Breckenridge Dew Tour Turns 5: The Rising Stars of Freeskiing

Since the iON Mountain Championships will mark the 5th year of having the Dew Tour in Breckenridge, it's a good time to look back at the important moments from the first four years.

Because it's held in December, the Breckenridge stop of the Dew Tour has always been one of the earliest major events on the contest calendar each season. One of the fun things each year is getting to reset whatever expectations you may have had about the field of competitors. Every year you seem to discover a familiar face who stepped their game up to new levels or a virtually unknown kid who breaks out in a big way on a national stage, particularly in the slopestyle disciplines.

Bobby Brown sends it at his home mountain in 2008

Perhaps the greatest example came from a local fresh-faced 17-year-old skier in 2008. Having just been picked up by the Breckenridge Freeride Team, Bobby Brown was already starting to make a name for himself in the industry, but the Dew Tour represented his first major contest. Ever since winning his hometown slopestyle contest that weekend, Bobby's ascent to the top of the freeski ranks has been rapid.

The following year, 2009, brought the arrival of Andreas Hatveit. A rookie only as it related to Dew Tour, the Norwegian with a terrain park in his backyard started off a dominant Dew Tour season with a win at Breckenridge.

Watch Hatveit's winning run from Breckenridge 2009

Last year we were re-introduced to Nick Goepper. The Vermont product wasn't exactly an unknown, having hit the podium at a Dew Tour stop the year before, but a lack of consistency kept him off the list of favorites, at least in the eyes of prognosticators. As it turned out, Goepper was ready to make the year's biggest leap, starting with an amazing 2nd-place showing at the Breckenridge Dew Tour. Any lingering doubts about Goepper were swiftly put to rest when he followed that up with several contest podiums, culminating with his defeat of Tom Wallisch at the last Dew Tour stop after the two had developed a friendly rivalry over the course of the season.

2012's breakout star, Nick Goepper

The Dew Tour's going winner-take-all on the mountain this year, but it will still be in its usual December slot, meaning that everyone will be looking to start the U.S. contest season off with a bang. So put your preconceived notions aside, sit back and enjoy the spectacle of shredding that's sure to take place - it's time to reset the scoreboard once again.