Big Bear Lake, Calif., February 25, 2002- The American Snowboard Tour (AST), the nation’s longest running professional and amateur snowboard tour will return to the slopes of Big Bear Mountain Resort (Bear Mountain) in 2002. The AST features the world’s top snowboarders competing in two main event categories including Superpipe and Big Air disciplines.

The 2001/2002 AST season is set to conclude at Big Bear Mountain Resort March 1-3, 2002. Training for the finals will take place on Friday March 1. This main event will feature the SUPERPIPE finals on Sat, March 2 and the Big Air finals on Sun, March 3. Riders will compete for nearly $100,000 in prize money as well as the “Paul Mitchell Cup” which awards direct entry into the U.S. Nationals in April and an invitation to the 2003 Winter X-Games.

The AST has been the training ground for many of America’s top professional and Olympic snowboarders for more than a decade. Several of today’s top riders have come out of the AST including world cup champion Tricia Byrnes, 2002 Olympic Gold medallist Ross Powers and Bronze medallist JJ Thomas as well as 2001 X and Gravity Games champion and 2002 Silver medallist Danny Kass.

This season, the AST will be televised in five episodes of “Core Culture,” a 30-minute alternative sports program on Fox Sports Network, Showtime and Extreme Sports Channel. Core Culture is also distributed to more than 138 countries and 600 million subscribers worldwide.

The AST event at Bear Mountain will be held in conjunction with the Salomon Oasis Tour. The Oasis Project is a traveling demonstration of Salomon winter sports products. It will feature 200 pairs of skies, 80 snowboards, the new X product line, the new Verse Rental system and the new helmet line.