They don’t call the Mt. Baker Legendary Banked Slalom legendary for nothing. The Legendary Banked Slalom, LBS for short, is the longest running event in snowboard history. Since 1985, the family-run resort has been host to the event. Now in its 32nd year, the event is as popular as ever.
Riding in the Legendary Banked Slalom is more than just a contest. It’s a reunion with your oldest friends, an opportunity to make new friends, and a chance to meet a lot of the people who were around for the birth of snowboarding and are responsible for its progression. Over the course of 3 days, industry people, families, legends in the sport, professional athletes, up-and-coming athletes and rookies come together for some friendly competition and a chance at the coveted golden duct tape trophy.
Competing for duct tape? Sure, it might sound odd at first, but the duct tape symbolizes the relaxed and friendly competitive nature of the event. Riders also use duct tape to attach their race number to their dominate leg during the event. There is no prize money, just duct tape, blankets and a Legendary Banked Slalom logoed jacket for the top finishers in each category.
Smartwool Athlete Manager Alex Pashley is on his 10th Mt. Baker Legendary Banked Slalom. “From an industry standpoint, it’s right up there with attending some of the biggest events in snowboarding,” says Alex. “Most snowboarders will be paying just as much attention to the coverage of LBS as they will other major snowboarding events.”
Over its 32 years, the event has skyrocketed in popularity. The only way to snag a spot as a non-athlete or sponsor is to put your name in a lottery and cross your fingers. The lottery is not guaranteed though. There are snowboarders who have been waiting more than a decade for a chance to compete.