Sammy Luebke secures Freeride World Tour snowboard title |

Sammy Luebke secures Freeride World Tour snowboard title

Squaw Valley snowboarder Sammy Luebke placed second at Haines, Alaska, last week to earn the overall Freeride World Tour snowboard title with one event remaining.
Courtesy FWT |

North Lake Tahoe snowboarders again showcased their big-mountain skills on the fourth stop of the Swatch Freeride World Tour in Haines, Alaska, last week.

Competing on a nearly 2,000-vertical-foot, helicopter-accessed face in the powdery Chilkat mountains, Sammy Luebke out of Squaw Valley rode his smooth style to a second-place finish to secure the overall men’s snowboard title with one event remaining.

Luebke, who already had two wins under his belt, finished behind Alaska native Ryland Bell, who earned a high score of 95 to Luebke’s 90. Austrian Florian Orley (73.33) rounded out the podium in third.

Fellow Tahoe snowboarders Chris Galvin finished fifth, Ralph Backstrom was sixth and Jonathan Penfield seventh. Luebke, Penfield and Galvin swept the podium at the previous tour stop in Fieberbrunn, Austria.

All four Tahoe riders had already qualified to compete in the final Freeride World Tour stop in Verbier, Switzerland, on April 2.

Luebke — the only crowned champion so far among the four disciplines — will carry an insurmountable lead into the final event, with 7,200 points. Penfield is second in the standings with 5,290 points, followed by Backstrom with 5,235 points. Galvin is sixth in the standings with 4,735 points. Only the top six men’s snowboarders from the first four stops made the qualifying cut.

Another North Lake Tahoe athlete, skier Jaclyn Paaso, finished fourth in Haines and will enter the final event ranked fourth in the women’s ski standings.

Action from Verbier will be broadcast live at

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