Spetember 25, 1997, Malibu, CA – Paul Taublieb, President of LXD, Inc. announced today that the first stop of the 1998 ESPN FreeRide Championships on Dec. 4-7 at Aspen Mountain in Aspen, CO will qualify competitors for ESPN’s X Games. In addition, the FreeRide head judge in Aspen will be Greg Johnson will also serve as the head judge for the halfpipe competition in Nagano, Japan.

“We’re trying to serve all riders in all ways possible,” explains Taublieb. “A fun, stoking, freeriding contest is paramount to us, plus we’re happy to be giving away $250,000 in prize money, along with the 6 original hours of prime-time ESPN1 television coverage of the tour. Now we have even more to offer.”

At the Aspen FreeRide event, LXD will be awarding the following guaranteed spots for ESPN’s Winter X Games: 2 male and 2 female slots in each of the Halfpipe, Slopestyle and Big Air competitions, and 6 male and 6 female spots in the Boarder X event. ESPN’s Winter X Games will be held in Crested Butte, CO on Jan. 15-19.

“The FreeRide event is also the ideal place for riders to start their season, particularly if they have Olympic medal dreams in the halfpipe,” adds FreeRide Event Director, Jeff Grell. “Our halfpipe will be Olympic quality, and the timing is great for riders tuning up for the Grand Prix. And our head judge in Aspen will be Greg Johnson, offering the unique opportunity to be judged by the man who will be setting the standards at the first-ever Olympic halfpipe competition.”

Along with supporting competition efforts, LXD Chairman, Austin Hearst, wants riders and the snowboarding community to be assured that the FreeRide Championships has not lost its original verve and vision. “We are still the pioneering FreeRiding series and we remain quite serious about our original goal – having hard-core, big-time fun with FreeRiding snowboarding. Our events at each of the three FreeRide contests will include Boarder X, Slopestyle, Triple Big Air and the mysterioso, ever-changing “FreeRide” event, always preceded by a champagne breakfast.”

ESPN FreeRide Snowboard Championships
Event 1: Dec. 4-7 Aspen Mountain, Aspen, CO
Event 2: Jan. 8-11, Killington Ski Area, Killington, VT
Event 3: Feb. 5-8, Sierra-at-Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe, CA