Sierra At Tahoe Hosts the Ralston Snowskate Cup

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PHOTOS: Chris Wellhausen

This past weekend Sierra at Tahoe hosted the 6th Annual Ralston Cup snowskate competition. Ralston Snowskates has been leading the bindingless revolution since 2005. Company founder Danny Sheehan has been putting on this event since 2008 after the demise of the "Shut up and Snowskate tour", which rolled through Sierra 05'-07'. While most resorts are still learning what snowskating is about, Sierra has been hosting snowskate events for 9 seasons.  This year 56 of the world's best skaters showed up from all over the States, Canada, and even as far as France to claim their stake of the Ralston Cup.

The weather was warm and the slush was deep.  There was $500 cash, handmade trophies, a pair of MTN Approach skis, Rayne skatedecks, and glory for days up for grabs. Team Ralston was dominant throughout the day and ended up sweeping the podium. Ralston sleeper cell, Joachim Bronzich, took the win with clean, consistent runs all afternoon. He greased every feature the course had to offer.  Reek Ellis came in a close second and won best trick of the day with a large frontside pop shove over the whiskey barrel. Rounding out the top three was Ralston veteran Jommy Smith. Jommy is only 17 years old and this is his fourth podium at the Cup. He won the event back in 09' when he was only 13 years old. These kids are pushing the boundaries of what is thought possible on snow.

Every year the progression of snowskating intensifies.  The energy at this event was through the roof.  Snowskating is still in a raw state of shred motivated by the riders. The Ralston Cup resembles the spirit of snowboard events twenty years ago. It is put on by riders for the riders. Untainted by big business, this is a highly organized, low budget event that has the feel of a backyard ramp party. Competitors, spectators and organizers are there for a good times and reckless shredding. At the end of the day hammers were dropped, prizes were given, and glory was taken.

Hats off to Ralston Snowskates, Sierra at Tahoe, MTN Approach, Rayne Longboards, and Tahoe Moonshine Distillery for putting on one of the freshest events the industry has seen in a while.  I find myself already planning for next year's debauchery.



1st Joachim Bronzich

2nd Reek Ellis

3rd Jommy Smith



1st Kendra Wilson

2nd Randi Rae

3rd Michelle Minahan Hickman



1st Denver Orr

2nd Drayden Gardner

3rd John Andre Zapata



1st Jacob Juice-Toe

2nd Dustin Orr

3rd Brian Wilson