Jibassic Pro Rail Invitational returning
Boreal Mountain Resort is doing it again, defying the season to hold the area’s first ski and snowboard competition of the year: The Jibassic Pro Rail Invitational.
Slated for Saturday evening in front of the main lodge, professional and amateur skiers and snowboarders from across the West Coast will vie for top honors while sliding custom-built features set up on a 30-step staircase.
As opposed to last year’s setup, which included three funboxes, the staircase will consist of four box options ” two flat, one flat-down and one down-flat-down ” with two banister rails, said Boreal Terrain Park Director Eric Rosenwald.
To pull it off, a truckload of shaved ice from San Francisco ” the same ice used in the city’s Icer Air Urban Big Air Competition, Rosenwald said ” will arrive Saturday at noon. Boreal will also have three times the amount of workers as last year helping to prepare for the night’s festivities.
And that leads to the biggest change from a year ago.
“We’re working toward more of a festival atmosphere instead of just the event itself,” Rosenwald said. “We’re focusing our resources on making the event better for everybody ” trying to put on the best show for spectators and show competitors a good time.”
In order to make the Jibassic Pro Rail Invitational more fan-friendly, Rosenwald said the base lodge will be better incorporated in the venue, with the staircase located directly in front of the lodge (in full view from the deck), portable heaters, a mini bar and barbecue and 28 different sponsors making up a tent city.
Like last year, there will also be a bonfire and film premier, with Standard Films’ latest release, “Draw The Line,” shown at dusk.
And with throngs of inquiries from local athletes seeking to compete in the rail jam, Rosenwald said he decided to include an amateur qualifying division in which the top three finishers will be thrown into the mix against the pros.
“We’re adding up-and-coming, almost pros and locals who are really good,” Rosenwald said. “There are so many kids who are good but you’ve never even heard of.”
Despite of all the additions to this year’s event, however, one thing was clearly missing as of early this week: Skiers. And the second annual event nearly had to go on without them.
“At the very last minute Liberty Skis stepped up and pretty much saved the day,” said Rosenwald, explaining that the Colorado-based company intervened to sponsor the skiing portion. “We’re really excited about that.”
Jason Badgley, a Northern California and Nevada sales rep for Liberty Skis Corporation, said the company decided to offer its sponsorship based on “the buzz” created on http://www.newschoolers.com regarding the absence of a ski division.
“I think it’s extremely important to have both disciplines,” Badgley said. “It’s great that (the event) will show both sides of the winter sports market.
“It makes us feel pumped. We feel great that we could save this event for skiing. The response has been awesome. We’re trying to do all we can to promote it. The main thing right now is to get skiers there, too.”
A sure bet to be there is Truckee resident Jake Devine, a 22-year-old snowboarder who took first place among last year’s men’s snowboarders.
“I think it’s pretty sick, for sure,” Devine said of the invitational. “It’s cool to get strapped in early.”
Devine conceded that he won’t be 100 percent this year.
“Last year I felt a lot better,” he said, adding that he broke his left foot in March. “The whole leg isn’t as strong, so I should be more rusty. It still hurts a little bit. I’m kind of worried about that, but not really.
“Hopefully my foot can take the impact of landing. I’m just gonna go have a good time up there and see how it feels.”
Destinee Perata, a 23-year-old Tahoe City resident and last year’s winner of the women’s snowboard competition, will also be on hand.
“I’m excited to put the boots back on,” she said. “I need to go into storage and dig out the board, maybe wax it. It should be fun.”
After vacationing in Germany recently, and not learning that she was invited to the event until Monday, Perata isn’t making any bold predictions about a repeat title.
“I don’t know. There’s a lot of good girls,” she said. “My money is on Laurie Currier.”
1 p.m. Gates open (free admission)
1-4 Boreal job fair
3-6 Season pass sales, sponsor tents
6:15-7 Rail comp practice
7-7:30 Movie premier
7:30-8:15 Rail comp finals
– Subject to change
Pro men snowboarders:
Pro women snowbaorders: