Some of the biggest names in New Zealand freestyle snow sports will hit Mt Ruapehu on Saturday in memory of a free ski legend.

The inaugural Tom Campbell Memorial Big Air event will see New Zealand Winter Olympians and X Games medallists put on a display for the crowds on a huge jump at Turoa ski area.

Athletes attending include Jossi Wells, James 'Woodsy' Woods, Miguel Porteous and Jackson Wells, with Red Bull athlete Nico Porteous and Winter Olympian's Byron and Beau-James Wells also expected.

Renowned as "Ohakune's favourite son", 27-year-old Tom Campbell died in a car crash earlier this year.

Mr Campbell grew up in the central North Island town at the foot of Mt Ruapehu and following in the footsteps of his father Fred, who is Turoa's current trails and grooming manager, showed passion and talent from an early age for driving snow groomers on the mountain.

After making an invaluable contribution toward the creation of terrain parks at Turoa ski area, Mr Campbell ventured south to Cardrona Alpine Resort near Wanaka, where he worked for six years.

Mt Ruapehu marketing manager Matt McIvor said, "Tom was such a rock star and truly unique in the industry because he skied everything he built, including the biggest jumps in New Zealand".


"He was often the first to try his masterpieces to ensure they were riding nicely for others. He was a hero to many of us and will be dearly missed."

Mr McIvor said Mr Campbell's death was felt around the world and the Big Air event would offer those who knew him a chance to celebrate his life, and show their respect for the contributions he mad.

Mt Ruapehu is aiming to make the Tom Campbell Memorial Big Air an annual event.

Event categories include Under 16 and Open, Snowboard and Ski, with an exhibition of jumping from invited pro athletes once the competition section is complete.