The 2012 North Face Masters of Snowboarding, presented by PrimaLoft Heads is headed to Snowbird, Utah this week for the last stop of the series. From April 12-15, the best big mountain snowboarders in the world will pull out their A-game for a shot at an overall prize purse of $50,000. This three-stop tour is the only open competition for big mountain snowboarders.
Originally scheduled for January, officials delayed the stop in Snowbird until now in hopes that venue conditions would improve. They have. While the western states had a slow start this season, the spring snow is making up for it. The Wasatch Mountains are now in top shape for the competition.
“Showcasing some of the best big mountain features of any resort, Snowbird is honored to host The North Face Masters,” said Dave Fields, Snowbird’s Vice President of Resort Operations. “With athletes who are as impressive as the terrain, it’s sure to be a thrilling event.”
Athletes will also be competing for the prestigious Katana Sword. Only two Swords are handed out, one to the top male rider and the other to the top female at Snowbird. It is one of the most coveted prizes in big mountain snowboarding. The Young Gun Award is awarded to a young rider under the age of 21 at each stop for innovative riding and promising talent. Snowbird, the last stop, will also reveal the overall tour champions for this season.
Currently, Kirkwood’s Casey Lucas is leading the women with 160 overall points after a gold medal performance at Kirkwood. Last year’s overall winner, Shannan Yates, is closing in on her competitor with 135 points. And Laura Dewey, fellow Snowbird rider, is just a point from overtaking Yates following a second place finish at Crystal.
Only 14 points divide the top four men, and the title is anyone’s for the taking. Tim Carlson, the strong favorite, has pulled slightly ahead with 114 points. Sammy Luebke is 9 points behind, and Brandon Reid and Charlie Hoch are following, tied for third with 100 points each. Both men in third have won a stop of the series.
Both pros and up-and-coming riders will show off their skills during two days of cutthroat competition. The finals this Saturday will be held on Snowbird’s famously technical venue, “West Baldy.” It will be broadcast live on The North Face Masters website.