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After 11 years in Breckenridge, the Winter Dew Tour is moving about six miles (as the crow flies) west to a new home. Copper Mountain will now host the world’s best skiers and snowboarders as they throw down gravity-defying tricks from February 6 to 9.
During its time in Breck, the Dew Tour took place in mid-December, meaning it was often a scramble to get the Superpipe and terrain park in prime competition shape, and the early season timing meant winter crowds were far from their fullest.
“We had a great run in Breckenridge,” says Courtney Gresik, Dew Tour general manager, adding that the event’s final year at Breck brought the introduction of the modified superpipe event, a competition combining both halfpipe and rail skills that has since grown in popularity worldwide. “When we built that modified pipe, I think Dew Tour felt it was time to switch things up and find a partner who’d say ‘yes’ and be collaborative on the creative ideas we have for the future. We wanted to refresh and do something different.”
So what can we expect from the inaugural Copper Mountain Dew Tour?
For starters, we’ll see four days of competition including the modified superpipe, slopestyle, streetstyle, and adaptive snowboard competitions. In slopestyle, skiers and snowboarders navigate a top-to-bottom terrain park course and hit a variety of rail and jump features; in streetstyle, competitors negotiate a series of jumps, ramps, walls, rails, and neighborhood-like features. The adaptive snowboard competition features riders with physical disabilities who navigate a technical race course.
Much like the Winter X Games, Dew Tour athletes attend by invitation only. The list of 2020 competitors includes several Olympic medalists, including snowboarders Jamie Anderson, Red Gerard, and Iouri (“I-Pod”) Podladtchikov, skiers David Wise and Devin Logan, and adaptive snowboarder Brittani Coury. A slew of other Dew Tour and X Games champions, many arriving freshly crowned from Aspen, will also be competing throughout the weekend.
“You’ll see a lot of crossover between X Games and Dew in terms of top names. We’re all kind of anticipating what comes out of X … seeing what these athletes do there and do differently at Dew Tour,” Gresik says. “They always use Dew Tour to get creative and surprise us.”
Another winning feature of the Dew Tour at Copper Mountain is the central location of the resort’s park and pipe, with all events easily viewable from the base of Center Village. And beyond the skiing and riding, Copper will have quite a pulse during Dew Tour. There will be a sponsor village full of swag (Mountain Dew will be there, as will a slew of other brands from GoPro to Burton to Don Julio), and you can attend a free concert Saturday night by New York City-based electronic pop duo Phantogram.
“We have a much more cohesive layout that’s centralized in our Sponsor Village. Courses are much more accessible and viewable,” Gresik says. “We’re adding streetstyle as a discipline, that will be a new format for the Team Challenge. For streetstyle in Breckenridge we were closing down a street. At Copper, it’ll be happening on-mountain.”
Also new this year, the Dew Tour is ramping up its spotlight on female athletes. While the event has always offered equal prize money for men and women, for the first time, women will partake in the ski and snowboard Team Challenge (in which six team members—three men and three women— each put down their best effort in slopestyle, modified superpipe, and streetstyle, and the team with the top collective performance wins), as well as in the streetstyle competitions.
Many Dew Tour athletes already spend considerable time at Woodward Copper, honing their latest tricks on the facility’s indoor ramps, trampolines, and foam pits. And the resort is already slated to host Dew Tour again in 2021, which means that the event might remain in Copper for a long while.
“Everything Copper is doing with Woodward—particularly their philosophy on bringing athletes into these sports to ensure that future generations succeed—aligns with Dew Tour and what we’re trying to accomplish,” Gresik says. “Wanting to bring fresh ideas and experiences to their patrons is what we’re aligned with as well. Dew Tour fits in as a progressive and creative event. It’s going to be new and really high energy. Fans will get to come for free live music and an awesome festival experience.”
If You Go: Dew Tour is kicking off at Copper Mountain on Thursday, February 6, and will be ongoing through Sunday, February 9. For those who can’t make it to Copper for the Dew Tour, competitions will be live streamed.