Local bump skier Hernandez plans to lift off again
U.S. Ski Team moguls skier Chris Hernandez can’t think of a better way to wrap up his season than performing at the Boarding for Breast Cancer’s Snowboard and Music Festival.
The South Lake Tahoe bumper plans to make his second appearance in the snowboarder-skier exhibition on Saturday at Sierra-at-Tahoe.
“I don’t know if it’s the biggest air I get during the season, but it’s one of the funnest and most laid-back,” said Hernandez, a third-year member of the U.S. Ski Team. “You hang out and try to wow everyone that is watching, and there’s no run order and they don’t even judge the participants. It’s all snowboarders and we jump in with them and try and show our stuff to them, and everybody digs it.”
Hernandez gets worked up just revisualizing last year’s event.
“I remember all those people … so many people,” said Hernandez, the 1999-2000 Nor Am moguls series runner-up. “The concert was awesome, the whole town is there, and it’s a huge event that’s fun to go to.
“This year, there’s no snow, so everyone is going to be packed at the bottom, and I’m sure there’s going to be more people than last year because they have some pretty big names coming up.”
The star power includes pro snowboarders Tara Dakides, Shannon Dunn, Tina Basich, Michelle Taggart and Ross Powers providing spectators with a variety of their pro tour tricks and jumps.
“This is big,” said Ben McLeod, spokesman for Sierra-at-Tahoe. “People can expect to see some of the best riders in the world pulling their signature tricks. There’s no cash to win. Nonetheless, they are going to be pulling some cool tricks.”
The 21-year-old Hernandez, who is enjoying his most successful monetary season to date, doesn’t need a cash incentive to go big on Saturday.
“The cause is the whole reason we’re all out there,” he said. “They’re couldn’t be a better cause and a better sport to do it in in Tahoe. It attracts hundreds and hundreds of people.”
Basich has this event on her calendar from the beginning of the season.
“I look forward to this event all year because it’s a time when all my friends get together, and the fact that it’s a cause I strongly believe in and support make it a very special day.”
Dunn, who has an Olympic bronze in her medal collection, sees the event as a chance to use her position to raise money for a good cause.
“I think it’s great for people to gather for a cause like this,” she said. “I’m also going to have a lot of fun, too.”
The snowboard-skier exhibition begins with a pro halfpipe session from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday on Sierra’s Broadway run. Amateur boarders rule the pipe from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The big air performers, including Hernandez, take off at 2 p.m. and entertain until 3 p.m. on Aspen near the base of the mountain.
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