World’s best shred Utah powder in extreme competition

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The world's best skiers and snowboarders shredded the fresh powder at Snowbird Wednesday during the Free Ride World Tour.

It's an extreme competition that combines the hard charging races you see in the Olympics with free style tricks in tough conditions.

"Riding big faces and fast and competing is just so exhilarating and there's so much adrenaline involved," said Shannon Yates, a competitive snowboarder from Kearns.

Several of the athletes favored to win are from Utah. And though it may be their home mountain, that doesn't exactly mean they have an advantage.

"You would think that it should be an advantage, but in the competition you have to ski as hard as you can," said Sage Cattabriga-Alosa.

The athletes said the sport is still under the radar, but it has a niche group of supporters.

"The crowd makes it. We do what we do up there to get the screams and the yells and the cow bells, it just makes a push that much harder and go that much faster when we hear our friends calling us out," said Kaitlin Elliot, a snowboarder who won third place at the competition Wednesday.

The athletes only have one run to impress the crowd and the judges, and, since they're competing with the best boarders and skiers in the world, they have to do something that really stands out.

"If they win they get a big check, bragging rights and they get a chance to go to the finals which is in Switzerland," said Amy David, public relations coordinator for Mountain Sports International.

For more information and tour standings, click here.