words: Mary Walsh
photos: Mike Yoshida and Mary Walsh

The Dew Tour marks the beginning of the contest season in North America and this year, the event welcomes a few new iterations of competition. While halfpipe finals are absent due to an unseasonable start to winter in the area, a new slopestyle format breaks up sessions on the jump and the rail line, allowing riders to focus on one arena individually before moving onto the next, culminating in two scores that will determine first, second, and third place. Streetstyle, a perennial crowd favorite, returns on Friday night as Darcy Sharpe, Dylan Alito, Nial Romanek, Chris Grenier, Jordan Morse and more take to Breckenridge's downtown for the evening event. Finally, new for 2016 is the Dew Tour team competition, in which two riders and a team captain from six different board companies will vie for collective bragging rights based on their abilities on the jump and on the rails on the final day of Dew Tour. The team event has brought in a group of riders for whom backcountry lines and video parts are the vernacular of their seasons. Devun Walsh, Terje Haakonsen, Jake Welch, Jeremy Jones, Chris Grenier, and Chris Rasmen will captain teams from DC, Burton, Ride, Nitro, Salomon and Lib Tech. New-to-Dew riders include Jordan Morse, Ted Borland, Reid Smith and Hans Mindnich. The end result is that the field of competition has been opened up further than ever previously and on Thursday, as the SPT-built rail section was sessioned, the variety of styles and tricks being thrown was unparalleled in a competitive setting. Over the next four days, it is going to be real exciting to watch what goes down on these jibs. Here's a sneak peek of the set up and the talented snowboarders who will be proving their mettle on the metal this year in Breck.

Learn more about Dew Tour's new format in this helpful video.

Keep up with what's going down at Dew Tour by following @snowboardermag and @snowboardervideo on Instagram.