On Saturday April 1st, Eldora Mountain Resort hosted the inaugural Ditchslap Banked Slalom presented by 10 Barrel Brewing Company. The slate topped out at 148 riders ranging from ages 18 to 58 who showed up for a chance at the $10K cash prize purse. Despite this being Eldora’s first foray into banked madness, the event sold out in days–a prescient sign that snowboarding in the wilds of Boulder, CO and the surrounding hill country is alive and kicking.
Contestants came out of the gates swinging on a steep, wedge-banked course that put newbies on edge and forced seasoned riders to pull out all the stops in pursuit of a picnic table finish and a tree-trunk-sized 10 Barrel beer can-inspired trophy.
Never heard of 10 Barrel? Founded and headquartered in Bend, OR, they’re no spring chickens when it comes to on-snow events, have been surrounded by banked slaloms since birth, and within the last two weeks put on their 2nd annual Hella Big Air competition at Mt. Bachelor. Now with a new brewpub in Denver, they have plenty of reasons to spread the love for brews and snowboarding in Colorado.
We’re also not foolin’ about a $10K cash prize purse which was split 100% evenly amongst men and women’s divisions.
The gates were cones, like the ones you’d see in a parking lot. Also, the podium was a picnic table. This event was about snowboarding…and maybe also about drinking beer (reference Ditchslap trophies as evidence), which will always be a part of snowboarding. “Ask any of the riders and they will tell you. This event brought snowboarders together in a place they haven’t gathered in a long time, or maybe ever” claimed one competitor who grew up riding Eldora.
Overall winner Jake Black had never even been to Eldora. If it wasn’t for friends sending him photos of the course build he would’ve expected they were playing an April fools prank just so he’d drive to Boulder to party. Well, Jake, now you have a reason to go back.
Kyle Markman and the parks crew at Eldora put together a flowy, fast and fun course down their Corkscrew run known to mountain locals as the ‘Trick Ditch’ which houses the skeletal remains of an old halfpipe. Locals have called for action for years, and the so-called Trick Ditch may have found its calling. Eldora even plans to keep the course open as a terrain park for extra days so local riders can get their turns in and practice for future Ditschslaps.
Plan on Ditchslap and 10 Barrel returning next year, the only thing they will want to do differently is get more people at the event, which can only mean more smiling faces.