Snowboard Yukon is laying down the groundwork for another great season before it starts laying down tracks in the snow.
The association is hoping to grow its base of freestyle judges through a two-day clinic presented by Snowboard Yukon and the National Canadian Judging Commission at the start of November.
“After two days in the workshop, you’re certified as a (International Ski Federation) judge – they take charge of the Olympics and the world cups and all that,” said Snowboard Yukon head coach Mary Binsted. “It’s the first level of judging under their heading, as well as the (World Snowboarding Tour). So it’s a dual certification.”
National judging instructor Kevin Higgins, coming up from Calgary, will lead the clinic. It will focus on how to identify the different tricks, teach different judging formats, and how to apply those to the different disciplines – halfpipe, slopestyle, rail jams, and big air.
You don’t need to be able to shred through a skills park like Shaun White, but “you need an appreciation for freestyle snowboarding,” said Binsted. “Enough of an interest that you want to learn the tricks, so you’re a little bit familiar with the tricks to begin with.
“If you happen to be a skier who’s a fan of snowboarding, you’re still welcome to join in the clinic.”
Snowboard Yukon is hoping to build off of what was the organization’s most successful year ever last season.
Yukon boarders competed at the Speed Nationals, Canada’s snowboardcross championships, for the first time, and both reached finals.
Yukon snowboarders captured a record 13 medals at the Arctic Winter Games in March.
Whitehorse’s Adam Waddington became the first Yukoner ever to compete at the Freestyle Snowboarding Nationals in March, placing 32nd in slopestyle and 22nd in halfpipe.
Last season also saw Max Melvin-McNutt become the first-ever Yukoner to make the B.C. Freestyle Team.
“We’re heading into this season with the momentum we had last season,” said Binsted. “On top of it all, our athletes are a little more experienced and our coaching staff is growing and are more experienced than they ever have been before. We also have more training than we’ve had before.”
In addition to the annual Yukon championships and the RBC Riders series races in Whitehorse, Snowboard Yukon will send athletes to a preseason camp in Whistler, B.C., at the start of December, and a freestyle event and a snowboardcross race in February, before sending teams to the freestyle and snowboardcross nationals in March.
“We’re travelling more than we ever have before,” said Binsted.
More information on the judging clinic, scheduled for November 3-4, can be found through Canada Snowboard’s website at
www.canadasnowboard.ca. To enroll or to get more information, email Binsted at email@example.com.
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org