Kirkwood Rahlves Banzai 2015

The Rahlves Banzai Tour is the brainchild of Daron Rahlves the most decorated ski racer in US Ski Team history. The Banzai tour takes place in Lake Tahoe, at three different ski resorts, Squaw Valley, Kirkwood and Sugar bowl. The Banzai tour is one of the most unique forms of ski racing I have ever witnessed. It reminds me of downhill ski racing, a mix of motocross and big mountain skiing. It’s a very true form of racing, four people head-to-head, the fastest person to the bottom wins. The course is all natural terrain, this isn’t a perfectly groomed race course or manicured park jump. This event also brings skiers and riders from all different forms and disciplines of skiing and competition.

About two weeks before the Kirkwood stop of the Banzai Tour, Daron, Coop (Kirkwood Resort) and myself went out to scout the course. On this day…the conditions on the “Wall” were down right scary. Hard, VERY HARD conditions, think ice skating rink and step pitch. It was tough to even keep my tripod from sliding away, while trying to keep myself edged into the side of the mountain. Then here comes Daron, made it look like packed powder! Interesting day I’ll probably always remember. Here’s a little video I shot and edited from the scout day with Daron.

The conditions on race day improved from the scout day, however, it was still a very firm and fast race course. Sean Davis and myself set out to capture the action, spirit and essence of the event. We started shooting from the top of the course and worked our way down to the bottom to capture the final races from the finish line. As always, events are fast paced production and sometimes stressful. We were constantly on the move to get as many angles and sections of the course as we could. Overall it was a really fun event to capture, check out the highlights below.

Camera – Chris Stamey and Sean Davis

Editor – Sean Davis