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Big Wave Challenge

Fri, Apr 13 - Sat, Apr 14

Location: Events Arena

The Big Wave is back and bigger than ever! Every year Mt. Bachelor holds this one-of-a-kind event inspired by the event's host — legendary surfer and Mt. Bachelor Ambassador, Gerry Lopez.

This snowboard-only event features a series of huge sweeping banked corners, quarter pipes, and spines, incorporating the natural terrain as much as possible, to create wave-like features into a flowing course - this year located off Midway. The idea of the Mt. Bachelor Big Wave Challenge is to bring the surf to the mountain. 

The competition will be held on Friday, April 13th — Saturday, April 14th. See below for a full event schedule. 



7:30 a.m.  11:00 a.m. Registration

9:00 a.m.  4:00 p.m.  Practice (All Divisions)

10:00 a.m.  11:00 a.m. Yoga with Gerry at Pine Marten Lodge (Limited yoga mats will be provided by KIND bars and available on a first come, first served basis. Please bring personal mats as back up.)

7:00 p.m.  9:00 p.m. Kickoff event at Patagonia Bend - Liz Clark will be speaking about her new book Swell . Free admission! 


7:30 a.m.  9:00 a.m.  Late Registration

9:00 a.m.  11:30 a.m.  Wahine, Keiki, Makule and Pro Surfer Divisions

11:00 a.m.  3:00 p.m.  Hawaiian-inspired BBQ at Cocoa's in West Village Lodge

1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Bill Keale playing on the West Village Deck

11:30 a.m.  2:00 p.m.  Kane Division

12:00 p.m.  5:00 p.m.  Patagonia Worn Wear repairs and DIY


"Kane" (Men's open division) FULL 
"Wahine" (Women's open division) FULL
"Keiki" (Groms 16 & under division)
"Makule" (40 & over division) FULL 
Pro-surfer division (exhibition only)


Event Waiver

Parent/Guardian must sign for minor participants

The Mt. Bachelor Big Wave Challenge is a freestyle snowboard surfing competition that is unique in concept. Thank you for taking part in it. I will attempt to explain how it works. Keep in mind something that the old beach boys of Waikiki used to say: the best surfer is the one having the most fun. This is our primary goal, to create an event that is fun for you. Of course, it is still a contest and there is a format and rules. And just so you know, all of your entry fees are going to Pat Malendowski who was also our beneficiary last year. Pat is doing well and will join us on the hill to take a run through the course that he has been such a big part in creating concept-wise. A lot of you have been in past events but this year we have a few changes to the usual format, so please read on.

There are 4 main divisions, Kane’s [Men’s], Wahine’s [Women’s], Makule’s [over 40 years old], and Keiki’s [under 16 years old]. We also will have a Pro Surfer division if there isn’t any big surf going off somewhere in the world and the surfers show up.

Friday will not have any competition. Registration will be open on the lower level of West Village Lodge where everyone will need to sign a waiver and pick up bibs and event swag. We have some good stuff for you again so make sure you show up and if you show up early, there’s a better chance of getting your exact size because at some point, we always start to run out. We also will have a practice day on the course and it will be a good time to learn the ins and outs of it. This year, our Big Wave course will be located close to Pine Marten lift, starting on Midway (where Boardercross course was). Remember to always surf so you can surf again tomorrow…never ride like there’s no tomorrow because competition doesn’t start until Saturday morning. Get your practice runs in, figure out your lines and be ready to go early Saturday. This year is just one day of competition and Saturday is our day.

Also on Friday morning at 10:00 a.m., at the mid-mountain Pine Marten Lodge in the rear section of Scapolo’s on the ground floor, I will lead an hour long Yin Yoga class for those of you that want to stretch, loosen up and get centered before you ride. All competitors are welcome as well as anyone else you want to bring. Yoga mats are limited so maybe throw one in you backpack. Look for us at Scapolo’s.

Friday evening at the Patagonia Bend store downtown, we will have an awesome book presentation by Liz Clark and slide show night with beer from Kona Brewing. Doors open at 7:00 p.m.

Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m., we will start with the Keiki’s, Wahine’s and Makule divisions; it will be the same jam format we used last year but line up to begin in order of your division. After your first run, just circle back and line up to go again. There are a lot of people to run through so please be patient and pay attention to the starters, they are there for your safety. When we tally the exact number of riders in these first three divisions, we will determine exactly how long the first Jam will be, so keep riding until the starters tell you it’s over. Then we will take a short break before starting the Kane’s and Pro Surfer divisions. How long we run this second Jam will also be determined by the number of riders but I can guarantee that it will be fun to watch.

The course is divided up into the various features, each named after famous and popular surf spots. The judging format actually begins from the moment you begin your run. Surfing like snowboarding is a freestyle art form, an expression of your creative and athletic skills as expressed across the canvas of a liquid or frozen wave. Everything you do will be scored, every turn you make going into the feature will count towards your score. For example, a committed banked-over, on-edge turn will score higher than a lazy, skidding turn. The speed you maintain through the feature factors in, obviously going faster scores higher. The degree of difficulty on the maneuvers you perform are also a factor, so going big scores more. Completion of the maneuvers you attempt are, of course, a large part of your score but you will be scored for trying even if you don’t make it. Each of the features run into the next one, ride the whole course from top to bottom. Your score is based on the composition of your ride through entire course and on each feature. If you elect to go for a big jump that makes you skip a feature, it is possible that you may not score as high as someone who rides everything. You will be scored on a 10-point scale for your ride. Your total score is for the entire ride so keep in mind that even if you fall, get up, continue riding and you may still get a top score. Remember that style, flow and smoothness factor heavily into your score, so flow smoothly with style wherever you can. And most of all make sure you have fun.

Also on Saturday, at the West Village Lodge, Bill Keale will perform his magic music and there will be luau food available for purchase. Once we have completed all the competition, we will have the awards presentation at West Village…outside if the weather is nice or inside if it isn’t. That’s about it, thank you for your participation.



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