Daron Rahlves is one of the most accomplished winter athletes in the world: Banzai Master, USA Olympic ski racer, pro big mountain skier, and the event organizer of The Rahlves’ Banzai Tour (RBT). Held at three of Lake Tahoe’s best venues, two days at a time during February and March, it’s described as “Big mountain freeride meets ski / boarder-cross action!”
This annual Rahlves’ Banzai Tour Lake Tahoe event is in its fifth season. Top skiers and snowboarders from across the country compete against Lake Tahoe athletes. On each of the three Saturdays, the Top 32 men and Top 16 women ski / board athletes are put into brackets for the next day’s finals. Finals consist of four competitors at a time, until the remaining four do battle for the Rahlves’ Banzai win. Daron himself remains involved in the operation of the tour, assists competitors, mingles with fans, and at each event, takes his own qualifying run. At the Super Final at Sugar Bowl, his home resort, Daron puts his Banzai Master title on the line by taking on the Men Ski Winners. The winner takes home a prize of $5,000 USD.
The three venues involved, along with their respective dates, are:
- Alpine Meadows – February 21-22, 2015
- Kirkwood – March 7-8, 2015
- Sugar Bowl – March 14-15, 2015
The course is wide open, the terrain and snow conditions natural, and the test is ultimate! The competition is open to those 18 years and older. To find out more about this Squaw Valley tradition, please visit the main website at http://www.rahlvesbanzai.com/. If you’re a competitor, when you get to the website, hover over the Register button, and then click the venue you’re interested in. In addition, each venue has its own Web page, and on those, you can find out specific information about that venue, as well as add a comment, or sign-up.
The Rahlves’ Banzai Tour picked up where the Silver Belt Race, which first took place in the 1940s, left off. It continues to build on the early successes, making each year’s event more exciting. If you’re a huge fan, and want to catch the action or previews live, head over to http://www.tahoetopia.com/.
This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.