Ski season is upon us!
When a parent asked Ben Beavon whether Washington kids are allowed to compete in high school snowboarding comps on Mt. Hood, he couldn’t think of a reason why they shouldn’t. So he brought the notion to the volunteers who run OISA, and it was a quick vote.
For the first time this winter, Washington high school snowboarders will be allowed to join the Oregon Interscholastic Snowboard Association’s slopestyle, banked slalom, halfpipe, boardercross and rail jam competitions on Mount Hood. Beavon, who took over as the new president of OISA this year, is hoping the move will give more kids the opportunity to get out and enjoy the mountain.
About 400 kids compete in high school snowboarding through OISA, down from about 440 a few years ago.
“It’s all about getting high school kids on snow,” Beavon says. “Of course we want more kids to come in and ride, especially since there are so many kids in Washington who shred.”
Beavon took over as President of OISA from Chris Clasen, who will continue to serve on the OISA board and as Three Rivers League president and coach for Oregon City. Clasen’s daughter, Sierra, graduated last year after winning the state half-pipe competition along with many others.
Beavon, who moved out from Montana to Mount Hood at the age of 25 and stayed, will be one of four or five coaches for the Sandy High snowboard team this season. He’s expecting another super-sized turn-out for Sandy this season, and he’s hoping to see the enthusiasm spread to other schools. He notes that the big change for a lot of high school coaches and riders this season will be the move over from Ski Bowl and Timberline to Mt. Hood Meadows.
The reason for the shift to Meadows was, high school snowboarders need to practice at night. The Gorge and Three Rivers League riders used to practice at night at Ski Bowl, but for the past two seasons there hasn’t been enough snow. So Gorge and Three River League snowboarders will be joining Metro and Sunset Leagues over at Meadows, which is at a higher elevation and has extensive night skiing infrastructure.
Beavon will continue to teach riders at Timberline in addition to his team's high school comps and practices at Meadows. "I like all sides of the mountain," he says. "I just like sliding on snow."
For more info about high school snowboarding in Oregon, click here.