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Bode Merrill Invitational

The Northern Hemisphere might be bereft of snow but our upside down friends are only just starting to see the white stuff for the first time this year, and that means one thing - loads of events to look forward to over Summer.

Australia and New Zealand don't always have the quality of snow Europe and America get, but they more than make up for it with a ton of parties, festivals and tour events. North America also plays host to some Summer slush and there's a few worthwhile events knocking about across the pond.

So grab the sun lotion, pack your board and make sure you catch these six summer snowboard bonanzas.

[part title="World Heli Challenge"]

World Heli Challenge

The World Heli Challenge in Aoraki is a pretty epic event in itself. The best freeriders from around the world converge on the backcountry peaks of Mt Cook to huck it down gnarly spines and icy couloirs.

This year is set to be even bigger and what's more, anyone can enter for a chance to take part and scoop up a portion of the £32,000 prize fund. All you need is a rider and a mate to document your time there and you've got a chance of mixing it with the big boys.

Travis Rice won the event in 2010 amid poor snow conditions but he still described it as "total immersion" and sees the contest as a milestone for future developments in snowboarding.

This year it's running from 7-15 September and a few days after, the iON Showcase Awards Night will present all the footage in a mini-film festival. Sweet.

[part title="Style Wars, Australia"]

Practice_Day_Sunday_2Sep12

Burton's Style Wars is Austrlia's biggest snowboard comp and it's easy to see why. It's three days of intense competition and partying at the Ruined Castle Terrain Park.

There's a prize fund of $20,000 up for grabs so don't expect half-hearted performances either. Guys and gals will be gunning to earn their share.

Torstein Horgmo and Stale Sandbech are already attending so it definitely doesn't fail to deliver on the big name front. The final night sees the pros attempt to slide their way to victory on a 28-stair rail setup so expect some seriously insane action!

[part title="American Express Winter Festival, Queenstown"]

American Express Winter Festival

Each year Queenstown hosts a huge 10-day festival with almost every type of event you could dream of. From face painting to comedy to the slopes, this event literally has everything.

Obviously we wouldn't be mentioning it unless it had a bit of snowboarding involved and fortunately for you, it hosts the Quiksilver Slopestyle competition at The Remarkables each year. It doesn't necessarily draw in the biggest names but it's more about the ten days of riding and partying that accompanies New Zealand's biggest winter festival.

[part title="Burton High Fives, Cardrona"]

Burton High Fives Slopestyle Cardrona

New Zealand once again plays host to the Burton High Fives, which is sure to be another top date for the diary. Last year saw Stale Sandbech and Jamie Anderson clean up at slope style, while Taku Hiraoka and Kelly Clark romped to victory in the pipe.

However, the Burton High Fives is more than just a snowboard competition. Before riders have even hit a rail or drop into the pipe they are split into teams and sent on a load of conquests. Like a bunch of crazed animals, they throw axes, shoot stuff, race go-karts and drive speed boats.

Once the fun and games are over it's time to get serious. Two days of competition take place and it's the riders' chance to put to the test all the stuff they've learnt over summer.

[part title="Bode Merrill Mini Pipe Invitational, High Cascade"]

Bode Merrill Invitational

Last year the Bode Merrill Mini-Pipe Invitational saw some insane action, with some of the best riders rocking up to show their appreciation.

With not a single double or triple cork in sight, this contest is all about flair, creativity and individuality and epitomises what mini-pipe is all about. Some big names have made appearances over the years too - Gigi Ruf, Alex Oestreng and Chris Grenier have all pitted themselves against Bode. The only thing Bode won last year was Best Crash. Good on him.

No dates have been set for this years event yet but it's certainly in the (ahem) pipeline. Watch this space.

[part title="Go Big or Go Home, Bearsden"]

The crowning jewel of the Summer calendar. The cherry on top of a lovely snow-covered cake. The cheese to your pickle.

However you describe it, Bearsden's premier dryslope event Go Big or Go Home could well be the best drymat comp in the world.

June 21st (this weekend!) sees the UK's top talent battle it out on Glasgow's legendary artificial slope to take home some incredible prizes. Uber-pro Jamie Nicholls is known to make an appearance so you know the contest rips harder than any other summer affair.