avoided the slush by finding a perch in the sun at Bottom’s Bar and Grill patio and watched the event with a beer in hand.
With free snacks and souvenirs, Tokyo Police Club on Friday and Mother Mother on Saturday evening, the Dew Tour Am Series was as much fun for spectators as it was for the competitors.
“Everyone can be part of it, having fun with the concerts and stuff,” said Matt Rokosh, a 14-year-old snowboarding competitor from Kamloops.
After a day of skiing, boarding and splashing through puddles, event participants were entertained with live Canadian rock music each evening. On Friday night, alternative folk band Shred Kelly opened for Tokyo Police Club, an indie-pop band from Ontario. On Saturday evening, Scott Helman opened the stage with upbeat acoustic indie beats that were catchy and smooth, an easy introduction for Mother Mother’s rock spectacle.
Though the parking lot that the concert was hosted in could have held a much larger crowd, a group of rockers were crammed up to the stage dancing with their fists in the air to Mother Mother’s “Bit by Bit.”
Though otherwise well organized and promoted, scheduling delays and confusions left both competitors and spectators waiting in the snow. One particular delay in the competition set back the scheduled snowboarding women’s finals by an hour and a half.
Danny Ogurian, a 17-year-old ski competitor from Stony Plain, Alta., said that the delay was just the one of the scheduling setbacks that had deferred the competition.
“Some of my friends were confused by the schedule and missed morning practice, so they had to just jump right in at qualifiers,” said Ogurian.
Still, Ogurian said that this was the only competition that he attended this year, and that it would probably be the only one he would go to next year because you don’t need to qualify to attend.
“Usually you already know who is going to win because you know what trick they did to qualify, so there’s really no competition. But at an event like this it’s really about whatever trick you can do here.”
Competitors over the age of 13 could register online and do whatever tricks they desired, regardless of skill level.
The opportunity to network was a huge benefit for the riders. Slopestyle enthusiasts from across Western Canada had the opportunity to meet and make connections. Matt Rokosh and his identical twin brother Justin, competed this weekend, with Justin on skis and Matt on a board. They both started looking at slopestyle as a career five years ago, but don’t take lessons and instead depend on their peers for support.
“We just go up and see what we can do and if we need help, we just ask. Everyone is really friendly and will teach you how to do stuff,” said Justin.
Spectators and competitors persevered despite the warm spring conditions. Boarders and skiers took advantage of the snow that is still on the mountain in this friendly competition, while spectators dodged puddles as they gathered free merchandise by the armful.