Ski Wentworth plays host to provincial snowboarders

Dave
Dave Mathieson
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WENTWORTH - With the parking lot, chairlift and ski lodge filled to near capacity at Cumberland County's Ski Wentworth last weekend it wouldn't be much to expect the snowboard competition to be jam-packed with snowboarders from Cumberland County.
But when it comes to snowboard competitions at Ski Wentworth that is never the case.
Although Cumberland County is well represented in sports throughout the province, it's usually inbound athletes who get all the glory at Ski Wentworth.
Last weekend was no exception, as the top snowboarders in the competition were from Truro, Halifax and the Annapolis Valley during a Nova Scotia Snowboarding Association competition on Saturday.
"There are kids who compete from Cumberland County but it would be great to have more kids competing from this area," said Bob Retson, who is on the board of directors of the NSSA. "Ski Wentworth is in Cumberland County, so it's not very far to travel and is a great place for the sport and, also, it's not very expensive."
Retson said that compared to hockey, snowboarding is "phenomenally cheap," adding that since the 1980s the price of playing hockey has quadrupled, while the price of a season's pass at both Ski Wentworth and Martock has remained relatively the same.
Truro's Zach Winters has been snowboarding at Ski Wentworth for 10 years. This year he began teaching snowboarding at the mountain and last weekend he came in second place in the Slopestyle competition.
"Snowboarding is a lot of fun," Winters, who is 18-years old, said. "Getting on and learning the turns is the hardest thing for beginners but it doesn't matter how old you are anybody can do it, they just have to get out a push themselves to improve."
Retson said there are many programs youth can compete in.
"They can get involved in the RBC Riders snowboard program at a younger age because they have competitions here for 8-14 year olds," Retson said. "The other thing is to have more kids sign up for the snowboarding programs they have here at Wentworth because they teach you how to compete in all the events."
Those events aren't just for aerial acrobats who go in the half pipe or slopestyle competitions, there is also parallel giant slalom, whereby snowboarders are never required to leave the ground.
The NSSA has also made moves to make snowboarding more accommodating for high school students.
"With schools they used to have to have a team of five or six people but now they can arrange to compete as an independent from Grade 7 through to Grade 12," he said.
Winters also works on the park crew at Wentworth and encourages more people to come out and compete in snowboarding.
"Once you learn how to turn we can teach how to do rails and then after that you can do jumps. There's always something more to learn," he said.
Results from last Saturday's NSSA competition :
Margolians/Dakine Slopestyle
Youth 2 Males: First, Jeremy Fraser: Second, Gregor Zed: Third, Dakota Rourke.
Junior Males: First, Jeremy Page: Second, Zach Winters: Third, Les Ells.
Junior Females: First, Sarah Payzant: Second, Katherine Fountain.
Senior Males: First, Adam Richie.
Margolians/DC Shoes PGS
Youth 2 Females: First, Livy Fraser: Second, Christina Retson, Third, Grace Kenny.
Youth 1 Females: First, Lydia Mclean.
Youth 1 Males: Christian Dionne.
Junior Males: First, Patrick Dionne: Second, Marc Chasse: Third, Liam Moffatt.
Senior Females: First, Jennifer Hart: Second, Kita McRory: Third, Leslie MacKeigan.
Senior Males: First, Kristen d'Eon: Second, Devon Chandler: Third, Zach Fraser.
Burton (SBX) Boarder Cross
Youth 2 Females: First, Brace Kenny.
Youth 2 Males: First, Liam Moffatt: Second, Jeremy Fraser: Third, Gregor Zed.
Youth 1 Females: First, Lydia MacLean: Second, Krista Grunsky.
Youth 1 Males: First, Christian Dionne: Second, Marc Chasse: Third, Colin Brewer.
Junior Males: First, Patrick Dionne: Second, Corey Lavin.
Open Females: First, Kristina MacKenzie: Second, Jennifer Hart: Third, Emma MacAulay.
Open Males: First, Greg Kerr: Second, Devon Chandler: Third, Josh Drapeau.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Snowboarding Association, RBC Riders, DC Shoes

Geographic location: Cumberland County, Annapolis Valley

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