Travel Blog

2 Mar

Big Air and Zombies: Whistler's Showcase Showdown

TAG: Amped-Up Adventure, Family Time, Festivals Events

Posted by: Feet Banks

Insider Secret: The cheapest Kraft Dinner pasta in Canada can be found at Showcase Snowboards, Whistler’s premier snowboard shop.

“Right now it’s 99 cents for two boxes,” says ex-Showcase manager Graham Turner, who began selling the ubiquitous Canadian cheesy-pasta meal to local shred-kids back in the late 1990s. “It used to be three for 99 cents. We lost a lot of money on that but we fed a lot of young snowboarders.”

That sense of grassroots community still thrives in Whistler’s 16th annual Showcase Showdown set for Saturday March 2, 2013, at the base of Whistler Mountain.

Showcase Showdown WhistlerLEFT: 2005 Showcase Showdown at the Blackcomb Night Pipe. RIGHT: Taking the sky above Whistler Village.

“The Showcase Showdown is always an extremely fun contest,” says 2012 champion Jesse Millen. “It features so many of the top local riders throwing down their best tricks in front of all their friends.”

As Canada’s longest-running snowboard competition the Showdown is known for bringing the local shred tribe together but also for being willing to evolve and try new formats. Over the past decade and a half it has been a Big Air, a Slopestyle and in 2005 was one of the first contests to integrate rails and boxes with a halfpipe to make a “Pipestyle” event. The focus on community and good times has remained a constant and this year the showdown is even allowing zombies to compete.

Old Showcase Showdown Local snowboarders gather for a Showdown atop Whistler Mountain.

With plenty of costumes, make-up and post-apocalyptic fun, the “Night of the Living Shred” themed Big Air jam will see all the top local riders throwing down on a 55-foot big air jump at the base of Whistler Mountain. The actual contest is only part of the event however. Friends, family, spectators and other costumed zombies are encouraged to enjoy prime viewing (and a spirited Après ) from the GLC patio with an “un-deadly” afterparty planned for Merlin’s Bar grill that evening.

While there is a $5000 cash purse up for grabs the 16th Showcase Showdown promises to continue the tradition of good times, friendly competition and that casual, fun vibe that snowboarding was built on and this event has embraced since day one.

“The guys in the retail shop wanted to create an event that was all about riding with your friends and something everyone could be involved with,” says Graham Turner. “Hanging out with friends and family is what snowboarding is all about, it’s what differentiated us. We are not just spectators at events like this, everyone is having a good time and is there to play. You feel like you’re a part of it.”

Riders will be qualifying throughout the day at the base of Whistler Mountain with the finals set for 4-5 PM. Everyone is welcome to come take part in fun surrounding the Night of the Living Shred. Check out the Showcase Snowboards website for more information. Zombies with mad snowboard skills can register there as well – $5000 buys a lot of Kraft Dinner.

For a glimpse at the level of riding to expect at a Showdown check out this video of the 2011 Showcase Showdown.

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