Sluice Box Slalom ‘15

Kevin Kennedy's picture

Celebrating the single plank.

It’s tough being a snowboarder at Bridger Bowl. We have to hop over flat spots, keep speed on traverses, and it seems like we’re always stuck riding with a group of skiers. No matter how hard it is to thrive with two feet attached to a single plank, we prevail in the name of standing sideways, and one thing's for sure: when it comes to riders at Bridger, the quality is pretty damn high.

Bridger Bowl. Snowboarding. Sluice Box Slalom. Outside Bozeman.

The easy access to steep, gnarly terrain, the long traverses, and the lack of other snowboarders create a rider who's a far cry from the average park rat. Once a year we celebrate this fact with a banked-slalom race down Bridger's most infamous gully: the Sluice Box Slalom. Snowboarders from around the area show up in hopes of putting down those nuclear-fast times they’ve been training for all season.

Bridger Bowl. Snowboarding. Sluice Box Slalom. Outside Bozeman.

And this year was no different, with 36 shredders and a course that required quite a bit of skill. While everyone had their secret weapons, whether it was imported Scandinavian wax, a new 164mm swallow-tail with mellow magne-traction and camber underfoot, or the perfect 16o and -11.5o stance angle, it simply came down to who could turn it on in the clutch.

Snowboarding. Sluice Box Slalom. Bridger Bowl. Outside Bozeman.

Bridger Bowl. Snowboarding. Sluice Box Slalom. Outside Bozeman.

In the end, some people laid down top times, some people won snowboards, free pizzas, and gift cards to the Co-op, and some people left empty-handed—but no one left disappointed. Everyone went fast for the sake of going fast and being part of the small population of snowboarders who choose to ride at Bridger Bowl.

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