By Steve Hubrecht 

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If you love ripping the slopes on one plank instead of two, and enjoy a banked slalom course to boot, then you’re in luck — the valley’s newest snowboard event is back.

The Turn and Burn banked slalom race was launched last year at Panorama Mountain Resort. It was a huge success, attracting 112 participants. 

Organizers have made it an annual affair, and are hoping for an even bigger turnout for the second edition of the event, which is set to go ahead on Saturday, Mar. 23.

For many years the Easy Rider Snowboard Cup banked slalom race was held at Panorama, but six years ago it moved to Rabbit Hill near Edmonton. That left a void that was finally filled by the Turn and Burn in 2023.

“We saw a gap in events for snowboarders, and we wanted to bring back a race event that is inclusive and fun,” said Syndicate Board Shop owner and Turn and Burn organizer Eric Lange. 

“There are a lot of skiing events, but not really a lot of snowboarding events. Hopefully this will help get kids stoked on snowboarding as a sport.”

There are prizes, and every kid who takes part will get one, but the Turn and Burn is not a truly competitive race, Lange told the Pioneer. “It’s not about ability, it’s about coming out, participating and having fun.”

Snowboarders will get a chance to make two timed runs down a course, turning around gates on berms made of snow and going over other human-made snow features.

“The turns are banked, and you can use the banks to your advantage. You can interpret the course how you want to — you don’t have to try to stick as close to the gates as possible. The person who sticks closest to the gates is not necessarily always the fastest,” Lange said.

Last year for the inaugural Turn and Burn, organizers were hoping to attract 50, maybe even 60 participants, he explained. So to draw 112 snowboards “we were really happy with that. Clearly it was well received by the public. Hopefully it keeps on growing,” he said.

“If you are not experienced, it’s no problem, you can still get down the hill and have fun,” added Panorama senior mountain operations manager Ryan Stimming, who is helping with the event.

“We’ll have some fun categories too,” said Stimming. Last year that included categories for switch riding and for snow skate. Since the Turn and Burn this year coincides with Panorama’s first ever Pride and Ski Festival “there also will be a prize for Pride spirit,” Lange noted.

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