To ski or snowboard in Manitoba is no easy task. Spotting a hill has much the same effect as discovering gold, and without moving out west, hopes at big time competition can easily fade away.
Enter Another Big F@lcon Comp (ABFC), a competition that usually occurs twice a year at Falcon Ridge Ski and Recreation Area, which is east of Winnipeg. Most recently, the competition took place on Sunday, Mar. 15.
Dustin Shore is the owner of Boardanyone, the Kenora-based skate shop that recently presented ABFC.
Shore agrees it is tough to make it big as a skier or a snowboarder in Manitoba.
“Living in the prairies, anywhere you want to ride, to get to some sort of mountain is an hour and a half in any direction.”
Sunday’s competition was spread between two different events, but they were nonetheless a bit one sided. Skier Christopher Benson claimed first place in both events, with a score of 126.5 in the Jump-side competition and 101 on the Rail-side competition.
Brian Calling, one of the judges for the Rail-side competition, helped give some meaning to these scores by explaining the judging criteria.
“A lot of style mostly, combined with the difficulty of the trick plus the line-up before the trick is attempted,” he said.
The big winner Benson also earned the best trick award for the Big Air event after successfully completing a Switch 7 off the top table.
One of Benson’s opponents, Stephen Champ, was slightly injured after the rail event, but he nonetheless placed second in the Big Air event. He landed the best Rail-side trick – a front flip off the cannon rail.
One of the other competitors, Max Schumann, placed seventh in Jump-side and fourth in Rail-side. He lives and works at Falcon Ridge, and has been skiing in the competition since he was 10 years old and snowboarding for the past three years.
He said to get to where he is and to go even farther along the path to big time skiing/snowboarding, you have to train and you have to train hard.
“I come out here every day and every time I can and just go ride a bit…”
Published in Volume 63, Number 24 of The Uniter (March 19, 2009)