Vail, Colorado–Since the creation of the Honda Session invitational snowboard competition in 2003, organizers have prided themselves on shaping the look and feel of the event by listening to what the riders and the industry had to say.

The Vail Valley Foundation, organizers of the cutting edge competition, will be listening once again as the group has devised a method that will allow the snowboard industry to select approximately half the competition field for the 2006 event, scheduled for January 12-15.

“One of the reasons that the Honda Session has developed into one of the top snowboard events in the world in just three years, explained Vail Valley Foundation president Ceil Folz, “is that we have actively solicited input from within the industry relative to what they felt needed to be explored. These are the people that are on the front line in terms of snowboard innovation and our event has definitely benefited from this partnership.

For 2006, the top five finishers from the 2005 Salomon Rails and Bud Light Super Slopestyle competitions will be automatic selections. In addition, leading manufacturers will have a designated number of selection spots for their best riders. The top finishers from the previous year’s event will not count toward these individual team selection quotas.

2006 Honda Session Rider Selection Process

The remainder of the field will be comprised of a series of wild card selections, top up-and-coming riders not already covered by the team process and determined by the organizing committee, based on rankings and results.

Under this scenario, the men’s field of 40 riders will be comprised of the ten top finishers from 2005′s Rails and Slopestyle, while 20 riders will be selected by the industry. The remaining ten competitors will come via the wild card process, with the same formula applying to the women’s field of 20 athletes.

Riders receiving automatic competition spots based on their performances last January include the following:

Salomon Men’s Rails

1. Shaun White
2. T.J. Schneider
3. Mitch Reed
4. Mike Casanova
5. Kevin Pearce

Salomon Women’s Rails

1. Molly Aguirre
2. Laura Hadar
3. Leanne Pelosi
4. Rachel Nelson
5. Alexis Waite

Bud Light Super Slopestyle

1. Shaun White
2. Andreas Wiig
3. Rahm Klampert
4. Miika Hast
5. Nate Sheehan

The 2006 Honda Session is a project of the Vail Valley Foundation. For additional information on the Honda Session, contact (970) 949-1999 or visit www.sessionvail.com.