This April we had the distinct pleasure of covering the World Ski and Snowboard Festival in Whistler, BC. For anyone who doesn’t know, the WSSF consists of ten days of skiing, art, music and general mayhem. On the average day at the festival, there are enough events and activities to keep you busy from morning till night…far past sundown in fact. This slideshow is a brief summary of every little bit of the festival that we had a chance to see.
The activities are broken down into three categories: sports, art and music. The sports category consists of the Monster Energy Shred Show for snowboarders and the World Skiing Invitational for skiers (obviously). Within each event there is a big air competition held right in the Village, and also a slopestyle competition, which takes place in the Blackcomb terrain park. This was the last event of the year for both the AFP World Tour and World Snowboard Tour, so the athletes were gunning for their final chance at glory before a long summer break. Needless to say, the competitions were mind blowing. We have never seen a triple before at the WSSF, but after the handful of triples thrown this year we’re still trying to process exactly what it is that we saw.
WSSF always kicks off on a Friday night with the Skullcandy “State of the Art” exhibition. We say exhibition because it’s hard to classify the show as an art opening. There is live music, live painting, and again, general mayhem. Upwards of fifty artists have work is on display and all of the art relates in some way to skiing, snowboarding and adventuring themes. The coolest part of the show might be seeing the original piece of artwork next to the snowboard it’s printed on, or the lining of the jacket that comes out next year.
But that’s not all for the art category. Throughout the week revelers are treated to the Olympus 72 Hour Filmmaker Showdown, the Olympus Pro Photographer Showdown, Intersection, and a few other tasty bits in between. The WSSF is a comprehensive celebration of art inspired by skiing and riding.
And what would it all be without music? The Outdoor Concert Series was in full swing throughout the festival. This year featured sets from The Original Wailers, The Glitch Mob, Cut Chemist and De La Soul to name a few. And to top off that pile of awesome, the Outdoor Concert Series is free to the public. If you’re looking for a less family friendly environment there was plenty of music hosted around the village in bars, clubs and even the Whistler Conference Center. On the last Saturday night, The End took over the conference center for the 19 and over crowd with one massive party.
All this action crammed into a week could cause you to have a nervous breakdown and/or nap aggressively. We have found that it’s best to take your time, see as much of the festival as you can, and have a beer “as needed.”