The USASA south Tahoe series continues this weekend at Sierra-at-Tahoe Ski Resort with a rail jam and slopestyle competition.
The events are for amateur athletes of all ages looking to score points for the national competition that starts March 30 at Copper Mountain in Colorado.
Even though the competitors aren't professionals - yet - the series offers a unique opportunity for Tahoe athletes to prove their skills and possibly break into the pro ranks.
"This is how Maddie Bowman, Jamie Anderson got their start. It's a great circuit for amateurs to showcase their talents," Sierra's Communications Manager Steven Hemphill said.
Riders who compete in Saturday's rail jam could qualify for the chance to ride at the USASA X-Games rail jam in Aspen this month. It might not be the actual professional X-Games competition held annually in Colorado, but it still givers snowboarders a chance to show their skills at the X-Games Vendor Village.
Athletes also have the opportunity to snag some cool swag Sunday when the slopestyle competition starts at 10 a.m. Prizes include helmets, boots, watches and more and each participant also receives a raffle ticket and the chance to win more merchandise.
"It's a really welcoming environment. We have kids who have been doing this since they were young kids to kids who just got started. Even if you're new to competitions, you can still walk away with some cool stuff," Sierra's Events Coordinator Katie Hunter said.
The next event in the series is another slopestyle competion set to take place at Sierra-at-Tahoe Jan. 26. The series hops between Sierra and Heavenly Mountain Resort, and also includes a bordercross and skiercross event, two slalom and GS races and a halfpipe competition. For the full calendar, visit http://tinyurl.com/bhbmwe8.
Hunter said she expects about 80 athletes to compete in Sunday's event. The Jan. 27 bordercross competition, which has the lowest barrier to entry, could draw up to 130 people, she said.
"We see a lot of the same rock starts competing," Hunter said.