The American Snowboard Tour (AST), the nation's longest running professional and amateur snowboard tour, will not be holding any events for the 2004 winter season.
“Due to insufficient sponsorship funding, we will not be able to produce any snowboard events for the 2004 season,” said AST Executive Producer Craig Elledge.
“With rising production costs, a tough economy and the withdrawl of last season’s title sponsor Honda Element, it is impossible for the AST to operate events in 2004,” said Elledge. “We are saddened by the circumstances of this year, but take pride in the many great friends we have made and events we have produced over the years,” he continued.
Operating since 1993, the American Snowboard Tour has been the launchpad for nearly every elite level U.S. Snowboard athlete for over a decade. From Todd Richards, Jeff Brushie and Shannon Dunn to Ross Powers, Sean White and Gretchen Blieler and many others. The AST has been always been where emerging riders learn how to win and established stars come to have a good time,” said Elledge. A list of past AST stars is below.
Over the past 11 years, the AST has produced over 50 events, 100 television programs and distributed more than $1 million in prize money. Along the way, the AST has been many things, beginning as the “Master’s of Gravity” in 1993, changing to the “American Pro Snowboard Series in 1994” and finally the “American Snowboard Tour” in 1996.
“We would like to thank all of the sponsors who have been with our program over the years along with the riders who made the AST a great series,” said Elledge. “We would especially like to thank Paul Mitchell Professional Salon Products, John Paul Jones DeJoria, Brooks Parsons and Julie Solwald for supporting the AST each and every year of it’s existence.”
The AST has worked in partnership with the United States Snowboard Association (USSA) since 1997 to develop a series of competitions that prepared American athletes for the world stage that included the Grand Prix and AST events. “We are thankful for the support USSA has given us over the years and hope to rekindle our relationship in coming years,” said Elledge.