Best Adventure Race for Kids 2014 | Keen Kids Adventure Games | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

Taking its cue from some of the more extreme obstacle-course races for adults, the Keen Kids Adventure Games at Vail sends pairs of kids, ages six to fourteen, careening across mountain-bike trails, ziplining across a creek before tubing down it, and getting all manner of dirty in challenges that include a slackline over a mud pit, a giant Tarzan-style swing and an enormous slip-and-slide down a ski slope. Teams typically finished the 2013 course with times in the 45-minute-to-two-hour range, gleefully exhausted and ready to throw their sneakers in the trash. The 2014 race will be held August 6 through 10.

The 2013-2014 season was good for powder hounds, and Aspen-based High Society Freeride had the perfect planks for the job. The aptly named Powchickawowwow is available in both rocker and early-rise models, depending on your preference, but the rocker version is more playful in deep snow; both were Freeskier magazine's editor's picks this season, for the third year in a row. Better yet, both models are handmade in Denver by Never Summer Industries and feature Colorado-flag art to bring the point home. Late to the game? High Society's website has the price slashed nearly in half for a tenth-anniversary special running until next year's model takes its place.

Best Boards for Locavores — Snowboard


Watching the Olympic debut of women's snowboard slopestyle in Sochi seems to have inspired a lot of ladies to step it up in Colorado's terrain parks. Never Summer's new Onyx park board — handmade in Denver just for women — emerged as a favorite stick for the trick, winning a "Good Wood" editor's-choice nod from TransWorld SNOWboarding. The Onyx features a true-twin shape for switching it up on those 180s, 540s and 900s, with blunted tips and Never Summer's Press Flex core for styling it out in the rails.

Boulder-based film company Sweetgrass Productions has defined itself as the antidote to textbook ski-film fireworks over the last decade with arty, thoughtful, cinematic and even dark and meditative films like Solitaire, Signatures and Hand Cut. How to follow all that? By pointing ski tips toward British Columbia and stripping away all pretense — and, in one memorable scene, all clothes — to film Valhalla, a playful ode to "Youth. Expression. Love. Freedom." And how to celebrate, after this trippy ode won Movie of the Year at the 2014 Powder Awards? Let's just say director Nick Waggoner and his Sweetgrass crew had to strategically place their trophies for the photo op.

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