Skiers And Snowboarders Praise Creative ‘Super Streetstyle’ Event At Dew Tour 2023

During Winter Olympics cycles, Dew Tour serves as one of the most important Olympic qualifiers for ski and snowboard freestyle disciplines. Its home of Copper Mountain features one of the country’s few permanent 22-foot halfpipes as well as a regulation slopestyle course.

For that reason, during those years, Dew Tour is bound by the rules and regulations that come with being an official Olympic qualifying event. So when Dew Tour serves as a one-off contest, like this year, organizers take the opportunity to freshen up some of the formats.

In 2023, that’s taken the form of the super streetstyle event, a sort of hybrid of slopestyle and streetstyle. Street snowboarding prodigy Benny Milam, who hails from Minnesota, said that super streetstyle is essentially “streetstyle reimagined.”

“It’s pretty much slopestyle without the jumps,” Milam, who is competing in the men’s event Sunday night, added. “The course is super tight but if you’re on it, you can find your flow.”

At approximately 450 feet long, the four-section 2023 streetstyle course has nearly doubled in size from 2021.

The goals of the new format were twofold. One was to feature a more diverse athlete pool (street riders who don’t typically do large jumps, like Milam, can participate alongside slopestyle veterans like Darcy Sharpe).

“It’s rad there’s this core community that Dew Tour doesn’t usually touch because it’s one of those competitions that’s more related to the World Cup circuit, so it’s kind of fun to have our own little thing for a year,” snowboarder and MTN DEWDEW
athlete Danny Davis told me.

“Dew likes to switch it up, and not every rider wants to switch it up, but there’s a big handful of kids I’m guaranteed are psyched they’re in a rail jam at Dew Tour,” Davis added.

“I’m not, like, a jumps person so it’s cool that there’s just a rail event,” skier Alexa Juncaj said ahead of the women’s super streetsyle contest. “It kind of gives everybody a chance to do some of the bigger contests like [Dew Tour].”

The second goal was to improve the spectator experience for onsite fans, with all the action concentrated at the base of the mountain, where fans can easily gather.

“The thing I really like about super streetsyle is that it’s right at the base of the mountain, it’s gonna be at night, and it’s a whole different group of riders I don’t really get to ride with,” Dew Tour 2021 regining slopestyle champion and MTN DEW athlete Red Gerard told me Saturday. (Gerard had to pull out of the men’s snowboard super streetstyle event on Sunday due to illness.)

The top section of the course includes a multi-option flat-down transfer feature, followed by a classic Cannon-style feature on the second section with two options: a 12-foot-long 10-inch round option and 12-foot-long FunBox, each with a 20-foot gap.

The third section includes a 14-foot up rail and 10-foot pole jam to a 13-foot halfpipe landing on the rider’s left. The right side features a 30-foot down rail.

The fourth feature includes multiple options and two transfers. On the left side, athletes can hit a 20-foot-long wall ride or transfer to the wall ride from a 12-foot pole jam. On the right there is a 12-foot-by-22-foot flat down with a 12-foot lift tower flat transfer to the down. The middle of the botton section features a traditional 20-foot streetstyle down with a 1-foot donkey at the end.

Gerard had words of praise for Snow Park Technologies (SPT), a preeminent terrain park company that built out the super streetstyle course in conjunction with Woodward Copper.

Gerard liked the course SPT built for January’s X Games and was excited to see how the company transformed Red’s Backyard, the permanent rail garden at Copper Mountain styled after Gerard’s own backyard setup that serves as the footprint for Super Streetstyle.

“They’re just really good with creativity, and I know some riders may not like that—I think they could just build a really basic course every time,” Gerard said. “This year at X Games it was really tight; you had to land it perfect.”

“Working with the Copper crew is always a blast,” said SPT’s Eliot Cone. “This year we comboed streetstyle elements with the grandeur of a Dew Tour slopestyle. The outcome was four of the biggest piles of snow the ‘streets’ have ever seen.”

“I didn’t take the street route; I went to the big mountain route a little bit more,” said Gerard, who has filmed parts for big-mountain snowboard films like 2019’s Joy, 2020’s One World and 2022’s Fleeting Time. He said the Super Streetstyle event reminds him of the Volcom Peanut Butter and Rail Jam event he used to compete in.

“I used to do so many of those and for sure, my few memories of snowboarding in Ohio was a lot like this, just a small group of rails in a park,” added Gerard, whose family moved from Cleveland to Summit County, Colorado, when he was seven.

“So it’ll be interesting to watch [Super Streetstyle] for sure,” Gerard said. “A lot of these guys I rode with when I was younger, so it’s kind of been fun to chat with them and see where their career has taken them.”

Alexis Hernandez-Roland, who won the women’s snowboard event Saturday, applauded the format for faciliating progression on the women’s side.

“I’m so impressed with the level of riding from all the ladies today,” Hernandez-Roland told Mary Walsh on the Dew Tour broadcast.

“I could never have dreamed of seeing the lines that they put down—I mean, front board pretzel, twos…I’m just so proud with the level of progression right now.”