Whistler’s Showcase Showdown – Update 2019
If you know your methods from your indies, and your backside boardslides from your cork 7s, you won’t want to miss the Showcase Showdown 2019 on Saturday, March 30. The longest running snowboard competition in Canada draws an eager crowd of locals and visitors alike. Whether you want get sendy yourself, or just watch other, braver souls try their luck, the Showdown is a great way to spend an afternoon.
Amateur snowboarders test themselves against three different features, fighting it out for the crown. Always a celebration of the best of Whistler’s illustrious snowboarding history, you’re guaranteed to see gnarly tricks, seriously big airs and a lot of talent on display.
The Showcase Showdown is also the perfect excuse to take a trip to Whistler, strap on your snowboard and go exploring for yourself. Whistler Blackcomb are notorious for their world-class snowparks, made famous in generations of snowboard films. Who knows, you might even see one of the many legendary pros who regularly hang around the parks. And when you’re off the hill, you’ll have plenty of time to explore some of Whistler’s equally legendary apres bars.
Here at Forged, we love any excuse to have some laughs with our crew. So here’s our guide to making the most of the Showcase Showdown 2019.
The Showcase Showdown: Part of Snowboarding History
While snowboarders are everywhere these days, that wasn’t always the case. And you don’t have to go back far to find a generation who remember when snowboarders were banned from most mountains in North America. In fact, Blackcomb Mountain were way ahead of the curve when they welcomed snowboarders for the first time in the winter of 1987.
But being an early adopted of skiing cooler, grungier little brother was a good bet. It wasn’t long before people started to realise that snowboarders were onto something. And Blackcomb were already one step ahead, building the terrain parks and features that are so familiar now, but were radical back then.
The Showcase Showdown is Born
The Showcase Showdown was born only 10 years after snowboarders first set foot on our mountains. With an abundance of talented, creative local snowboarders, it was only a matter of time before a cool new events started taking place. So the managers of local snowboard shop, Showcase, took matters into their own hands. They created a fun, imaginative and entertaining competition that suited the casual, surf-inspired snowboarders in Whistler.
The format of the Showdown has changed over the years. One of the great things about the event is that the organizers aren’t afraid to keep it fresh. They’ve tried all sorts of different features over the years: big air, slopestyle, halfpipe, rail jams and even a euro carve category in 2017. For 2019 they’re trying something new again, introducing the Burton Wheel of Tricks: competitors spin the wheel, and wherever it lands, they have to try land the trick. Who knows if it will become a new favourite format, but it will definitely be fun.
What You Need to Know About the Showcase Showdown 2019
- What to expect: The format of the event is still being kept a secret, so practice your rail slides, spins and your biggest airs to be in with a chance of winning. But don’t expect a competitive atmosphere. The Showdown is about fun, friendship and getting sendy. Bring your friends, grab a good seat and enjoy the show. Plus there’s some awesome prizes on offer from sponsors like Burton, Vans and Skull Candy.
- When: Saturday March 30, 2019 from 12-3pm
- Where to watch: The competition takes place at the top of Whistler mountain, in a custom-built venue. You’ll need a lift-pass to get there!
- How to take part: There are four categories: males 19+, females 19+, males 18- and females 18-. The competition is open to anyone, not just locals and not just professionals. You ca register by visiting Showcase in the village, or by calling Whistler Blackcomb Guest Services. Helmets are mandatory for all participants, and skiers, stay away: this one’s not for you
- Price: $30 for 19+, and $25 for 18-. Prices go up by $5 if you register on the day of the event, so get organized and save yourself some cash.
Where to Stay for the Showdown
If you’re heading to Whistler for the Showdown, and a few days’ snowboarding, there are plenty of accommodation options for you. From pure luxury to cheap and cheerful, Whistler has something to suit everyone’s budget. Here’s a few of Forged’s favourites. If these don’t float your boat, we’ve got plenty more ideas in our ultimate guide to where to stay in Whistler. Oh, and if your budget won’t stretch that far, try our hostel guide instead.
Pan Pacific Mountainside
You can’t get much more convenient than the luxurious suites at the Pan Pacific Mountainside. Located an actual stone’s throw from the base of Whistler mountain, you’ll be able to roll out of bed and up the hill. They also offer discounts for BC, Washington and Oregon Residents. And they’re home to the Dubh Linn Gate, locals’ favourite Irish pub – whether for late night dancing or hangover-curing breakfasts.
Aava Hotel Whistler
Another favourite is the Aava, a friendly, accessible hotel right in the centre of Whistler. Their modern suites are cosy and welcoming, and ski valet will take your gear off your hands when you get back from a day on the slopes. They’re also dog-friendly, so you can bring your furry friend with you. And the rooms are surprisingly affordable, especially for their amazing locals at the heart of Whistler village.
Pangea Pod Hotel
To get the best bang for your buck, the Pangea Pod Hotel is your best option. A newcomer in Whistler village, the hotel opened in 2018 to lots of excitement from locals and visitors alike. The pod-style rooms are small but offer everything you need. There’s plenty of space to store your skis and a stylish, modern bar downstairs. The patio has some of the best views in Whistler, and you’re only five minutes walk from the bottom of Whistler Gondola.
Best Apres Options for the Showcase Showdown
Of course, any memorable day on the hill requires an equally memorable apres. And Whistler never disappoints, whether you’re looking for legendary parties, quirky craft breweries or fun-filled adventure activities. We’ve pulled together a few of the best to provide inspiration for your next apres ski in Whistler. To get you started, here’s a few classic Whistler apres options you can’t miss.
Garibaldi Lift Company
Often the location for the official Showdown after-party, GLC is a classic Whistler apres destination not to be missed. It’s enviable location at the bottom of Whistler mountain makes GLC the perfect place to watch some after-ski entertainment, as skiers and snowboarders fling themselves down the last run of the day. With great food, affordable drinks and a heated patio, it’s easy to while away a long night at GLC reliving your victory.
No discussion of the Whistler apres scene is complete without a mention of Longhorn’s. If you’re here to have a good time, a trip to Longhorn’s is a must. We probably wouldn’t recommend bringing your grandma, but if you like drinking beer from a jug and dancing on a table in ski boots, this is the place for you. But if you’re gonna commit to a big night at Longhorn’s, do yourself a favour and stash your snowboard somewhere safe before you start. We doubt you’ll be in a state to find it later.
Forged Axe Throwing
For a more chilled, but no less fun apres experience, why not swap your planks for axes, and have a go at a new sport? It doesn’t take long to become an expert, and we often find people accidentally get a bit addicted. Don’t blame us if you find yourself growing a big bushy beard and hurling axes at trees from now on. You can drop in to Forged any time to have a throw and hang out with our charming axe-throwing hosts. And if you still fancy a beer, we’re right next door to two local, quality breweries – Whistler Brewing and Coast Mountain Brewing.
The Showcase Showdown: A must-do Whistler event
Any snowboarders looking for an excuse to visit Whistler will find the perfect one in the Showcase Showdown. Good vibes, friendly competition, and a chance to jam with the locals. There’s a reason the Showdown has been around for 22 years, and we can’t imagine it’s going anywhere soon.