Lots of things come to mind when thinking of the great state of Alaska: moose, state troopers, Sarah Palin, guns, and more moose. When dealing with a snowboarder’s brain, however, it tends to go directly to the heavenly existence of unlimited powder and backcountry riding. Combine that simple fact with Flow’s Tailgate Alaska event and well, you’ve got every snowboarder’s oasis.
Tailgate AK 2012 took place during the first weeks of April and is uniquely open to the public but limited to 500 attendees.
Following the inaugural year of Tailgate B.C. in Revelstoke, the Alaskan adventure provides an opportunity for riders from all over to gather and experience this wonderland of sorts with access to 1.6 miles of terrain they didn’t know existed. Heli-rides, snowcats, snowmobiles, and survival seminars are offered to educate while keeping the stoke level high.
2012 participant and Mammoth local, Eric Holland (a.k.a. Butters), summed up his experience for us: “It’s an event that stands alone. You’ve got amazing mountains, terrain, and amazing people. Everyone’s there for the same reason: to have fun and ride. That to me, is life.”
Another unique aspect of the event is that the Flow World Freeride Championships takes place at the same time. CEO of Flow Snowboards, Anthony Scaturro explained, “While the competition component is a great part of the event, we love the fact that it is more about community than competition. It is a combination of freeriding and backcountry freestyle infused with a whole lot of fun. At Tailgate, everyone is a winner.”
Brooke Summers, from Flow’s marketing department, was onsite and added, “The Flow World Freeride Championships were the climax of Tailgate Alaska. As the only freeride contest held on totally natural and uncontrolled terrain, the WFC stands alone. Men were separated from boys. In fact, most of the boys showed the old guys how it’s done. All in all, a very intense and exciting contest to spectate.”
Let us spell this out for you: unmatched terrain, unlimited access, good people, and traditional Alaskan behavior of boozing, hammer throwing, and nail driving. Start planning for next year people.
Photo: Aaron Dodds, Rider: Mike Basich