The 2013 World Ski and Snowboard Festival: Pro Photo Showdown, The Shred Show, and the Evolution of a Spring Fling

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Evolution is a necessity, particularly in the snowsports world. Do the same thing the same way for more than a few years, and it can get stale, wither and die. For the 2013 World Ski and Snowboard Festival in Whistler, BC, evolution became a necessity. And the Festival Formerly Known as Telus once again proved it was the best spring-time party in Canada.

Now eighteen years deep, what began as the Westbeach Classic has morphed into ten days of legitimate contest riding and legitimate partying in the village, year after year. This year, I arrived a little late, by most accounts—there were a lot of “you should have been here last weekend” comments in the air, given that Nas played a free show while skiers hucked carcass of a big air wedge in the village. But by my account, my timing was bang on—I arrived just in time to watch Andy Wright win $10k at the Pro Photo Showdown. With a show spanning his 15-years-or-so at the forefront of the snowboard photography scene, classic imagery of the likes of MFM, Seth Huot, Mikey Leblanc and more balanced well with the less-obvious moments and progressive action with E-Jack, Mueller and more. Congrats, Andy—you did snowboard nation proud.

Next up was the Monster Energy-produced Shred Show. With none other than Dano Pendygrasse at the helm, The Shred Show has continually updated its program over the last half-decade, evolving from a party-first mentality to a legitimate Big Air/Slopestlye combo event. Now aligned with the TTR World Tour as a pair of five-star events, valuable points were on the line entering the Olympic campaign of 2013/14. But, it didn’t get too serious—free beer and hot dogs were also part of the program. While I won’t bore you with the details of who did what tricks, let’s say that double corks are standard, a Canadian other than Mark McMorris and Seb Toots—namely, Maxence Parrot—stepped up to drop a triple cork, and the police poured out more than a few slopeside beers in the process.

In the end, nobody was sorry for partying, and the festival closed out on Sunday with a dose of late-April bluebird and powder to shake off the weekend-ender hangovers. With a vacant title sponsor spot, the WSSF proved that redefining oneself with a hint more seriousness doesn’t negate tradition and a balanced approach can definitely lead to more good times in the future. The party doesn’t look like it will end anytime soon—and it appears the WSSF remains the best springtime event in Canada for years to come.


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