Rec & Sports » Rec News

Freestyle Bogus

by

With the 2010 Winter Olympic Games passed, hot dog ski kids and their parents are getting serious about 2014. More than 500 people have fanned "Bring freestyle/freeride skiing back to Bogus Basin" on Facebook. More than 300 like the Idaho Freeride Ski and Snowboard Academy there.

While Bogus is the site of a growing freeride program, run by the Bogus Basin Ski Education Foundation, some riders and their moms want a higher level of training that will provide young skiers access to national-level freestyle competitions and ultimately the World Cup and Olympic circuit.

"I would love to see a [U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association] competitive freestyle program back at Bogus," said Sam Sandmire, whose son trains in Park City, Utah. Sandmire recently wrote a guest opinion in the Idaho Statesman calling for someone to train the next "Speedy."

The BBSEF board bristled at some of Sandmire's lines but has been steadily growing its hucking and big mountain training in recent years.

"Our freeride/freestyle program, we take the kids all over the mountain and instruct them in the various techniques," said Mike Sabin, president of the foundation. "The more athletes that we get ... we'll go the direction the kids/parents want."

Bogus was recently host to a ski cross race, which is one of the USSA freestyle--and Olympic--events, and BBSEF held a big mountain race under Chair Six, showcasing skiers' ability to hold a line in the steeps.

Three years ago, BBSEF ended its USSA-sanctioned freestyle program--about the same time Tamarack opened with a big half pipe and freestyle promises. Tamarack was not the only reason the foundation--prior to Sabin's tenure--ended its freestyle program, but many of the freestyle competitors moved up to Tamarack. Now they are spread out between Sun Valley, Brundage and Park City, according to Sandmire. Five young skiers from Boise qualified for the USSA Junior Olympic Nationals in New Hampshire this week, Sandmire said.

Sabin said he is interested in boosting the mogul scene at Bogus and that members determine whether they move from freeride toward USSA-sanctioned freestyle.

Still, it is not likely that Bogus will build a large half pipe anytime soon because of the cost, Sabin said, and inverted aerials remain banned at Bogus. But moguls, jumps and ski cross are on the rise above the Boise smog.

"It's growing," Sabin said. "With growth comes opportunities to expand our offering more."