Racers ranging in age from six to 30-plus were flying down the perfectly groomed track of Ski Martock on March 10 in a quest to finish first.
Team Nova Scotia’s snowboard cross provincials is the final local event for the team of the season, before a select few head off to nationals in British Columbia later this month.
Kristin d’Eon, technical director of Snowboard Nova Scotia and chief of competition for the event, said he was thrilled with how everyone performed during the day.
“We’ve got riders that are preparing for nationals, leaving on March 20 to Big White in Kelowna,” he said. “We know what to expect and this is to kind of help prepare us for that event.”
The younger kids who were participating were focusing on honing their skills while 20 or so athletes were trying to get a spot on the development team.
The track had several separating features, which pushed the snowboarders into some tight corners.
“You really have to work your legs fast in order to not lose speed,” d’Eon said. “Having four people on the course definitely makes it a challenge, because if somebody is in your line you have to watch what you’re doing.”
d’Eon said the provincials is one of Team Nova Scotia’s larger events, with approximately 50 riders, ranging from the masters category to the young kids.
“I think that’s where snowboard cross excels; everybody who snowboards that can link turns can do this,” he said.
d’Eon thanked Ski Martock staff and administration for letting them use their facilities throughout the season.
Brendan Skanes, 17, who lives in Windsor, came in first in the male 15-19 category.
“It was a pretty good moment,” Skanes said. “I had a pretty disappointing fall a couple of days before my Canada Games qualification event, so it felt good to get back out and win a competition.”
Skanes said Team Nova Scotia is a tight-knit group, travelling around the province and country together.
“It was great to see more kids taking the sport more seriously, as it’s sometimes a little overlooked compared to other sports,” he said. “There was a great energy there and everybody was super supportive.”
Skanes, who’s been actively snowboarding since he was seven, won’t be heading to nationals with the team this year, but he is considering staying on as a coach in the near future.
What is Snowboard Cross?
In snowboard cross (SBX for short and often referred to as boardercross), timed runs are used to qualify riders for the finals. Each rider can have up to two qualifying runs. The fastest time is used, while the slower time is thrown out. The fastest athletes progress to finals and four racers at a time start in a pack down a course, racing against each other over rolling terrain and a series of jumps and ramps. The fastest two racers from each heat move on to the next round.
What does the course look like?
Boardercross courses are typically narrow courses which are approximately one kilometre in length and have a vertical drop of 200 metres. They include many features such as cambered turns, gap jumps, berms, drops and flat sections to challenge the riders’ ability to remain in control.
How is snowboardcross judged?
There are no judges for boardercross events. Boardercross riders race individually against the clock in qualifications, and the fastest riders progress to finals. In finals, athletes race in groups of four, with the two fastest racers from each heat moving on to the next round.
Source: Snowboard Nova Scotia
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