The winter call to the mountains has sounded. Snow worshippers have been eagerly listening, and they’re now free to answer. With chairs spinning at Whistler Blackcomb, North America’s largest ski resort, the season-long quest to summit peaks, charge endless vert, uncover powder stashes and send it from dawn to dusk, and beyond, has begun.
It’s the beginning of a wave of momentum that’ll reach its apex in April, erupting in one final blaze of glory and energy, known as the World Ski & Snowboard Festival (WSSF), the après of the season.
On April 10th-14th, 2019, WSSF returns for its 24th year, bringing together the community and visitors from around the world to Whistler, B.C. for five days of elevated action.
What’s on the horizon for North America’s largest festival of snow sports, music, arts, and mountain culture?
For 2019, Big Air is going even bigger. Prize money for the ski and snowboard events will balloon to an unprecedented minimum of $100,000 USD ($50K per event), a move that’s expected to bring in the heavy hitters and that’s in line with the growth of these disciplines within the snow sports arena. Snowboard Big Air was added to the Olympic roster at the PyeongChang Winter Games for the first time in 2018, while Ski Big Air will be added for Beijing 2022.
Big Air competitions are two of the WSSF’s marquee events. Every year, thousands of fans descend on Skiers Plaza in Whistler Village to watch top talent launch themselves off a massive jump at the base of Whistler Mountain, performing tricks mid-air, earning a score based on difficulty, execution, landing and amplitude. Former contestants include a veritable who's who of Olympians and X Games all-stars, including Max Parrot, Gus Kenworthy, Sage Kotsenburg, Henrik Harlaut, Sebastien Toutant and Yuki Tsubota.
As in 2018, both Ski and Snowboard contests will be broadcast live on WSSF.com.
Also on deck for WSSF 2019, the Saudan Couloir Ski Race Extreme presented by Kokanee, Monster Energy Boarderstyle World Championships and Slush Cup.
Music will continue to feature prominently, with the WSSF Outdoor Concert Series bringing free, all-ages music showcases to the streets of Whistler Village, while the Kokanee Freeride Club Series will stage free shows at bars and clubs around town, taking Whistler’s famed après scene and cranking it to full blast. Full music lineup will be announced in the new year.
Rounding things out, the Whistler Conference Center will once again be the meeting place for creative minds and inspiration seekers, with the return of Art+Soul, Multiplicity presented by Mountain Life, Intersection, 72hr Filmmaker Showdown and Pro Photographer Showdown. Details of the festival’s exciting arts and culture events, including pricing and details for all ticketed events, will be released as they become available.
Schedule and details for all events are available on WSSF.com.