words: Mary Walsh
photos: Mike Yoshida and Mary Walsh
Temps hovered in the single digits as the lifts started turning at Breckenridge in Colorado on Thursday, December 8th. Bootprints marred soft lines of corduroy at the base of Peak 8 as a few dozen of the world's most talented riders assembled for the final day of practice of the 2016 iteration of the Dew Tour. Contest season had begun.
This year's Dew Tour is a reimagining of the long-running annual winter kick off event and the riders that have descended on Summit County represent more of a cross section of snowboarding that ever before. While a lack of early season storm systems forced the cancellation of the halfpipe competition, slopestyle has been split into two sections, jumping and jibbing, culminating in podiums based on the combinations of top scores from both arenas. Streetstyle returns Friday night in downtown Breck, a perennial favorite of both in person and online spectators. And finally, the addition of a new team competition offers two riders and one legendary team captain from six board brands who will spend Sunday duking it out on the jump and the rail section for bragging rights.
On Thursday in preparation for the weekend's festivities, both the jump and the rail line were open for business. Slopestyle phenoms Mark McMorris, Jamie Anderson, Torstein Horgmo, Chas Guldemond, Spencer O'Brien, Kjersti Buaas, Seb Toots, Sebbe de Buck, Markus Kleveland, Tyler Nicholson, Seb Toots, Hailey Langland, Mons Roisland and many more were lofting spins over the kicker. Hans Mindnich, returning to the contest scene after a six-year hiatus was lapping the jump in preparation for the team event. As the sky opened up and the sun heated the frigid air ever so slightly, Red Gerard, Brandon Davis, Max Parrot, Darcy Sharpe, Klaudia Medlova and Silje Norendal and the rest of the field warmed up for the weekend.
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.