The Rahlves’ Banzai Tour presented by Bank of the West hits Kirkwood February 2nd & 3rd and is one of the premier events of the winter! What is the Banzai? What does Banzai mean? We conducted a quick Q&A with a little help from Daron Rahlves to answer all your Banzai-related questions!
The History of Banzai
The Silver Belt Race first took place in the 1940s at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort. In 2009, it was re-introduced by Daron Rahlves with the head-to-head action in the first ‘Silver Belt Banzai’. The race continued with one event for another year, and then Rahlves decided to take the show on the road, officially launching the Rahlves’ Banzai Tour and expanding to its current format with stops at four of Lake Tahoe’s premier resorts.
What Does ‘Banzai’ Mean?
‘Banzai’ is a Japanese term expressed as an exuberant cheer meaning, “Long Life!” or “Hurrah!” It’s also defined as “attacking fiercely and recklessly”.
What Is The Banzai?
There is no other race like this in the world. The Banzai combines big mountain freeride technique, ski/boarder-cross thrills with downhill speeds and racing in its purest form. Competitors race four at a time, head-to-head over natural terrain in ski and boarder-cross style action in an ultimate test of raw mountain racing skills.
What Makes The Banzai Unique?
What’s so unique about this race is that everyday rippers line up against pro level athletes and have a shot at the title. It’s a competition among competitors, but ultimately it’s each person against the mountain.
About the Banzai
The final stop on the tour each year is held at Sugar Bowl Resort, where the race originated, in the ‘Silver Belt Banzai’. This final race features the “Super Final” in which Rahlves, a former World Champion, 12-time World Cup winner, X-Games Gold Medalist and four-time Olympic skier will race against the four men’s skiing division winners from each stop on this year’s tour. This grand finale never disappoints, as it provides the only opportunity during the tour to witness Rahlves putting his technical skills and all-out effort to the test against the crowned winners of the tour. The skier to beat Rahlves will take home the title of “Banzai Master” with a cash prize of $10,000.
2013 Banzai Tour Schedule
- Kirkwood Mountain Resort Feb 2-3, 2013
- Alpine Meadows Feb 9-10, 2013
- Squaw Valley Mar 2-3, 2013
- Sugar Bowl Resort Mar 9-10, 2013
Kirkwood Event Schedule
- Friday Feb 1st: “Rahlves’ Banzai Welcome Party” Red Cliffs 5-7pm
- Saturday Feb 2nd: Wall Banzai Qualifying & “Rahlves’ Banzai Apres Party” Red Cliffs 3-6pm Hosted by High Fives Foundation
- Sunday Feb 3rd: Finals!!
Competitor registration will being in January. Interested competitors, ages 18 and up are encouraged to start polishing up on their schussing and big mountain skills and get ready to enter the men’s and women’s ski and snowboard divisions for the tour.
For information, to check out previous race results, videos and to register, visit www.rahlvesbanzai.com
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