Competitive snowboarding is about to change in North America. After nine years of successful events in Europe, Asia and the Southern Hemisphere, it is now time to bring the World Rookie Tour to North America for the second time in a season. Legendary pro snowboarder Terry Kidwell sees a great opportunity to create a series of events that will serve as the next level beyond amateur competitions.
“Currently, there is a large gap between USASA level events and the top tier pro events such as the US Open, Dew Tour events and X Games. “Right now it is a very confusing and difficult system for the young riders who have goals of becoming a top tier pro”, says Kidwell, a 4 time World Champion and known globally as “The Father of Freestyle”. “We’re filling the gap with events that cater to the rider who has a focus on fun, but also wants to follow a path to greater heights in their personal snowboarding endeavors. The World Rookie Tour is great because they really treat the riders well and give the kids a taste of what it is like to be a pro.”
At previous World Rookie Tour events, workshops on avalanche safety, how to be a pro snowboarder and interaction with people from local communities have shown the rookies that there is also a side to snowboarding that has a real, human touch. For example, at last year’s World Rookie Finals in Ischgl, Austria, local mentally handicapped people came to the event and interacted with the rookies, sharing personal stories and painting snowboards together. The result is helping kids understand that snowboarding is fun and can be a passion in life, but also that there are real, human aspects to life as well.
Terry Kidwell has had a vision to create unique courses for quite some time and the World Rookie Tour is the perfect place for Terry to realize his vision. “I have always wanted to build courses and pipes with a different eye. I’d like to see the riders utilize the whole slope in a slopestyle, not just a straight jump and rail line, as we see today. Kirkwood is stepping up and shares the same vision of creating an iconic event with a unique course design that should be a benchmark for all future events.”
The winners in each division will earn a spot in the Protest World Rookie Finals 2012, held in Ischgl, Austria from April 11-15, so make sure you have your passport in order because the winners will receive at least