By Billy Restivo
Not only does Air + Style showcase some of the best snowboarders and skiers in the world, but the two-day event February 21 and 22 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena will also feature performances by an impressive list of top musical acts including Kendrick Lamar, Diplo, Portugal. The Man, The Flaming Lips, Sleigh Bells, Phantogram, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and more.
At the forefront of this year’s Air + Style is pro snowboarder, skateboarder, musician, and entrepreneur Shaun White. After winning both the 2003 and 2004 Big Air competitions and going on to host the event in Beijing from 2010 to 2012, he took an interest in bringing Air + Style to the U.S.
Sixteen snowboarders and 16 skiers will come together to compete in the Air + Style: Los Angeles Big Air competitions. Dropping in at 16 stories high, these athletes will be scored on amplitude, style, difficulty, landing, and overall execution as bands on three different stages offer up the weekend’s soundtrack. Some competing athletes include Sage Kotsenburg, 2014 Olympic gold medalist in snowboard slopestyle; Mark McMorris, 2014 Olympic bronze medalist in snowboard slopestyle; Bobby Brown, four-time Winter X Games ski slopestyle gold medalist; and Joss Christensen, 2014 Olympic gold medalist in ski slopestyle.
In addition to the big air exhibitions and 18 live musical performances, the event will be home to an onsite local art gallery and mini ramp demos featuring 12 pro skaters such as Ishod Wair, Greyson Fletcher and Curren Caples. The interactive Kidz Camp will also give younger attendees a chance to learn to ride on their own, have a go at the zipline, or hang out in the snow play zone.
In celebration of the event’s 21st year (and the first under the direction of Shaun White Enterprises), local artists will be live painting and auctioning off pieces of White’s own mini ramp to LIFT, an organization helping provide jobs, homes, and education for poverty stricken families across the country. Last year alone, LIFT generated $13.7 million in wage increases, tax refunds, public benefits, and housing assistance.