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Everything You Need to Know About WSSF: Updated for 2019

Forged Banner WSSF 2019

Whistler is known for a few very distinct experiences: snow-capped mountains, the skiing, the snowboarding, the partying. Can you imagine an enormous, nearly week-long festival that brings all those things together?

Start trying, because that’s what upcoming World Ski and Snowboard Festival 2019 (WSSF) has in store.

Every April, WSSF takes Whistler by storm. This is no exaggeration, the WSSF is a village-wide event that draws in thousands of attendees for 6 days and 5 nights packed with high-energy snowboard, and ski competitions, the largest free outdoor concert series in Canada, film premiers, art, and of course capped off with the obligatory mind-blowing parties.  

We’d like to point out that Forged Axe Throwing puts on a pretty good apres-ski-party if you’re looking for something to do before the Big Air Event and the late night DJs.

Established 22 years ago (April of 1996), the festival originally had the intent to gain Whistler Resort some notoriety during the then-quiet April season. This is something of a lost concept now. Today, the WSSF has made April one of the busiest months in the Whistler Calendar. It’s the largest end-of-the-season party in Whistler, and you won’t want to miss it.

WSSF 2019: All the Details You Need 

image of a Ticket roll

WSSF 2019 has tons of free events on schedule

For starters, let’s’ talk dates. The Whistler Ski and Snowboard Festival 2019 is starting on April 10 and running until April 14. While you don’t need to pay an admission fee to take part in the World Ski and Snowboard 2019, you might need to purchase tickets to specific events that peak your interest. Some of the concerts, art displays, and film showings sell out quickly.

Where does this festival take place?  Literally, it takes over the entire town. The WSSF 2019 takes place in spots throughout all of Whistler Village (we told you it was a big party) and at the base of the mountain, where all the major competitions are held.

If you are new to town, and want to get prepared for the event, learn everything you need to know before you arrive in one handy guide.

Major events, when not on the hill, are usually held at the Whistler Conference Centre, but keep an eye out for other locations throughout town. If you’re traveling to Whistler for WSSF 2019, there are plenty of lodgings that are partnered with the festival as well. Check out a few accommodation options here!

Check their website for updates on Events and Ticket Prices as they are released.

World Ski and Snowboard 2019 Events

The Ski and Snowboard Festival in Whistler is more than just a giant party – it’s culture, action, and experience all jam-packed and rolled into one amazing week. There’s plenty of things to do, lots of different options no matter what you are after. Check out some of the events that WSSF 2019 has on offer:

Sports Events

Let’s get to the heart of the festival first – the action. Adrenaline junkies, we’re calling on you to get yourselves over to this part of the festival. There are tons of skiing and snowboarding competitions over the 4-day period and trust us; you won’t want to miss them.

April 12-13: Ski and Snowboard Big Air

This contest is one of the world’s best Big Air comps. It draws top athletes and giant crowds of people who love seeing big air (usually more than 18,000 spectators). Essentially, thousands of people come together to see some of the best riders in the world showcasing some serious air skills as they launch themselves off the massive jump at the base of Whistler Mountain. This is a must-attend event for those looking for some exhilaration. The event is held on April 14th, 6pm – 10pm, no ticket required.

April 12-13: Saudan Couloir Ski Race Extreme

What would the WSSF 2019 be without a little ski race? This is the 17th edition of the world’s steepest ski race, and its surely going to be better then ever before. Watch as mountain legends, mountain pros, and fearless; amateur skiers take on this challenge. This event takes place on April 12 to 13. Lift tickets are required to see this event.

Here is a little taste of the Couloir from 2018!

April 12-13: Monster Energy Boarderstyle World Champs

WSSF wouldn’t be WSSF without a snowboarding style comp, and this event, sponsored by Monster, makes sure to bring you just that. What started as an experiment has blossomed into an annual, must-attend event. Over $50,000 worth of prizes are awarded!

Check out the Boarderstyle Champions on April 12 and April 13; witness the chaos and style with one-of-a-kind snowboarding contest and fast-freestyle, hybrid obstacle course race. There are cash prizes, crazy style, and loads of partying. What more could you want? Lift tickets are required to be a part of this comp.

April 14: Slush Cup 

Slush CupSpectators beware, it gets slushy.This is quite the competition.  It’s open to anyone over 19 years old and requires a helmet. That’s about the only practical thing about the Slush Cup. Otherwise, it’s a big, goofy competition where people try to cross a slushy abyss of an icy pond with as much style as possible. Costumes are encouraged. Style points are encouraged.

Awards are doled out for best costume, best trick, best wipeout and more. To attend or participate in this event, you’ll need lift tickets and be able to travel the location via ski or snowboard. At Forged Axe Throwing, we love a great costume; we’ll be on the sidelines cheering on the wildest Whistler has to offer.

Free Music Events 

Concert crowd

Did you say “Free Music?” Yep.

One of the refreshing things about WSSF 2019 is that it’s not just sport-specific. In fact, the Whistler Ski and Snowboard Festival has grown to become the largest free concert series in B.C. It’s the key ingredient to the atmosphere and, as always, features tons of DJs spinning tunes, big names, and loud jams.

Expect a WSSF Music Series (the lineup is being announced soon, check here regularly for updates).  After the big-on-mountain events, head to the base of Whistler mountain for celebrations and music long into the night. This will include some of BC’s favourite artists, nightclub events, and more!

For more on what late-night venues to check out on your WSSF 2019 whirlwind party tour, we have put together a few tips from the experts.

Art & Film Events 

Let’s face it – sports and music are always made better when accompanied by something a little more culturally-charged. Lucky for you, the Ski and Snowboard Festival in Whistler isn’t here to disappoint. The ski and snowboard industries are made all the better through the lens of a camera. Between competitions and DJ’s, be sure to make time to explore the best art, film, and photo the industry has to offer.

HOT TIP: Buy the WSSF 2019 Multimedia Pass which hits all the must-attend events including the Pro Photographer Showdown, the Swatch 72hr Filmmaker Showdown and the CLIF Intersection events. All for one easy price, which is set to be announced soon!

April 10: MULTIPLICITY presented by Mountain Life Media

Often compared to the feeling of sitting around a campfire hearing tall tales and stories, Multiplicity is an annual event presented by Mountain Life Media that brings human beings’ rich tradition of storytelling to you. More than that, it elevates storytelling by adding visual elements of photography, slideshows, and video. It’s a must-see celebration.

April 11: Pro Photographer Showdown

Holding a camera in front of a laptop

Witness the best in Action Sports Photography

This event takes place on April 11 at 8pm at the Whistler Conference Centre that aims to celebrate the craft of action sport photography. Bringing together some of the world’s best photographers and fans, this showdown is the preeminent action sports photography event in the world. Judges weigh in, and the best part – the 1500+ plus attendees also get their say!



April 12: Swatch 72hr Filmmaker Showdown

Another can’t-miss event; the Filmmaker Showdown brings together videographers and filmmakers from around the world together to a level playing field. Participants are required to rely on pure craft, originality, speed, and endurance as they create a 3-5-minute short film that takes place within a 100km radius of Whistler over the course of 72 hours. All ages are welcome to attend, but nobody can guarantee the PG content of the show in advance.

Here is a show-stopper from a a few years ago to see what you are getting yourself into!

April 13: CLIF Intersection (association with POW)

This filmmaking event is a right of passage, and long a fan-favourite at the WSSF. Image shootng, producing and editing a 5-7 minute film within a short 7 day period – No matter what the weather is doing. Filmmakers and artistic visionaries from around the world join together to create a one-of-a-kind snow focused film and earn the top prize. Again, the footage for the film must be from within 100 km of Whistler, and there is an on-snow and park footage requirement. Like the other art and film events, tickets required for this event.

Forged Favourite: Swatch ART & Soul

The Ski and Snowboard Festival in Whistler features the annual Art & Soul show which features local artists who are inspired by nature and sport. Festival goers from around the world can participate in the event. Check out art in multiple mediums and dimensions from around the globe, purchase originals and prints, or we might add, this makes a perfect place to bring a date. This event is open April 10-14 of the festival and is free to attendees.

Are you going to any of the WSSF events? Look for us on the sidelines of all the on-mountain events, and dancing our butt’s off at the free music events. If we love anything its a good after party – especially world class and free ones! Can’t wait for this year’s festivities to kick off!