On March 30, pro skier Tanner Hall will play host to his first invitational freeskiing contest at California's Sierra at Tahoe.
"I've always wanted to do my own contest, but to do it in my own way," said Hall, a competitor in the X Games Real Ski Backcountry film contest. "We finally found the right partner in Sierra at Tahoe, and it gives me a chance to build a really unique feature and bring out all my favorite skiers and basically have an epic jam session out there. I think kids are really going to love the format and the features and the different riders we are bringing out."
Called the Tanner Hall Invitational, confirmed riders included Hall, Henrik Harlaut, Phil Casabon, Sammy Carlson, Torin Yater-Wallace, Mike Hornbeck, Ahmet Dadali, Duncan Adams and more.
"I am looking forward to seeing the variety of skiers that will be there," said Eric Iberg, of Inspired Media, who will be co-producing the invitational contest along with Evolution Management + Marketing. "It's not your normal crew that is normally at contests in the ski industry -- they are all very talented from different eras of the twin tip revolution and all bring a unique aspect to the sport."
Snow Park Technologies, the Tahoe-based company that builds the X Games courses, will work with Sierra to build the contest's "tombstone" feature -- a quarterpipe built between two hip jumps. It'll be a jam format with the athletes serving as the judges. The hip session will be an hour-and-15-minute long jam session, followed by a quarterpipe jam session of the same length. The contest will be aired on a live webcast on www.inspiredmedia.tv and www.tannerhall.com.
Other resorts were in the running to hold the contest, but Sierra at Tahoe, which has previously built features for snowboarder Jamie Anderson, the TransWorld snowboarding team shootout, and events such as the Triple Crown, was chosen. "Sierra at Tahoe is a resort in which the stars aligned," said Iberg. "Snow Park Technologies also works with Sierra and they are the best, so we know we will have a quality feature for the skiers."
Added Sierra at Tahoe's communication manager Steve Hemphill, "The lineup of riders is incredible and we are anxious to give them a feature that will progress skiing and offer a different format than the traditional slopestyle contest."
Although the prize purse is still being determined, it'll likely be a minimum of a $10,000 prize for first place, according to contest organizers.
Although this is his first invitational contest, Hall and organizers hope it will become an annual event and will remain different than other contests.
"A lot of contests lately, especially now with the Olympics in everyone's mind, have gotten super serious, with a million coaches and ski techs and wax guys at the top of the courses," Hall said. "With this event, we wanted to bring back the fun of skiing and make everyone remember that first and foremost the sport is about having fun with your friends and style and progression. This event is all about that."