COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO – The road to the 25th annual United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association’s (USASA) championships will end where it began this year, at Colorado’s Copper Mountain Resort. Between the opening event on November 11, 2013 to the snowboarder’s opening ceremonies on Saturday, March 29, some 550 events have been held involving over 4,000 competitors. During the Silver Anniversary of the USASA National Championships, nearly 1200 snowboard athletes will compete in six disciplines while nearly 550 skiers will participate in four individual events.
USASA Executive Director Pete Davis stated, “The excitement building for the Silver Anniversary USASA National Championships is phenomenal. The success of USASA athletes that competed in the Winter Olympics in Sochi this winter has generated real awareness of the talent level coming to Copper. We are all looking forward to great competition at some of the best venues we’ve ever seen at our National Championships. Copper has really raised the bar this year!”
Founded in 1988, the USASA is the first organization exclusively focused on competitive grassroots snowboarding. The belief was that by forming a national association for snowboard competitors, rules of competition could be standardized and an annual national championship event could be established for the rapidly growing sport. Two short years later, USASA held its premiere national championships at Snow Valley, CA. Freeskiing was later added and a companion championships, exclusively for skiers, was established.
Competitors at the 25th USASA National Championships range in age from 7 to 70 and hail from 30 Regional Series, with half of the states in the US represented including Alaska and Hawaii. Snowboarders earned invitations to participate at the National Championships in Alpine (Slalom, Giant Slalom and Boardercross) and/or Freestyle (Slopestyle, Halfpipe and Rail Jam) events. The disciplines available for Freeskiers include Skiercross, Slopestyle, Halfpipe and Rail Jam.
In celebration of USASA’s Silver Anniversary National Championships, several special events and unique elements are on tap for the competitors. One of the most interesting will be a walk down memory lane of past championships through a display of memorabilia including medals, bibs, as well as correspondence from competitors and alumni. Founding members of the organization will participate in this year’s events as will members of the family of USASA founder, Chuck Allen.
Among the special elements waiting for the athletes this year will be free photography at all venues and disciplines from VAST Action Photography, Medicine in Motion will be offering complimentary Physical and Massage Therapy, a free video night featuring entries from a nationwide video contest at Woodward at Copper, a Banked Slalom exhibition event for prequalified competitors, a USASA National Championship Mobile App, a free “carve” clinic from Team USASA members and a Wax Clinic with Olympic Gold Medal Coach, Bud Keene and more. The Vendor Village, located in Burning Stones Plaza, will feature a wide array of sponsor tents, custom tee shirts, contests, samples and fun interactive events presented by sponsors of the USASA.
“USASA was the first contest series I competed in. It allowed me to go to nationals and ride with the best riders my age from all over the country. Not only did it push my riding and get my snowboarding career started but I also now have a low of friends to this day I met through USASA,” commented Louie Vito, 2010 US Olympic Team rider and X Games Champion in the 2014 USASA Media Guide.
Danny Kass, 2-time Olympic Silver Medalist agreed with Vito through his remarks in the Media Guide, “The USASA Foundation and its support for the young children of America are the biggest reason I has a chance to win an Olympic medal. If not for the USASA, I would never have had a chance to compete at the junior level. It gave me the tools and experiences I would need for my entire career as a professional snowboarder.”
The USASA 25th National Championships, which are a TTR four-star event, kick off on Saturday, March 29 with age group practice sessions across all disciplines. The athlete parade for the 30 Regional Series as well as opening ceremonies will get under way at 5:30. Competition begins Sunday, March 30 and ends on Thursday, April 3, with the Exhibition Banked Slalom event the following day. Featured riders in the Banked Slalom will include Olympic medalists Lindsey Jacobellis and Ross Powers.
The Ski Nationals, an Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) Silver level event, commence on April 5th with Opening Ceremonies and practice. Award ceremonies will be held in the Burning Stones Plaza from 4:00 – 6:00 following each day’s snowboarding and freeskiing competitions.