2006 will be a big year for snowboarding. The Winter Olympics will feature snowboarding for the third time. And snowboarding’s longest-standing contest — the Open Snowboarding Championships, will add another global event to the series in Australia. Confirmed dates and locations for the 2005/2006 Open Snowboarding Championships are below.

Burton New Zealand Open/ August 11-13, 2005/ Cardrona and Snowpark, New Zealand

Garnier Fructis Australian Open/ September 3-4, 2005/Perisher Blue, Australia

Burton European Open/ January 14-21, 2006/ Laax, Switzerland

Nippon Open/ February 22-26, 2006/ ALTS Bandai, Japan

US Open/ March 14-19, 2006/ Stratton, VT USA

Down under in the Southern Hemisphere where winter will be in full swing in August and September, the Open Snowboarding Championships will make a big impact. The Burton New Zealand Open will take place for the third year and the Garnier Fructis Australian Open will debut at Perisher Blue.

For the upcoming winter season in the Northern Hemisphere, the Opens in Europe, Japan and the United States are perfectly timed to proceed and follow the Winter Olympics in Italy. At the Burton European Open, riders will get to test their skills prior to competing at the Games. And the Nippon and US Open will give top riders the chance to defend their Olympic titles. Once again, the male and female winners of the European Open, Nippon Open and US Open will receive airfare and accommodations at the next contest in the Open event series.

The Open Snowboarding Championships are the pinnacle snowboarding events of the season. Founded by Jake Burton, the Opens have grown from grassroots events to global spectacles attracting tens of thousands of spectators and riders from around the world. Since the beginning, the Opens have been driven by riders, for riders evolving with snowboarding and riders’ needs over the years. The Opens welcome all riders to compete, giving locals, amateurs and pros an equal shot at a world-class title. With events held in Europe, Japan, the United States, Australia and New Zealand, the Opens set the standard for snowboarding events around the globe.

More details to come on all Open events as the dates draw nearer. Check out www.opensnowboarding.com for updates and background information on the events.