Inspired Demo Tour and Oakley Team Up to Bring Twin-Tip Skiing to 50 North American Resorts
Imagine you're some young skier who frequents a smallish mountain resort, one with just one or two rails and a couple small jumps. Nothing that's going to garner attention or headlines in any of the big magazines or be a potential venue for X Games. Then, one day, a handful of top twin-tip freeskiers show up and hang and shred with you and all your friends for the day - riding up the lifts together, hitting the rails together, having lunch and getting autographs. That exact scenario is coming to fruition at 50 resorts throughout North America as part of the Inspired Demo Tour.
Henrik Harlaut, Phil Casabon and Paul Bergeron are among the crew of pros helping to spread the twin-tip vibe, and grow and strengthen the presence of the sport along the East Coast, in the Midwest and in Canada.
"It's as much for the sport as it is for the athletes and the communities that they're going into," explained Eric Iberg, who's the mastermind behind the tour. "A demo tour is something I wanted to do since twin-tip skiing started. I loved its grassroots beginnings, just a few guys from Quebec, Montana, California. It just occurred to me, what if we send the best guys to shitty hills and help grow sport the sport?"
In its first full year, the Inspired Demo Tour, which is sponsored by Oakley, is scheduled to make 50 stops. The tour began in late December and will continue through the end of February. Crowds of kids ranging from 10 to 50 have been finagling their way around school schedules and other commitments to come and meet their idols at their local mountain.
"Every stop is super fun. We get as excited and stoked as they get when they see us," said Henrik Harlaut, who'll be missing one stop while competing at X Games in Aspen at the end of the month. "If I was young and pro skiers were coming to my mountain, I would be very happy to go and see them and ski with them. It's like seeing an artist in concert and then hanging back stage with everybody."
"We're like rockstars without the partying," said Paul Bergeron, echoing Harlaut's feelings about the response from the kids who turn out. "It's all about spreading the good word. I think what B&E is doing is what's going down in skiing."
Part of the tour is releasing regular web episodes documenting the stops at the different mountains. The most recent episode, which can be seen below, was from the trip through Maine.
Most days, according to tour manager Kevin Perron, the kids are waiting when the crew arrives first thing in the morning.
“They’re a very personable group of guys, so the whole day is like a hangout session with the kids,” Perron explained.
"It's a great movement and a great idea," said Casabon, who was most psyched on the stop at his local moutntain in Quebec. "To have followers who are willing to make sacrifices to come and shred with us, that's big for us. We're all working to grow freeskiing so that it can be as big as it can be."
The crowds of kids are expected to increase as the crew makes it to resorts that offer night skiing, which will help spread the tour’s message to more and more of the next generation.
Despite the crazy travel schedule, the guys are nothing but positive on what the tour means to the sport, their personal lives and the lives of the kids they meet. Kind of a win-win for everyone and everything involved.
"Every day is basically a new thing and it's exciting: a new park we've never skied, meeting new kids, new stoke," Bergeron said. "Some of the parks are more fun than others, but that doesn't really make a difference because we just get stoked on meeting and riding with all these kids."
The remainder of the 2013 B&E Show schedule on Inspired TV:
Jan. 22nd – ‘Quebec’
Feb. 5th – ‘New Hampshire’
Feb. 19th – ‘Vermont’
Sept. 10th – ‘New York’
Sept. 24th – ‘Ohio’
Oct. 8th – ‘Lower Michigan’
Oct. 22nd – ‘Wisconsin’
Nov. 5th – ‘Upper Michigan’
Nov. 19th – ‘Minnesota’
Dec. 10th – ‘South Dakota’