West Coast Rookie Fest – Kidwell Classic comes to Kirkwood, CA

Comments by Snowboard Magazine/

Competitive snowboarding is about to change in North America. After nine years of successful events in Europe, Asia and the Southern Hemisphere, it is now time to bring the World Rookie Tour to North America. Legendary pro snowboarder Terry Kidwell sees a great opportunity to create a series of events that will serve as the next level beyond amateur competitions. Currently, there is a large gap between USASA level events and the top tier pro events such as the US Open, Dew Tour events and X Games.

“Right now it is a very confusing and difficult system for the young riders who have goals of becoming a top tier pro”, says Kidwell, a 4 time World Champion and known globally as “The Father of Freestyle”. “We’re filling the gap with events that cater to the rider who has a focus on fun, but also wants to follow a path to greater heights in their personal snowboarding endeavors. The World Rookie Tour is great because they really treat the riders well and give the kids a taste of what it is like to be a pro.”

At previous World Rookie Tour events, workshops on avalanche safety, how to be a pro snowboarder and interaction with people from local communities have shown the rookies that there is also a side to snowboarding that has a real, human touch. For example, at last year’s World Rookie Finals in Ischgl, Austria, local mentally handicapped people came to the event and interacted with the rookies, sharing personal stories and painting snowboards together. The result is helping kids understand that snowboarding is fun and can be a passion in life, but also that there are real, human aspects to life as well.

Terry Kidwell has had a vision to create unique courses for quite some time and the World Rookie Tour is the perfect place for Terry to realize his vision. “I have always wanted to build courses and pipes with a different eye. I’d like to see the riders utilize the whole slope in a slopestyle, not just a straight jump and rail line, as we see today. Kirkwood is stepping up and shares the same vision of creating an iconic event with a unique course design that should be a benchmark for all future events.”

The winners in each division will earn a spot in the Protest World Rookie Finals, held in Ischgl, Austria from April 11-15, so make sure you have your passport in order because the winners will receive at least $1,000 towards airfare and once they arrive in Europe, entry, hotel and accommodations will be paid by the World Rookie Tour. Numerous prizes for all riders, from sponsors such as Sessions, Skullcandy and more!

The Kidwell Classic kicks off on Friday, March 23rd with registration and a welcome party where Terry will explain the unique opportunity for all the riders to be a part of snowboarding history, as it’s being made. There will be a workshop, “How To Be A Pro Snowboarder”, given by Bob Klein, long time rider and agent for numerous pro snowboarders. The slopestyle kicks off Saturday, March 24th with qualifications and Sunday, March 24th will be the finals, where 3 winners (Groms, Rookie, Girls) will be given those spots for the Protest World Rookie Finals in Ischgl, Austria.

Age groups are as follows:
Groms – Born January 1, 1997 and up

Rookies – Born January 1, 1994 – December 31, 1996

Girls – Both Grom and Rookie divisions (only Rookie Girls winner will receive transportation to Protest World Rookie Finals in Ischgl, Austria, but top 3 in each division will be extended an invite)

Registration is $125 and includes lift tickets for Saturday and Sunday. Friday Lift tickets will be $50, if you want to train on the course. Lodging and food packages are available. Lodging starts as low as $30 per night in a hostel, or $200 for 2 nights in a hotel room, double occupancy.  Check www.kirkwood.com for lodging info.  For any additional questions, please e mail wcrfinfo@gmail.com

The West Coast Rookie Fest – Kidwell Classic is supported by USASA and any USASA member under 18 is welcome to compete.

World Rookie Tour Rules
The title of World Rookie Champion will be awarded to the winner of the Protest World Rookie Finals reserved to the top riders from previous Rookie Fests, plus selected riders from National Snowboard Associations and the top 20 riders from the World Rookie Rank (rank at the end of March 2012).