By Errol Kerr
Jamaica Ski Team
Beaver Bowl Banzai – Come out and watch me defend my home turf!
Alpine Meadows’ Beaver Bowl Banzai race – leg one of the three-race Rahlves Banzai Tour – is going to be this Saturday and Sunday. And it’s going to be an amazing event.
If you are coming out to watch the race, you can be standing on the deck of Alpine Meadows and see practically the whole race. You will be able to watch me and all the other skiers and riders entered in the competition go for broke – straight from the top to the bottom over ungroomed terrain.
Come enjoy the sport of ski racing in it’s finest head-to-head in-your-face action.
This race is for any man (or woman) that can ski fast. Competitors will line up four abreast, and the first to the bottom wins.
I’m expecting to see some up-and-coming new skiers mixing it up with guys like Daron Rahlves and myself that are out there racing World Cup, on World Cup stock GS skis, and now we are going to take this to the back country.
I’m planning on racing on three-year-old twin tips. This race will throw all the equipment advantages, all the clothing advantages out the window! It’s pretty much “go for broke,” and any big mountain skier can be just as competitive as we are.
After the Banzai Tour, my next stop is the Winter X Games. The X Games is what our whole culture is geared around. Everybody wants to be extreme. Everybody wants to send that line farther than somebody else, and X Games is the place where we all need to go do it on television, and then show the world what we’ve got.
The X Games will take place January 27-30 and will be live on ESPN, so you can watch me go for gold on the biggest stage there is.
Errol spoke with Truckee Tahoe Radio Station KTKE about the Beaver Belt Banzai; if you missed it, here’s what he had to say:
The first stop of the Rahlves Banzai Tour is at Alpine Meadows. It starts at the top of the Beaver Bowl.
JD Hoss: Are you going to let anybody steal your beaver?
Errol: Absolutely not. That is my turf. I know that inside and out. For everybody else in the Tahoe area, you guys are coming to my house. I don’t know how you feel about people coming to your house, and taking something from you.
JD Hoss: Well, I guess you feel strongly about that, I would have to say.
Errol: It is going to be next Sunday. It’s going to be an amazing event. You can be right there on the deck of Alpine Meadows, see practically the whole race and watch people go for broke. Straight from the top to the bottom over ungroomed terrain.
JD Hoss: The honor was bestowed upon me to go with Mr. Daron Rahlves and actually do a course inspection and watch him lay out the course on your mountain. It’s pretty impressive. How big is that drop in, right now, at the top of Beaver Bowl? What does that look like right now?
Errol: Well, you know, the winds – we have an overhanging cornice about 15 feet up there right now, so right from the get go, you are going to go zero to 60 in about 3 seconds.
JD Hoss: About 3 seconds! And it was only probably six or eight feet when I was up there, and on my third attempt, as his personal hotdog, ‘cause he kept sending me first. “You go first, JD, and I’ll get there. Just go down there.” On the third attempt, I landed straight on my ass, and rolled backwards down the Beaver Bowl. Basically, it is the Mad Cow Downhill …
Errol: Put on steroids ….
JD Hoss: … for big pockets of cash.
Errol: And for people to watch.
JD Hoss: And what’s cool … you said it right on the button – People can come out to Alpine Meadows, and they can watch this from the deck.
Errol: You don’t even have to ski. You don’t even have to buy a lift ticket – come out. They probably have great drink specials out there, live band, and enjoy the carnage. And come enjoy the sport of ski racing in its finest head-to-head, in-your-face action.
JD Hoss: We haven’t talked about this. I am going to just tell you what my thoughts are about this. It is like the Chinese Downhill in the movie “Hot Dog.” This is where ski racing is going. I love Marco and all the guests I have that are out there racing for America, and yourself that are out there on World Cup and doing those races in the Olympics, but this is for the common man. This is for the common man that can ski fast does not have a big pocket of cash. Just show up at a mountain, line up 4 abreast, and first at the bottom. We are going to see some up-and-coming new skiers.
Errol: Absolutely! You have guys like Daron Rahlves and myself that are out there racing world cup, on World Cup stock GS skis, and now we are going to take this to the backcountry. I am racing on 3 year old twin tips. You take all the equipment advantages, all the clothing advantages – out the window! It’s pretty much “go for broke.” Any big mountain skier can be just as competitive as we are.
JD Hoss: Yep. That takes it right there. So, it is your mountain; it’s your turf; it’s your Beaver Bowl. And nobody is going to steal it. Is that your stance?
Errol: I want somebody to come in your house and take something from you without you putting up a fight.
JD Hoss: (Laughter) Well, you can’t steal my pow ‘cause that is my line.
Errol Kerr. Be right back. Next, we will talk about X Games.
This is a guy who started skiing, then went snowboarding, then went back to skiing, and never looked back. Tell my listeners about your career here in Tahoe, and where it is taking you throughout your life.
Errol: Growing up in Tahoe, you know, your parents drag you around on skis from the time you can walk, so I skied until I was about 6 years old, and then grabbed a snowboard ‘cause that was the new thing on the block, and what everyone was doing, and was really into that, and then at about the age of eleven, I was watching TV, and happened to see a downhill race on TV, and Daron was racing. I thought, any man that goes 80 mph with just thin layer of spandex on – that is a super hero. So I grabbed a pair of skis, and never looked back. I came up through the Far West program here in Lake Tahoe, racing out of Squaw Valley, and then reached the age of 19, when it’s time to go to college, and I was a speed skier. I was either going to have to hang up the long boards, and go ski slalom and GS – you know, something that is not that cool. And then right about then, ski cross was coming of age. I went to my first ski cross race in Telluride. I ended up 6th, and that qualified me for the US Freestyle Ski Cross team. Next thing I know, they are booking tickets, and I am on my way to Europe to race my first World Cup, something that I dreamed of doing in Alpine my whole life, but now all of a sudden, I was reborn and doing it in ski cross.
I went to my first world cup ever. I started 89th, and finished 12th, and I think the rest is history. Now I am 9th in the world. I got 9th at the Winter Olympics.
JD Hoss: Yes, you did, and I was there to witness it. It was really cool. So much fun to watch you get to the pinnacle of that part. And now, before this, we have Rahlves Banzai downhill, and that is happening. But right after that, you are heading straight out the Colorado for the X Games. This is an “invite only.”
Errol: Yes, it is. I mean, you have Olympics – you are the top tier. Then X Games. That is what our whole culture is geared around. Everybody wants to be extreme. Everybody wants to send that line farther than somebody else, and X Games is the place where we all need to go do it on television, and then show the world what we got. So, it’s the last Sunday of this month, so obviously 3 Sundays from now. It will be live on ESPN. You can watch me go for gold.
JD Hoss: There you go. Go for gold in the X Games. Errol Kerr and “defend your beaver” at Alpine Mountain.