Airing it out: Sierra-at-Tahoe hosts 10th Buckle Up Big Air Competition |

Airing it out: Sierra-at-Tahoe hosts 10th Buckle Up Big Air Competition

Sebastian Foltz

From 900s to full double cork 1080s, there was no shortage of big air at Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort last weekend. The mountain hosted its 10th annual Buckle Up Big Air amateur slopestyle competition Saturday, March 26.

“It was killer,” marketing and events manager Katie Hunter said. “It wasn’t about who was throwing down the biggest. It was who was having the most fun.”

The event was created in part to promote seatbelt safety and honor Greg Taylor Smith, a former Sierra team rider who died in a car accident.

Top finishers in each category split a $1,200 purse with a portion of proceeds from the competition benefiting the Sierra-at-Tahoe Education Foundation — a fund for up-and-coming skiers, snowboarders and youth programming.

The men’s open division skiers stole the show with more than double the competitors than any other category.

Cesar Rodriguez topped the podium for open skier men, followed by Connor Henderson and Alec Bowman.

While not competing, first-time X Games pro Kyle Smaine also dropped in on the course a handful of times, impressing the gathered crowd.

Contestants competed in a jam-style format lapping the park features built next to the mountain’s halfpipe. Each competitor selected which three of their laps they would be judged on prior to dropping.

“It was really neat to watch everybody showcasing their best stuff,” Hunter said.

Savannah Amos took the top spot among open skier women as the only woman to compete in the category.

Denver Orr won the open men snowboard division followed by Jake Denham and Alex Wetherhold. Megan King topped the three-athlete women’s snowboard field followed by Makayla Kellogg and Emma Dayberry. Awards were also handed out for 16-and-over and 15-and-under divisions.

The resort’s Equinox Spring Festival will continue through spring with additional events and live music. The mountain will host the 20th annual Boarding for Breast Cancer celebration and music festival Saturday, April 2, as part of ongoing spring events. A portion of the day’s lift ticket costs will go toward the charity.

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