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World Event News
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Mons Roisland took first place at the 13th Red Bull Nanshan Open today as the event was graced with great weather, great vibes and great riding! With the field of 16 narrowed down to six following the morning’s finals, it was the last run of the competition that saw Mons top the podium taking home a cool USD20,000.
Mons was excited not just to win, but on the whole competition experience, saying “It was so much fun just putting it down on the last run - this competition is insane, it’s just like a bunch of friends hanging out, we experienced so much Chinese culture by going to the Great Wall, Silk Market and a water park, it's the coolest trip ever!” The Norwegian’s final victory lap run consisted of a Switch BS1260 melon, FS720 nose/tail double, FS180 on switch BS360 out on the up-flat, and a switch blunt 270 out on the down rail.
Eric Beauchemin and Rowan Coultas rounded out the remaining podium spots with second and third place. Eric showed great flow throughout the park, while Rowan was pumped on his third place, starting his run off with a perfect cab900 double cork - “I got 8th last year, and then to get third this year with a way better run, I am so stoked to be on the podium!”
He Wei was the highest ranked Chinese rider in 12th, earning the respect of both the crowd and local fans with a solid run throughout the park.
With the snowboard side of the trip over, the riders now get to enjoy one last Chinese-style after party at Tube Station Pizza before venturing off to their next adventure. Zaijian and Ganbei!
Final results of the 13th Red Bull Nanshan Open:
1. Mons Roisland (NOR)
2. Eric Beauchemin (USA)
3. Rowan Coultas (GBR)
Once again the Air + Style is back after a creative break in 2014. 16 world class athletes who qualified for the main contest yesterday at the Air + Style Innsbruck – Tirol 2015 presented by Opel. 10.500 fans were fascinated by the action packed snowboard contest.
Stale Sandbech celebrated his first victory at the Air + Style final at the Bergisel stadium leaving Peetu Piiroinen (FIN) and Yuki Kadono (JPN) in second and third place.
The contest started with some exciting head to head duels at 3pm. Stale Sandbech defeated the American Eric Willett in Round 1 and was one step ahead of Niklas Mattsson (SWE) in a Scandinavian battle. He wins with a massive 81.89 points with 2 amazing jumps, a Backside Triple Cork 1440 Indy and a Frontside 1080 Indy. “I am really happy to win the Air + Style for the first time. The conditions with intensive snowfall were not that easy, but the crowd was amazing” says the lucky winner who walks away with a major share of the 100.00 US-$, a brand new Opel ADAM ROCKS and he also qualified for the big Air + Style Tour final in Los Angeles. Peetu Piiroinen (79.39) finishes in second place with a Backside 1620 Mute and a Cab 1260 Double Grab. The third place goes to Yuki Kadono (72.22) with a Backside 1620 Mute and a Backside 1260. The Austrians Mathias Weissenbacher and Werner Stock could not make it through yesterday's qualifying.
The UK's Billy Morgan finished in 9th place.
The biggest band-line-up in the history of Air + Style provided the perfect sound. After a brilliant start of Rakede, Shaun Whites Band Bad Things got the party started. “The new Air + Style Tour combines snowboarding and music in an absolutely unique way and brings the freestyle spirit to the people.
After two successful contests in Beijing and Innsbruck I am excited for the first Air + Style in my country Los Angeles” says Shaun White – Snowboard legend and new Air + Style owner. Berlin Hip Hop legend Kool Savas, Germanys most successful rapper CRO and electronic sounds from the London Band Modestep completed the music part of the event.
The world epicentre of freeride by Europe's highest mountain, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, is confirmed as the season opener with an exciting program.
Watch hereThe extreme mountains of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc and the town's many freeride aficionados will once again see the world's best freeriders dropping in from the famous Swatch starting gate that marks the seemingly inaccessible peaks of all FWT competition faces on D-day.
Fans around the world can watch the action live of the SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR CHAMONIX-MONT-BLANC BY THE NORTH FACE® (FWT) on www.freerideworldtour.com. The event live webcast will be hosted by commentator Dave Mailman (USA) and freeride specialist Martin Winkler (AUT). Both will bring their great expertise to explain the runs, results, athletes profiles and behind the scene stories. The live coverage is scheduled to begin at 9 AM CET the day of competition.
This coming weekend the whole snowboard scene will pay their attention to the Bergisel Stadium in Innsbruck. Construction work for the big air contest has already begun last week and is in full swing for the 24 top athletes to compete with perfect conditions.
Live coverage on the day right here...
Two years ago Eric Willett (USA) won with a switch backside 1260 mute grab. Emil Ulsletten had to perform a switch backside triple cork 1440 mute grab in Beijing to ensure his victory. What will it take to secure a podium spot at this year’s Air + Style Innsbruck? They certainly will shine with high technical tricks and 25 meters jumping distance to thrill the crowd.
Within 10 days 700 cubic meter snow are getting delivered by the Stubaier Glacier, Austria’s largest ski region and official snow supplier of the Air + Style Innsbruck – Tirol 2015 presented by Opel. This year's shaping crew is Schneestern. With a team of 8, they started to shape the kicker last Thursday. At the top of the 35 meter high drop-in, the athletes can expect a 70 meter in-run with 48 degrees of inclination, which gives enough speed to conquer the 8 meter gap between take-off and landing.
Total length: 72 meter
Start height: 35 meter
Length inrun: 70 meter
Gap: 8 meter
Jumping distance: 25 meter
Drop height: 17 meter
Landing height: 15 Meter
Width inrun: 6 meter
Width landing: 21 meter
Slope inrun: 42°
Snowmass: 700 cubic meter
Duration of construction: 10 days
Snowflakes have arrived in the Alps, the snowboarding equipment is ready and many snowboarders have had their first day on snow. Riders and event organizers are in the middle of preparations for the most important European snowboarding event in slopestyle and halfpipe. And many big names in snowboarding are confirmed to compete in Laax, Switzerland at the 16th annual Burton European Open presented by MINI (BEO) from January 29th – February 1st, 2015.
In less than a month, the creme de la creme of international freestyle snowboarding will gather for the BEO, which offers US$ 160.000 prize-money to top-placing riders. The much-anticipated event is the very first international contest that will be held at the brand new Superpipe on Crap Sogn Gion. Among the confirmed riders are Olympic champion 2002 and bronze medallist 2014 Kelly Clark (USA), who is a five-time BEO halfpipe champion, as well as BEO 2013 winner and Olympic silver medallist 2014 Ayumu Hirano from Japan, and Swiss riders Christian Haller and David Hablützel. In past years, the BEO men’s slopestyle competition has been dominated by the Scandinavians who will also be represented in 2015 by top riders and former BEO winners like Alek Oestreng and Brage Richenberg from Norway, Finland’s Peetu Piiroinen and Roope Tonteri. Strong North-American challengers will be Mark McMorris, Burton US Open champ 2014 and Olympic bronze medallist in Sochi, as well as Chas Guldemond, both also known for earning BEO podium spots. For women’s slopestyle, top riders confirmed to complete include Sochi Olympic Gold and Bronze medallists, Jamie Anderson (USA) and Enni Rukajärvi (FIN), Jenny Jones (UK), Austrian Anna Gasser and local Elena Könz, 3rd at the BEO 2014. All in all, around 100 riders from all over the world are expected to participate at the 2015 Burton European Open presented by MINI, and attendees can expect to watch snowboarding at its finest in LAAX.
All event information and news can be found at the BEO15 app on www.facebook.com/BurtonEurope and the webcast will be at www.burton.com/BEO
The Red Bull Nanshan Open continues its hot streak as one of the most talked about contests on the tour as it enters its 13th year. With snowboarding hitting the spotlight recently at the Sochi Winter Olympics, the sport is rapidly expanding it’s already huge fan base in China and the Nanshan Open is where the majority of locals will be getting their taste for the sport in person – many for the first time!
The rider list includes the UK's Rowan Coultas.
There’s little wonder why many riders request to come back to this event – the Red Bull Nanshan Open provides a perfect blend of contest riding, cultural immersion and local hospitality, of course ‘mixed’ in with some serious party-time. For once it’s not about the triple corks and spin-to-wins, but for riders to embrace the local culture and represent snowboarding as a fun, accessible sport to the local spectators.
The local www.Mellowparks.cn park and event crew put together one of Asia’s top slopestyle terrain parks, combining a perfectly shaped double kicker line with creative jib features, all located in the Nanshan Mellow Park just outside of Beijing. As a true ‘by-riders-for-riders’ event, the organizers are no desk-jockeys, seen testing the kickers themselves on training day and welcoming the visiting pros with large family-style dinners. It’s clear this team shares a strong passion, surrounding the event with a truly friendly and enjoyable atmosphere!
Preceding the main competition is the World Snowboarding Tour National Level event 13th Red Bull Nanshan Open National Qualifier on January 10th. As the largest event of the year in the region, the qualifier offers locals an opportunity to get World Snowboard Tour points on the board, and with the top riders progressing through to the International Level main event it also allows them to compete alongside international pros for even more points and prize money – an honor often met with both excitement and nervousness!
Schedule for the Red Bull Nanshan Open 2015
Saturday, January 10th 2015 – National Qualifier
Friday, January 16th 2015 – Open Training
Saturday, January 17th 2015 – Qualifying
Sunday, January 18th 2015 – Finals
A little history…
The Nanshan Open began over a decade ago when a small group of friends threw the first snowboard competition ever held on Chinese soil, featuring just a handful of riders and a case of beer as the top prize. As the contest evolved and grew the following years, it earned global recognition in 2007 as a 3Star stop on the World Snowboard Tour. The Nanshan Open has ‘leveled up’ since then to International Level status, and is now the largest slopestyle competition in Asia on the World Snowboard Tour.
The event has hosted a who’s-who of up-and-coming riders, including numerous Olympians, Transworld’s ‘Rookie of the Year’ Austin Smith, female superstars Hana Beaman and Leanne Pelosi, along with the Isenseven, Nitro RoadWarriors and Pirate Movie Productions film crews. Past winners of the event include Mathias Weissenbacher (2014), Jeremy Thompson (2013), Juuso Laivisto (2012 and 2010), Janne Korpi (2011) Freddy Austbo (2009), Jakob Wilhelmson (2008) and Hampus Mosesson (2007), with a ‘guest judge’ line-up equally impressive with Travis Parker, Michi Albin, Ingemar Backman and Scotty Wittlake.
2015 will be the Open’s ninth year with Red Bull as the title sponsor – this long-term partnership has allowed both organizer and sponsor alike to focus on improving the event and raise the bar year after year. The Red Bull Nanshan Open has undoubtedly put China on the snowboarding map, and anticipation is high for number 13!
What the riders say…
“The Nanshan Open in China was amazing. From the moment we arrived in Beijing we were taken care of so well. Amazing dinners every night, nice hotels and we got to do lots of touristy stuff… The comp was fun too, definitely one of my better snowboarding experiences” – Nick Brown, 2010
“It was for me the best competition of the season, really good time – whole week, good crowd, crazy parties.. and I won!” – Mathias Weissenbacher, 2014
“Absolute best time of my life! I hope I can come to this competition every year for the rest of my life…” – Ian Thorley, 2013, 2014
“Going to China was awesome. I broke my nose, split it open, jacked my ankle up, but I had a great time. It was a super rad experience.” – Hana Beaman, 2013
Aleksi Partanen (FIN) Ride, Billabong
Aljosa Krivec (SLO) Apo, Deeluxe, JBMC
Asher Humphreys (USA) Burton, Analog
Brandon Davis (USA) Neff, Rockstar, Giro
Charles Reid (CAN) Oakley, Monster, Fadedunderwear
Eric Beauchemin (CAN) Glorify, US snowboarding, Bataleon
Gjermund Braaten (NOR) Nitro, Oakley, Nike
Ian Thorley (USA) Neff, Signal, Beijing Tube Station
Jordan Phillips (CAN) Rome, Dye Snow, Vans
Kaito Hamada (JAP) Salomon, Bonfire, Murasaki Sports
Marcus Kleveland (NOR) RedBull, Nitro, Volcom
Matts Kulisek (CAN) K2, Axis, Billabong
Max Eberhardt (CAN) Yonex, Oneill
Michael Ciccarelli (CAN) Burton, Anon, Monster
Michael Schaerer (SUI) Nitro, Quiksilver, Backdoor
Mons Roisland (NOR) DC, Oakley, Sweet protection
Petr Horak (CSZ) DC, GoPro, Union
Rowan Coultas (GBR) Vans, Apo, Oakley
Sam Hulbert (USA) Smith, LibTech, Beijing Tube Station
Sean Ryan (USA) JBMC, Capitahl, Stonp
Seungyun Nam (KOR) Burton, Anon
Spencer Whiting (USA) Volcom, Giro, Ride
Taihwan An (KOR) Salomon, Lazybee, Smith
Tim Humphreys (USA) Flow, Neff, GoPro
Tuomas Pohjonen (FIN) Nitro, Volcom, Blue Tomato
An exciting season is on the horizon with three legendary events in the Alps and the two new FWT stops sandwiched in between. With a complete website make-over launched within the next couple of days and a new mobile application available from January and a high tech on-site video production team, the SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE® (FWT) has made sure that there should be no reason to miss out on anything, even from the remote mountains of Haines, Alaska.
Freeride World Tour 2015 Teaser by FreerideWorldTourTV
Highest freeride competition standards
FWT 2015 will be the 8th season that the top freeride skiers and snowboarders on the planet will be competing in a complete Freeride World Tour of the highest competition standards.
A total of 28 male skiers, 14 male snowboarders, 14 female skiers and 7 female snowboarders will start in the respective categories. After the first three events, the field starts to narrow down to only the riders with the best results and the Grande Finale in Verbier is limited to only the very top of the field.
The tour stops are carefully selected at outstanding destinations around the world each offering excellent big mountain terrain to ensure the best conditions for riders and top entertainment value for fans and media. The total prize money for this season is a record high just above 400,000 USD.
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France (January 24)
The tour starts off with a giant season opening freeride festival in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. Besides it’s impressive mountains that provide the stage for the riders to show the world how they have stepped it up from last year, the village transforms into a freeride fair, exhibiting the newest gear and ski and snowboard movies and offering plenty of chances to interact with the pro’s.
Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen, Austria (January 31)
The Fieberbrunn event really confirms that Austria knows how to welcome spectators to the mountains! A complete snow arena including a bar made of snow, entertainment and a festive atmosphere. This FWT stop has the live spectators in mind and dedicated fans come from near and far to be part of the party and watch this classic.
Vallnord Arcalis, Andorra (February 14)
Andorra has been one of the best kept secrets in terms of freeriding that up until now only locals and a few insiders have known about. With the FWT coming to town, the secret will be out, and the world’s best riders will be leaving their mark. The new terrain will be a challenge for all the riders and is a great opportunity for the rookies to break through. Not to be missed!
Haines, Alaska (March 14)
Haines, Alaska is the epitome of freeriding. No lifts, no pistes and this makes the event unique in the FWT calendar. It’s a mythical and dream destination for riders, tourists and the FWT alike. The Alaska stop also marks the first cut in the field and the lower placed riders will have to watch their peers compete from back home (the exact cuts can be seen in the calendar below).
With these two facts in mind this stop is of the upmost importance to the riders. When the stop was first announced, the female snowboarder Anne-Flore Marxer (FRA/SUI) didn't hide her determination to qualify: “I'm thrilled to compete in Alaska, having a FWT stop in Alaska is essential as it is the mecca of freeriding. The terrain is challenging yet very exciting... I definitely want to take part in it!”
Verbier, Switzerland (March 28)
The season ends with a special anniversary: the 20th edition of the Xtreme Verbier. Only the top riders in each category will have a chance to ski in this prestigious FWT final event. This stop with its intimidating competition face, the Bec des Rosses, is the ultimate challenge and honor of any freerider.
Two-time winner at the Bec des Rosses, the solid Swede, Reine Barkered (SWE) is happy to be part of the history of the “Bec”: “I'm excited to have the chance to compete at the 20th anniversary of Verbier Xtreme. Verbier is the crowning point for a freerider and I will do my very best to step up to the top of the podium here a third time!”
Emil Ulsletten (NOR) is the winner of today´s Air + Style Beijing 2014. The Norwegian rider prevailed in a world-class Superfinal of the best four riders with a Switch Backside Triple Cork 1440 Mute Grab over Stale Sandbech (NOR), Torgeir Bergrem (NOR) and Maxence Parrot (CAN). With his last run he managed to pull the wining trick on the world´s biggest artificial snowboard ramp. His victory at the 1st of the 3 A+S tour stops in front of a total of 15,000 thousand spectators pays off with a good chance to qualify for one of the 8 open spots at the A+S in LA and the major share of the 100,000 US-$ prize money.
The UK's Billy Morgan finished in 10th place throwing down a backside triple cork 1440 mute. He was knocked out in round two by Maxence Parrot who made it through the final 4.
Emil Ulsletten (NOR) said: „This is the biggest thing that ever happened to me. To be on the top of the Air + Style podium is a dream coming true.”
Matthias Weissenbacher from Austria dropped out in Round 2. Werner Stock (AUT) had to cancel due to an injury.
Unknown rider - good work PR people
Based on four event categories, Elite, International, National and Regional, the new tour structure provides more transparency and a clear career path, allowing riders to climb the ranks from Rookie through to Elite level events, under one unified system. The World Snowboard Tour (WST) events on the Elite level form the brand new World Snowboard Tour Pro Series, in which only the best riders from around the world will compete for the Pro Series Champion titles in Slopestyle (m/f) and Halfpipe (m/f). The riders field of Pro Series events will be composed of Qualified Riders, determined by the World Snowboarding Points Lists (WSPL) in the respective discipline, Series Wildcards, determined by a committee selected by the Global Snowboarders Alliance (GSA), and Event Wildcards, allocated by the event organizer on a per event basis. This makes for a more consistent starter field than in the past, allowing more tension and transparency for the Tour´s global audience. With the new Tour structure and the launch of World Snowboard Tour Pro Series, competition snowboarding is another step closer to a rider-friendly and transparent Tour for all participants.
Regretfully the organizer of Winter X-Games Aspen has decided to part ways with the World Snowboard Tour this season. Furthermore, Air+Style has not yet confirmed its membership in this year´s Tour. This means that Air+Style in Beijing, China, this weekend December 5th - 6th 2014, will not be part of the World Snowboard Tour and the results will not count for the World Snowboard Tour Pro Series ranking. But the individual results will count for the WSPL World Snowboarding Points List. Should Air+Style come to a positive conclusion, which would very much be welcomed by TTR, the Air & Style Innsbruck and the Air & Style L.A. will be acknowledged as part of the World Snowboard Tour Pro Series.
Reto Lamm, President of TTR Pro Snowboarding: “With the new and improved tour concept of the World Snowboard Tour we are pushing further towards a unified environment in competitive snowboarding. Even if we failed in hitting the jackpot, as we did not reach an agreement on commercialization between the top events and IMG, we implemented much of the plan we had presented at the TTR General Assembly in Barcelona. The four levels of events make the tour more transparent and understandable for media, public and riders: The Regional level consists of local events with local impact, National level events will be national event series, national championships and other events in one country, high-profile international events will be found in the International level of the tour, who prepare the riders for the next and final stage. The highest Elite level forms the World Snowboard Tour Pro Series, which combines the best riders in the world as well as the best events worldwide, including significant prize money, TV and global media coverage, coupled with first-rate, progressive venues. The situation for the sport would of course be better, if Air+Style as well as X-Games and Dew Tour decided to join the Tour. This would do the sport, the riders and themselves a great service.”
World Snowboard Tour Pro Series to kick off at Burton European Open presented by MINI in Laax, Switzerland
The first official stop of the World Snowboard Tour Pro Series will be one of the highest profile events of the year, the infamous Burton European Open presented by MINI in Laax, Switzerland. From January 29th - February 1st 2015, riders, industry leaders and spectators will gather at the all new Superpipe and an innovative Slopestyle course on Crap Sogn Gion.
Immediately following BEO, it’s off to the United States to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association´s Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain, US (February 2nd - 7th 2015), the Slopestyle and Halfpipe event at the esteemed Unbound Park. The final stage of the World Snowboard Tour Pro Series 2014/15 will be held at the Burton US Open presented by MINI in Vail, US from March 2nd - 7th 2015, where this season’s Halfpipe and Slopestyle Pro Series Champions will be crowned.
All World Snowboard Tour Pro Series events
Burton European Open by MINI, Laax, Switzerland
Grand Prix, Mammoth, US
Burton US Open by MINI, Vail, US
New additions on the International level
The International level of events on the World Snowboard Tour is showcasing a number of well-known regulars as well as some new entrants. The RedBull Nanshan Open in Beijing, China from January 13th - 19th 2015, Poney Session in St. Lary Soulan, France from March 4th - 8th 2015 and Total Fight in Grandvalira, Andorra from March 26th - 28th 2015 will all be part of the new International event level among other established contests. New additions to this year´s calendar are the Russian Grand Prix in Moscow, Russia from January 8th - 11th 2015 as well as the Ale Invite by Kevin & Tor near Gothenburg, Sweden on February 28th 2015, both featuring exciting Big Air set-ups. With the Grand Prix at Copper, US from December 1st - 6th 2014 and the Grand Prix at Park City, US from February 23rd - March 1st 2015, two full blown Slopestyle and Halfpipe events will provide North American riders ample opportunity to qualify for the 2016 Pro Series.
National and Regional level events stand strong
TTR has also renewed it’s partnership with the World Snowboarding Federation (WSF) for another three years. WSF and its member nations are responsible for managing and overseeing the National and Regional level events on the Tour, supporting the grassroots events and amateur contest riders. Entry level contest series like the World Rookie Tour, QParks Tour, Chill and Destroy Tour, and US Revolution Tour confirmed at National and Regional levels, support the growth and development of the sport and competition snowboarding, by encouraging rider participation and establishing a viable rider career pathway. Together, the TTR and the WSF will work to guarantee a high standard of riding, course safety and course creativity and event calibre throughout all levels of the tour.
All upcoming events of the WST 2014/15 can be found here.
About TTR Pro Snowboarding and the World Snowboard Tour
TTR Pro Snowboarding strives to promote snowboarding competition and represents the interests of the sport’s stakeholders. A new breed of sport’s governing body, TTR represents a professional network of events, athletes, national sport associations and industry partners. Since its initiation in 2002, TTR has become a key player in snowboarding and an important voice for the sport, it’s athletes and it’s stakeholders. Built upon the sport’s core values and unique culture, the TTR provides the structural foundation for the sport from Rookie to Elite level through a credible and internationally accepted event categorization system. A Non-Profit organization, TTR owns and operates the World Snowboard Tour, the Global Ranking System and the World Championships of Snowboarding. The World Snowboard Tour is the home to over 250 events per year, and through it’s global competition standards – from formats and sanctioning, to judging and safety – and by publishing the widely respected World Snowboarding Points List (WSPL), TTR brings transparency to the sport, offering a fair, un-biased, global ranking platform in the freestyle disciplines of Halfpipe, Slopestyle and Big Air. It’s four-tiered tour system offers unique rookie-to-pro opportunities for upcoming riders, where the Elite level events on the WST Pro Series are the ultimate pinnacle of snowboarding.
What a tag line! Get Lei'd in Laax
Get for winter and snowboarding as Burton and Laax are getting prepared for the 16th Burton European Open presented by MINI from January 29th – February 1st, 2015.
The BEO is Europe’s most prestigious on-snow event, where top riders from around the world will compete in both Slopestyle and the brand new Superpipe.
Air + Style is coming back to Innsbruck in January 2015 and brings with it, some high level snowboarding. Pros like Eric Willett (USA) winner of the birthday Air & Style edition in Innsbruck, Sven Thorgren (SWE) winner of the Air & Style Beijing 2013 and Werner Stock (AUT) Austria’s local hero will shine with high technical tricks and a smooth style. The perfect sound will be provided by German rapper CRO and Bad Things – snowboard legend Shaun White’s band. A Rail contest and an extensive Skate program will complete the action-packed Air + Style weekend.
Innsbruck Air+Style, 2013
On Friday 3pm the Bergisel Stadium opens its doors for snowboarding’s round 1, the qualification. For the first time families with children (up to the age of 14) can experience the Air + Style feeling and watch the athletes fighting for a spot in the final rounds. Tickets are free of charge, limited and available at all branches of Raiffeisen.
Saturday’s program for the Air + Style Innsbruck – Tirol 2015 presented by Opel starts at 3:30pm. Bud Keene, Shaun White’s success coach, will invite 10 local snowboarders to a rail jam. “I am really hyped for BKPRO to be bringing this Rail Jam to be a part of this year’s Air + Style! What a cool thing it is for local riders to have a chance to qualify to ride the same rail setup as the pros will later that same night. The Air + Style events have always been the best in the World, but this opportunity for kids to participate makes them even better!”: Bud Keene, BKPRO. Qualification for the rail contest will be in front of the WUB skate dome on the 15th and 16th of January.
Right after snowboarding’s world elite will be back with a full arsenal of tricks to thrill the crowd. Each of them battling for a big slice of the 100.000 US$ prize money cake, one of the treasured spots at the Air + Style Final in Los Angeles and a brand new Opel ADAM ROCKS.
“We found the perfect match with Air + Style and our new stylish trendsetter and individualization champion, the new Opel ADAM ROCKS. We are thrilled to be part of the Air + Style event in Innsbruck” says Lasse Grundström, Marketing Director, Opel Austria.
While Austrian local heroes Werner Stock and Mathias Weissenbacher will push themselves to the limit, Youngster Kyle Mack (USA), 17 and Mans Hedberg (SWE), 20 will do their utmost to challenge stars like Sebastien Toutant (CAN), Stale Sandbech (NOR) who got second place at the Olympics and the Olympic champion in Slopestyle Sage Kotsenburg (USA). Like every year top class music will be a big part of the Air + Style. This year the panda man CRO and Shaun White’s Band Bad Things will get the party started.
Part of the Air + Style Innsbruck – Tirol 2015 presented by Opel will be an extensive skate program: Skate-Action including a bowl contest, Kids Workshops with Pros and different Skate sessions are going to take place in the WUB skate dome, which will be open from Thursday until Sunday (2:00-10:00pm) - free of charge.
It was an action-packed weekend for snowboarding with the world’s best street riders bringing their urban riding skills to the heart of downtown Tokyo for the 4th annual Burton Rail Days presented by MINI. Canadian rider and member of the Burton Knowbuddy crew, Zach Aller, took home first place at the Burton Rail Days, which drew a record-breaking crowd to Roppongi Hills. Over 5,500 people came out to witness the intense snowboard competition on a picture perfect night in Tokyo.
The day started out with a free Riglet Park set-up in Roppongi Hills Arena where kids as young as three years old could learn to snowboard on specially designed mini park features. Olympic medalists and Burton Team riders Ayumu Hirano and Taku Hiraoka were on hand as guest instructors to pull the kids through the park and show them some tips and tricks. The fun continued as spectators of all ages showed up early to enjoy giveaways, athlete autograph sessions, an art exhibit and interactive experiences in the sponsor village. The crowds also loved checking out the completed Burton Rail Days course, created by Snow Park Technologies. Not only was the course design next level, it was also a work of art thanks to Japanese artists Kane, Kazzrock and Kress Eye who painted the massive course in their own unique styles. Later that day, the doors officially opened with an exclusive live performance from Japan’s highly acclaimed Thre3style champion, DJ Iku.
Finally, it was time for the main attraction – the Burton Rail Days snowboard competition – which got underway with a 40-minute jam session on a variety of urban elements, including rails, ledges, walls, jumps, and transitions. The field of 16 was eventually narrowed down to six finalists by the judges who were looking for a variety of tricks, use of the entire course, and strong overall impression. Those six riders then took two runs each in the finals to determine the podium and a share of the $27,000 prize purse. New for this year, judges also awarded three best-trick awards for the stand-out air, wall, and rail trick during the jam session portion.
The jam started as the first few riders down the course whipped the crowd into a frenzy with an awe-inspiring aerial display off the kicker to the tranny, setting the tone for the night. Canadian Frank April threw down an impressive frontside rodeo nosegrab making him $1,000 richer as he nabbed the first award of the night for best air trick. Local Japanese rider and crowd favorite Reo Takahashi, who earned the last Burton Rail Days competition spot during a ride-off in Friday’s training session, didn’t disappoint as he landed a massive kicker gap-to-backside wallride, winning him the best wall trick award. Rounding out the best trick awards was young Benny Milam from Minnesota who received an invite by winning Burton’s ‘Party In Your Park’ finals last season. The judges were impressed by Milam’s super technical frontside 50/50 on the creeper ledge to hardway 270 boardslide on the down rail and gave him the award for best rail trick. The action-packed jam session finally wound down as the top six riders moved into the finals. Lasse Ihalainen (FIN), Yuma Abe (JPN), Zak Hale (USA), Jamie Nicholls (GBR), Zach Aller (CAN), and Jaeger Bailey (USA) made their way to the top of the course for two runs to decide the overall winner.
In the end, it was Zach Aller (CAN) who took home $15,000 with a first place finish. Aller’s first run of frontside boardslide, backside 180 to boardslide on the transfer, and 50-50 on the ledge to wallride was good enough to get the win. In second place was Jaeger Bailey (USA) with a 50-50, 270 to boardslide, and 50-50 on the ledge. And finally, Yuma Abe (JPN) took third-place honors with a wallride 540. Zach Aller not only came away with his first Burton Rail Days title, but also had one of the more impressive stories of the week. After a last-minute opening in the competition, Aller was contacted with an invitation, just hours before he jumped on a plane to Tokyo to compete.
When asked about the experience and what it took to win, Aller had this to say: “Unreal, I don’t understand what’s going on right now. Pulled an all-nighter, 16 ½ hour flight later, straight to practice…man. Just getting it done…I think they liked my front blunt, switch-up on the transfer...15 G’s…are you serious?”
Also, for anyone who missed the live webcast, just follow the hashtag #BurtonRailDays and head to www.burton.com/BRD for on-demand full webcast replays, highlight videos, winning runs and more. And be sure to check your local listings for additional airdates later this winter of the Burton Rail Days Highlight show currently scheduled to premiere on FOXSports2 on January 18, 2015 at 8:00 PM EST in the US, as well as the rest of the Burton Global Events Series programming on Fox Sports networks in the US, and other networks around the world.
Jamie Nicholls switch stance... possibly
2014 Burton Rail Days presented by MINI: Final Results
1st: Zach Aller (CAN) - $15,000
2nd: Jaeger Bailey (USA) - $6,000
3rd: Yuma Abe (JPN) - $3,000
Best Air Trick: Frank April (CAN) - $1,000
Best Wall Trick: Reo Takahashi (JPN) - $1,000
Best Rail Trick: Benny Milam (USA) - $1,000
A special thanks to the following partners for their continued support of Burton Rail Days: MINI, Monster, Paul Mitchell, Shiseido, Kawaba, Hakuba Valley, Samsung, G-Shock, and Nitro Circus.
What an absorbing opening for the World Snowboard Tour! For the 12th time already, a studded line up of more than 100 national and international riders gathered at 2700 meters above sea level at the Superpark Dachstein. USD 20.000,- and weighty points for the slopestyle ranking of the World Snowboard Tour were up for grabs at the 2-day-battle of tricks. In a thrilling showdown at brilliant conditions, it was Anna Gasser’s turn – local and everyone’s darling - to cash in her first ever victory at the O’Neill Pleasure Jam. At the men’s super-finals, Eric Beauchemin from the US hyped the crowd with an outstanding run and came in first.
Apart from some fog patches sweeping over the Superpark on Friday, the weather conditions remained stable for the entire qualification day, allowing for all riders to have a solid run at mostly perfect conditions. While the riders initially showed some respect facing the impressive 5-part contest setup, they constantly raised the bar in the second heat. Jonas Boesiger (SUI), for instance, pulled out a BS10 Double Cork, proving that he was going to have some say in the finals. At the end of the day, however, it was Rowan Coultas (GBR) who came in on top, ahead of 23-year old Alexey Sobolev (RUS) and Jonas Boesiger. In the ladies’ category, Yuka Fujimori (JPN) stepped up to the top of the ranking, leaving Maria Hidalgo-Perlas (ESP) and Henna Ikula (FIN) in positions 2 and 3.
© Daniel Ausweger
Accordingly to the contest mode, the top 12 men and the top 6 women out of the qualification came to face the 30 invited riders in Saturday’s semi-finals. In view of the high riding level on Friday, the invited riders knew that this was not going to be an easy ride to the finals for them. As a matter of fact, it initially seemed as if the invited riders were losing ground against the riders, which were properly warmed up from Friday’s qualification. Then Eric Beauchemin, winner of the O’Neill Pleasure Jam 2012 stepped into the game: With a first showcase of his skills, the ripper from the US skyrocketed straight to the top position of the semi-finals ahead of Jonas Boesiger. Also, Sebbe de Buck (BEL) left no doubt that he deserved to proceed to the super-finals: Thanks to a solid run with a stylish Switch Back 9 and a Backside Rodeo in the semi-finals, he had the judges convinced. Among the girls, Elena Könz (SUI) once again proved her talent by winning the semi-finals ahead of Anna Gasser (AUT) and Anna Gyarmati (HUN). 2-time O’Neill Pleasure Jam champion Aimee Fuller (GBR) did not manage to bring on her A-game in her two runs, which left her in 5th place, thus not qualifying for the super-finals.
Super Finals and Best Trick
Cheered by an enthused audience, the top 8 men and the top 4 women from the semi-finals put up a spectacular showdown-fight for the top podium positions. Austria had high hopes for its athletes Clemens Millauer and Matthias Weissenbacher, however, they lost ground to their strong international competitors in the super-finals. Jonas Boesiger secured the 4th place with a clean run, right behind 22-year old Roope Tonteri (FIN), who kept his game together in his final run. This year’s runner up is Alexey Sobolev, who also won the Best Trick Award powered by Portugal SurfCamp with his massive Switch Back 10 Mute, and can thus look forward to a 2-week surf trip. The Russian was second only to 23-year old Eric Beauchemin, who already in his first run made clear, that he was not going to let anyone else take away the crown of the O’Neill Pleasure Jam 2014. “The park setup is really good. I simply feel good here and I’m very happy with my runs, especially with my victory run at the end, I never had that before”, Eric comments. As a 2-time O’Neill Pleasure Jam champion, Beauchemin is now in the line of succession of Elias Elhardt (2009, 2010) and Nicky Wieveg (2005,2006).
For the UK, Rowan Coultas finished in 6th place and Aimee Fuller finished in 5th. Good work Brits.
Eric Beauchemin © Hascha Roland / QParks
Among the ladies, the super-finals‘ battle for the victory turned into a real thriller. After a solid run of the third-placed Kristiina Nisula (22) from Finland, the 27-year old Elena Könz (SUI) rushed all the way up to the top with an outstanding run. It seemed as if she already had secured the victory with this performance. But then local rider Anna Gasser (23) stole the lead from her with a fantastic run involving a superstylish Cab 7 Mute, which also got her the Best Trick Award powered by Portugal Surfcamp in the ladies’ category. “At first, I did a safety run, but when I saw the others raising the bar so high, I had to take the risk,” Anna says. After being the runner up last year, she is now the first Austrian ever to win the O’Neill Pleasure Jam. “I basically grew up here, so winning this competition is really special to me.”
Anna Gasser © Hascha Roland / QParks
The O’Neill Pleasure Jam 2014 found its end with a sublime finale and has left us with lasting impressions – not only in the minds of the audience and the competitors – but also in our media stock. For those of you who couldn’t manage to be there and those who simply can’t get enough of it: Check out the highlight video above and browse through the literally jam-packed gallery. You can find all the results and info on the event on www.pleasurejam.com and on Facebook.
Burton will officially kick-off winter in Tokyo, Japan on November 15th by hosting the world’s largest street snowboarding contest: the 4th annual Burton Rail Days presented by MINI. Completely FREE and open to the public, this year’s event will once again take place at Roppongi Hills Arena in the heart of Tokyo and feature 16 of the best international rail riders, including Jeremy Jones (USA), Zak Hale (USA), Mark Sollors (CAN), Alek Ostreng (NOR), Frank April (CAN), Lasse Ihalainen (FIN), Yuma Abe (JPN) and newcomer Shoma Takao (JPN), who earned a competition spot after winning the event’s new online video contest. The UK's Jamie Nicholls won the event in 2011, came 2nd in 2012 and will be competing too.
For the past three years, Burton Rail Days has drawn a record-breaking crowd for the world-class snowboard street competition, which starts at 5:00 pm (JST) on Saturday, November 15th when top invited riders will battle it out for a piece of the $27,000 prize purse. Created by Snow Park Technologies, the Burton Rail Days course is one of the industry’s most innovative street snowboarding set-ups with a design that encourages each rider’s personal creativity and gives spectators the chance to get close to the action. Not only is the course design next level, it’s also a work of art thanks to Japanese artists Kane, Kazzrock and Kress Eye who are painting the massive Burton Rail Days course.
“I'm looking forward to Burton Rail Days, it's one of my favorite events of the year,” said Burton Team rider Zak Hale. “The course and the crowd are super fun, and there's nothing better than doing a contest in Tokyo with all your friends.”
In addition to the world-class snowboard contest, Burton Rail Days includes all-day activities for the entire family leading up to the pro competition. On November 15th, Rail Days will open to the public from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm with a free Burton Riglet Park where kids ages 3-6 years old can learn to snowboard on mini park features. Also open at 11:00 am, attendees can enjoy giveaways, an art exhibit, prizes and more in the wide array of sponsor tents. And later that day, things really heat up with an exclusive musical performance by Japan’s highly acclaimed DJ Iku before the main event.
If you can’t make it to Tokyo to see Burton Rail Days in person, it’s really easy to follow it live. Just follow the hashtag #BurtonRailDays and head to www.burton.com/BRD for details on how to watch the contest live, as well as on-demand full webcast replays, highlight videos, winning runs and more. And if you’re in the U.S., check your local listings for additional airdates later this winter of the Burton Rail Days Highlight show as well as the rest of the Burton Global Events Series programming on Fox Sports 2. And for those in Japan this week, you can win VIP tickets to attend Rail Days and check out the latest MINI Cooper D Crossover, be sure to stop by the MINI booth at Burton’s Yokohama Outlet Store from November 8th –13th between 10:30 am – 5:30 pm (JST).
Burton Rail Days Webcast Schedule – Saturday, November 15th
LIVE WEBCAST: Central Europe Time Zone
Burton Rail Days Competition Start Time: 9:35 am (CET)
A special thanks to the following partners for their continued support of Burton Rail Days: MINI, Monster, Paul Mitchell, Shiseido, Kawaba, Hakuba Valley, Samsung and G-Shock.
The 16th Annual Burton European Open Presented by MINI (BEO) is excited to share the event will feature two big changes this season, including a brand-new, best-in-class superpipe and new contest format. This year, the snowboarding community will gather to enjoy world-class snowboarding, entertainment and a cool event theme at LAAX, Switzerland, from January 29th – February 1st, 2015.
For decades, Burton, the world’s leading snowboard company and LAAX have pro-actively pushed and developed the sport of snowboarding. Both are pioneers, and have implemented groundbreaking standards for the snow industry. The successful collaboration of Burton and LAAX culminates in the annual Burton European Open presented by MINI, the flagship event of European snowboarding. During the summer, Europe’s leading freestyle-resort built an incredible new Superpipe up on Crap Sogn Gion. With a length of 200 meters (formerly 140 m), 22 meters wide from coping to coping (formerly 14 m) and 6,9 meter high walls (formerly 6,7 m), this pipe can claim the title of the biggest Halfpipe operated all season worldwide. The pipe will open on December 6th, 2014. The international contest premiere of this pipe will be celebrated during the 16th Annual Burton European Open presented by MINI.
This year’s BEO also has a new competition format. The starting field will consist of 16 women and 32 men per discipline, which will be packed with top riders from the World Snowboarding Points List and Wildcards. During the elimination round, riders will battle for a spot in the finals (6 women, 10 men).
Also for 2015, the world’s best riders, champions and Olympians will gather up on Crap Sogn Gion to show their freestyle skills in Slopestyle and Halfpipe and to take home part of the US$ 160,000 prize money, prestigious BEO-titles and trophies.
Three cities, three legendary stadiums, three unique events: Winter 2014/2015 will start off a new era in the history of Air + Style. For the first time, in addition to the two contests in Beijing (12.05/06.2014) and Innsbruck (01.16/17.2015), there will be a grand finale: The Air + Style in Los Angeles (02.21/22.2015) in and around the famous Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena. Andrew Hourmont´s long cherished idea of a world tour with a tour winner can finally be realized in the home base of Shaun White. A 450.000 US$ prize money and the chance to be “Champions of the Champions” is attracting a lot of world class athletes. In Beijing and Innsbruck 24 athletes will battle for 100,000 US$ and the 16 slots in the finals in LA.
The first stop of the Air + Style Tour in Beijing is the incredible setup in the architectural masterpiece National stadium “Birds Nest” and will be the destination for a two days top-class snowboarding event. 24 athletes will participate in the qualification on Friday. 16 of them qualify for the final on Saturday, accompanied by DJs and two live music performances.
In Bergisel Stadium Innsbruck, the birthplace of Air + Style, the qualification will be on Friday Jan 16: 24 athletes will fight for the 16 starting positions in the main contest. For the very first time families with children from 6-14 years old can experience the legendary event for free.
The program on Saturday starts at 3.30pm: just before the top 16 final, Shaun White´s success coach Bud Keene will hold a training session. Two bands and a top DJ will provide the perfect sound. One of the top acts is already confirmed: the German rapper CRO. As Shaun White also is a pro skateboarder there will be some skateboarding action in Innsbruck: The WUB skate dome in Innsbruck will be open free of charge for the public with contests, workshops and DJs from Thursday (January 15 2015) until Sunday (January 18.2015) daily from 2pm until 10pm.
The tour final in Los Angeles at Rose Bowl Stadium west of LA will bring the idea of Air + Style to a whole new level. The concept mirrors the lifestyle and interests of Shaun White perfectly: heaps of sport: Snowboarding, Skiing, Skating and BMX, finest tunes, art & fashion, technology and food. A kids zone will allow even the youngest to try snowboarding in LA.
For latest information on program, athletes, bands and tickets visit the website www.air-style.com
Days are getting shorter and leaves are starting to change their colors soon. Winter is just around the corner. Burton is happy to announce the 16th annual Burton European Open presented by MINI taking place in LAAX, SUI from January 29th – February 1st, 2015. Riders can look forward to the brandnew Superpipe and innovative Slopestyle course up on Crap Sogn Gion mountain. On a extra note, spectators and riders can expect an Hawaiian themed event, which will provide a fun environment onsite. Aloha!
More information soon on www.burton.com/events
The 3rd annual Burton High Fives presented by MINI wrapped up yesterday at Cardrona Alpine Resort with a historic halfpipe finals event. Burton riders Yiwei Zhang (CHN) and Chloe Kim (USA) gave world-class performances through variable weather conditions to finish on top, and walked away with $2,500 USD each.
Chloe Kim © Phil EricksonOver the last week, sixty of the world’s top riders have experienced a non-traditional snowboarding event like no other in New Zealand, competing in world-class snowboarding events and classic kiwi-inspired off-snow team activities. In an effort to earn points towards their overall team standings, yesterday’s unique event also drew numerous slopestyle competitors back to compete in halfpipe. In the end, thanks to his strategic fantasy draft picks, local Kiwi Carlos Garcia Knight’s team stood victorious and split the $70,000 USD earnings, with each rider receiving $7,000 USD. To add to this, Christy Prior (NZL) and Tyler Nicholson (CAN) received Burton’s Total Comfort award, and earned $500 USD for performing the most impressive and stylish trick throughout the week. For the complete list of teams, head here.
As the women began to drop, the clouds rolled over the perfect bluebird sky, and covered the resort with a fresh snowfall. Shortly thereafter, the sun came back out, and the changing conditions couldn’t stop young halfpipe specialist Chloe Kim (USA) from boosting her way into first place on her first run. Through the low visibility, Chloe set the bar high for the women, sending a massive backside air into a frontside 540, McTwist, and a corked frontside 720 before finishing with an impressive corked cab 720, which earned a 92.60. China’s Xuetong Cai landed her last run with an 86.40 to put her in second place, and fellow Burton rider Hikaru Ooe (JPN) took third place with an 85.40.
“I’m really happy about how everything turned out,” said 14-year-old Chloe Kim, who finished second at the 2013 Burton High Fives. “When we came up here this morning the weather was windy and snowy, but turned out to be really good.”
The unpredictable weather did not deter the men’s field either. Burton’s Yiwei Zhang (CHN) dominated with amplitude, technicality and style on his first run, which included a frontside 1080, cab double cork 1080, double cork 900, corked backside 540 and finally, a frontside double cork 1080 which earned him 91.00. In a historic day for the sport, yesterday marked the first time a male Chinese rider has finished first in any international snowboarding competition. To round out the men’s podium, Seamus O’Connor (IRL), who also competed in slopestyle finals yesterday placed second with a 90.60, and Nathan Johnstone (AUS) finished third with an 88.60.
Yiwei Zhang © Phil Erickson
At night, the entertainment continued at Bullock Bar in Wanaka. During the official Burton High Fives after party, competitors and fans enjoyed an exclusive screening of the newly released ‘Burton Presents’ Jussi Oksanen and Mikey Rencz and Snowboarder Magazine’s full movie “Foreword”.
For the full list of results and team highlights from the week, head here and follow the hashtag #BurtonHighFives. The 2014 Burton High Fives is a 5star event on the World Snowboard Tour and marks the first stop of the Burton Global Event Series.
The 3rd annual Burton High Fives presented by MINI continued today with slopestyle finals at Wanaka’s Cardrona Alpine Resort. Olympian and two-time Burton High Fives winner Jamie Anderson (USA) and Emil Ulsletten (NOR) walked away with the titles, and $2,500 USD each.
© Lorenz Holder
Over the last four days, sixty of the world’s top snowboarders have experienced a snowboarding event like no other in New Zealand, competing in world-class snowboarding events and classic kiwi-inspired off-snow team activities. On Monday, riders were treated to an adrenaline-filled afternoon of activities at the Oxbow Adventure lodge, followed by a fantasy draft team selection auction where it was announced the team with the most points at the end of the week will walk away with $70,000 USD, or $7,000 to each rider. Teams had a blast on Tuesday at the MINI Off-Road challenge where they had the opportunity to bond while driving MINI Countryman Cooper S All4 vehicles around a muddy, off-road course. Today, after a morning practice session for both men and women, the Burton High Fives slopestyle finals got under way with the best of two runs format, which allowed for an exciting competition in spite of the windy conditions.
Jamie Anderson © Phil Erickson
While strong winds threatened to deter riders during both the men’s and women’s competitions, athletes charged through the course regardless of the weather. In combination with the unique course, fans witnessed incredible snowboarding all day long. Competitors were faced with navigating through back-to-back wall ride MINI features followed by a unique urban inspired street rail setup that left ample room for creativity. A fourth feature consisted of a cannon rail next to a giant cable reel, which was placed right before three perfectly shaped jumps that wrapped up the course created by the Cardrona Parks NZ shape crew.
Chloe Kim © Phil Erickson
Sochi gold medalist Jamie Anderson set the bar high for the women right from her first run where she linked a frontside wallride to a backside nose slide into a backside tailslide, 50-50 backside 180 out off the cannon rail into a cab 540, frontside 360 and a huge back side 540 to finish with a 94.00. Taking second place was Burton rider Miyabi Onitsuka (JPN) who scored an 87.80 on her run that included a highly technical cab 270 boardslide to regular through the tricky rail section. New Zealand local and team captain Christy Prior (NZL) rounded out the podium with a run that showcased her signature front side Rodeo 540 and earned her an 86.80.
For the men, Emil Ulsletten (NOR) set the tone on his first drop with a run that included the perfect mix of style, technicality and variety to give him the win with an 88.40. Emil started off with a 50-50 to boardslide to fakie, followed by a switch tailslide 270 out from off the top of the second wallride. Coming through the rail section he continued with a cab 270 boardslide to fakie into a huge frontside bluntslide 450 off the cannon rail, followed by a frontside 900, switch backside 1260 and a rarely seen frontside Rodeo 1080. Young Burton rider Darcy Sharpe (CAN) closed in on his second run to land on his feet for second place with an 85.20, while Yuki Kadono (JPN) took third with an 83.40.
Emil Ulsletten © Phil Erickson
Notable mentions go to three Burton riders. First up, Mikey Ciccarelli (CAN) narrowly missed out on the podium by coming in fourth place. Halfpipe specialist Chloe Kim (USA) had an impressive fifth place finish outside of her comfort zone with a switch backside 180, and Ben Ferguson (USA) threw down a flawless backside rodeo stalefish that proved he isn’t confined to the halfpipe either.
The Burton High Fives will wrap up tomorrow with halfpipe finals where Burton riders Taku Kiroaka (JPN) and Ayumu Hirano (JPN) will look to repeat their 2013 Burton High Fives Halfpipe podium finishes. The final results will also determine which team will equally split the $70,000 USD team award. For the full list of results, highlights from the team competitions throughout the week, and current team standings, head here. For the complete list of teams, head here. For real-time event news, follow the hashtag #BurtonHighFives.
To catch all the action, watch the webcast on www.burton.com/HighFives
The countdown has begun for SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR 2015 BY THE NORTH FACE® (FWT). All of the world class athletes who will be battling the lines of the prestigious tour have been confirmed and have now stepped into preparation mode.
British rider Sascha Hamm will once again be riding in the tour.
Defending champions ready and four continents represented
All of the four defending champions in skiing and snowboarding are back in the game on the FWT 2015! Right now they are preparing to take up the fight with fellow riders from no less than four continents. Besides the defending champions the riders list features Olympians, Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) champions, wild cards and injury come-backs.
Snowboard – Men
The riders list for snowboarding includes the top 2 men from the FWQ 2014 region 1 and 2 where the winners were Camille Armand (FRA) and Colin Boyd (USA).
The wild cards have been given to 2013 FWT champion Ralph Backstrom (USA) and 2012 FWT champion Jonathan Charlet (FRA) who is back from injury (injury wild card).
The top 8 riders from last year's FWT are automatically qualified and all of them are present again with current FWT champion Emilien Badoux (SUI) at the top. Ludovic Guillot-Diat (FRA) is excited about the new destinations. He already knows Andorra, having won an FWQ there in 2011 before making his spot on the FWT: “I'm excited to return to Andorra – this time for the FWT! The organization there was awesome last time and they took excellent care of us.” As for Alaska, this would be totally new territory and “the realization of a dream for me”, the experienced French rider reveals.
Snowboard – Women
Top 4 women from last season are back, with champion Shannan Yates (USA) at the top. The newcomers from the two FWQ regions are the winners of the women's FWQ, Anouck Mouthon (FRA) and Mary Celia Boddington (USA). Margot Rozies (FRA) decided to end her career as a professional athlete. A wild card has been awarded to Anne-Flore Marxer (FRA/SUI) who won the FWT title back in 2011.
Defending world champion in women's snowboarding, Shannan Yates from the US, is impatient to be back and of course to go for the title again. “I look forward to being a part of this community of amazing athletes. I feel that the female athletes continue to raise the bar and push harder, they are adding freestyle, big airs and speed! I hope to ride strong and finish well.”
Ski – Men
The newcomers are the winners of the 2014 FWQ region 1 and 2, Leo Slemett (FRA) and Kyle Taylor (USA), along with their respective overall FWQ podium companions.
One of the wild cards is Ivan Malakhov (RUS) who managed to take part in FWQ events of both regions in 2014 and notably skied a spectacular 2nd place line in the Andorra FWQ event El Dorado Freeride 4* Vallnord-Arcalis, Andorra. The last 4 wild cards given in the men's skiing have been awarded to: Markus Eder (ITA), who had a break from the FWT in 2014 to enter the Olympic slopestyle competition, Wille Lindberg (SWE), who had two FWT podiums in 2013, Drew Tabke (USA), – FWT champion 2013 and Felix Wiemers (GER). Charlie Lyons (NZL) is back on an injury wild card and ready – showing great come-back form by winning the FWQ 3* The North Face® Freeski Open NZ 2014 earlier this month.
The top 16 from last year automatically qualified. One of these is 6-time FWT-skier, Stefan Häusl (AUT) who is as motivated as ever: “Staying motivated is pretty easy for me. I always dreamed about being a professional athlete. And since a kid I loved skiing. To me, it is the best life I can have at the moment. I can make a living from the sport I love the most.”
Ski – Women
Already revealed earlier this month was the kiwi come-back on the women's ski side with Janina Kuzma (NZL) returning to the FWT after an Olympic escapade in half-pipe. Eva Walkner (AUT) will be back on the FWT on an injury wild card.
Qualified from the FWQ are the top 2 women of both regions with Lotten Rapp (SWE) and Ashley Maxfield (USA) as the winners.
Top 7 from last year is back again with strong representation from the US, Austria and Sweden featuring two-time FWT champion, Nadine Wallner (AUT), and former FWT champion Christine Hargin (SWE). Unfortunately Pia Nic Gundersen (NOR) is injured and won't be able to compete this coming season. Jaclyn Paaso (USA) is especially excited about the FWT stop in Alaska: “This season I'm really looking forward to the Alaska event. I would love to represent the U.S. at this event in North America.”
Besides the pleasure of riding well and being part of the FWT community, the riders can look forward to a total FWT prize money pool of more than 400,000 USD.
On the athletic side
The athletes are currently preparing for the season in their respective corners of the world. Jaclyn Paaso has had a busy summer mountain biking and is now in ski prep mode and impatient for the season to start: “Preparation for this season is going well, I had a little set back while training for the UCI Down Hill World Cup (mountain biking) this summer but it hasn't stopped me from getting work done in the gym. I think I'll be coming into this season stronger than ever. I can't wait for winter!” Others have been doing surfing, slackline and rock climbing in addition to gym work. “Fitness is a key part in performing well on the tour,” as world champion Shannan Yates says. She has been doing hill climbs, road biking and altitude trail running besides her core training routines to be strong for the demanding season in sight.
Nicolas Hale-Woods, General Manager of the FWT, is impressed with how the sport is evolving: “On the athletic side, we can look forward to an intense battle between a very dense field of excellent riders. It will be nothing less than spectacular! There has been a continuous and solid progression of the sport, and we see more airs featuring freestyle tricks and big amplitude. The mix of the classic FWT stops and the new destinations will make it possible for all riders to re-interpret and be creative and put on a great show for the fans.”
This year again, it will be possible to follow all of the runs of the riders on live broadcasts from all of the events, starting with Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France, on January 24, 2015.
With over £400,000 raised since the event began in 2008, we are firm supporters of the annual Monster Ski challenge, that raises funds and awareness for the Multiple Sclerosis Trust. The Trust works to enable people with MS live their lives to the full by providing evidence-based information; educating health professionals about multiple sclerosis; and funding research to help people living with MS now.
If you want to help the cause, whilst sliding 3 times the height of Everest, then why not join this year's challenge?
The MS Trust is looking for skiers and snowboarders to join its Monster Ski challenge in Chamonix next March, where they will ski the height of Mount Everest every day to raise funds to help people with multiple sclerosis.
Monster Ski is being held from 13-17 March 2015 in Chamonix to raise funds for the MS Trust, a charity that trains specialist nurses and provides information for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS).
For each of the three days of the challenge, participants will attempt to ski 30,000 vertical feet - that’s the equivalent of the height of Mount Everest every day!
This charity event offers a unique way to experience the Chamonix Valley, whilst being part of something really special to benefit people living with an unpredictable life-long condition.
Sarah Burgess from Southampton, who took part in Monster Ski in 2014, said “The trip was jam-packed from start to finish, with no time for Glühwein stops or sunbathing! The camaraderie was excellent and everyone returned home feeling accomplished and proud of our achievements. I would certainly recommend this trip to anyone looking for a ski trip with a difference – pushing yourself to the limit on the slopes, whilst at the same time raising money for a great cause.”
This will be the MS Trust’s seventh Monster Ski challenge, and the second in Chamonix, and the charity is looking for 25 skiers and snowboarders to take part. If you would like to get involved, you can register now for just £150, plus a pledge to raise £1,500 in sponsorship.
Included in the price are flights and transfers, accommodation (bed and breakfast), a three day lift pass and ski guides who will lead small groups during the challenge. The MS Trust will provide lots of support and advice to help you raise your sponsorship, as well as putting you in touch with other Monster Skiers so you can share fundraising ideas.
For more information about Monster Ski, please visit the official website or contact Jess Wright at the MS Trust on 01462 476707.
The world's leading freeride events return for the 14-15 season, and we here at SCUK will be bringing you news on the Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face all season long. To get you up to speed on the new season, here are all the dates and details of what promises to be another killer year on tour...
Men’s and women’s categories at every event, exciting new venues, and the biggest prize purse yet highlight the upcoming season.
The Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face® brings you further details for the coming season, giving an exciting look at the future of the tour. New events in Andorra and Alaska highlight the revamped schedule, with the good news that both men’s and women’s will be competing at every stop of 2015. In Alaska, FWT management has narrowed the field down to two possible host resorts with the necessary terrain and facilities, and final confirmation of the event’s location will be announced in the coming weeks. With the biggest prize purse ever, the 2015 Freeride World Tour is primed to go off like never before.
The tour kicks off with three events in Europe, first at proven destinations Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France, on January 24, and Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen, Austria, on January 31, followed by the newly-added Vallnord Arcalis, Andorra, on February 14. Then, on March 14, the tour will make its historic first visit to Alaska, bringing with it a select group of both male and female athletes; the top 16 Ski Men, 8 Snowboard Men, 7 Ski Women and 5 Snowboard Women after the first three events (60% of the total field) secure their spot.
An event in Alaska has long been a fantasy scenario for many tour riders. Freeride World Champion 2013 and 2014 Nadine Wallner (AUT) said, “Alaska is the spot to be for the freeski scene. That’s why it’s supercool that the girls will also participate in the Alaska stage. I’m glad we’ll have four stops before the finals in Verbier take place. I hope it will snow heavily!”
Perennial standout in the women’s ski field, Jackie Paaso (USA) said, “The women have been stepping up the level of skiing on the FWT at every contest, and I’m very pleased with the change to have us at all stops. I really look forward to welcoming back to the tour 2014 Sochi Olympian Janina Kuzma (NZ) and Injury Wildcard Eva Walkner (AUT) -- those ladies always put on a great show!”
After the event in Alaska, qualifying men and women then continue to the always-thrilling world finals in Switzerland, the Xtreme Verbier, on March 28. Additionally, with a smaller group of athletes and one fewer tour stop than past years, the prize purse is richer than ever before, with $400,000 up for grabs throughout the 2015 season.
Burton Snowboards announced today that the 3rd annual Burton High Fives presented by MINI will take place at Cardrona Alpine Resort, located between Wanaka and Queenstown, New Zealand from September 14th–20th, 2014. High Fives is a truly unique, six-day event that will bring together 60 of the world’s top pro and rookie snowboarders for halfpipe and slopestyle contests, along with adventure-filled, top-secret, off-snow team activities
The invitational event marks the first of the multi-stop Burton Global Event Series and the second consecutive year Cardrona will host the competition.
2014 Burton High Fives presented by MINI Competition Schedule
Monday, September 15th: Off-Snow Team Selection
Tuesday, September 16th: Off-Snow Team Activities
Friday, September 19th: Slopestyle Finals
Saturday, September 20th: Halfpipe Finals
This year, the event will start with a team selection party on September 15th. In true High Fives fashion, the details of the team selection will be kept a secret from the riders until they arrive on-site in New Zealand. On September 16th, the newly formed teams will take part in surprise off-hill activities that will take them through the surrounding Wanaka area. The good times will be captured on video so fans can watch all the action at home.
Next up, the classic snowboarding competition portion of Burton High Fives takes center stage with world-class men’s and women’s slopestyle and halfpipe contests on September 19th and 20th. The field will be packed with the sport’s best riders, including Olympians Stale Sandbech, Ayumu Hirano, Jamie Anderson and Kaitlyn Farrington, plus some of the world’s best up and coming rookies. To celebrate and support New Zealand’s homegrown talent, four Kiwi riders will also be selected to compete in this year’s event. The competition format is best of three runs, and judges will focus on overall impression as riders compete for an USD $80,000 purse prize.
The on-snow portion of the event is free and open to the public. A lift ticket may be required for the best viewing location. For those not in New Zealand, Burton High Fives will be available to watch via an exclusive webcast that will be delayed, allowing for optimal airtimes for fans to watch worldwide. Additionally, the competition will be televised worldwide, so stay tuned for those details.
The Burton High Fives is a World Snowboard Tour 5Star event. For more information, including details on invited athletes, complete television and webcast schedules, as well as daily highlight videos showcasing on and off-snow events, follow the hashtag #BurtonHighFives and go to www.Burton.com/HighFives
After a short break in the 2014-2015 season, the World Snowboard Tour will be back in August presenting the Southern Hemisphere events. Kicking off with the 4 Star Slopestyle Mile High by Carlton Dry August 25th-27th best snowboard action is guaranteed as riders from all over the world are eager to battle over the $15.000,- prize purse in Perisher park. Australia has just seen the best start to a winter in over 10 years with 180 cms of snow falling last week, and more big snowfalls coming.
With the current conditions Australia will see excellent parks built in early July and great spring park sessions going right through till late August. For more details check www.themilehigh.com.au or www.australianslopestyletour.com
“The Mile high is like the perfect session, gift wrapped in a contest setting just the way the riders like it. The riders shred until they feel like the can really throw down and get a scored run on demand; that promotes both progression and style. A truly unique event and one of the best in the industry.” Torstein Horgmo
The week after, from September 1st-3rd the Tour moves on to another great spot in Australia for the second event of the Australian Slopestyle tour; 4 Star Stylewars in Falls Creek, Victoria. Another $15.000,- to battle for. In addition the Mile High winners have a unique chance to start their season with a cash bonus, as main sponsor Carlton Dry introduces the ‘Double Down’. This is a cash bonus prize for any rider who wins both Australian Slopestyle Tour events – The additional cash prize pool is $50,000 and is divided equally between the men’s and woman’s divisions, meaning a potential of $25,000 bonus in both men’s and women’s divisions. Big name acts and parties will support both events to make a visit an unforgettable experience for riders as well as guests.
For detailed information check www.australianslopestyletour.com
On the 5 Star level the tour will continue with the 3rd edition of the Burton High Fives in Cardrona, New Zealand from September 14-20, with Slopestyle and Halfpipe competition for men and women taking place on the last 2 days. The webcast will show the entire competition and will be accessible via www.burton.com/HighFives which is also the portal for the latest details on the event. An $80.000 prize purse will be up for battle. #BurtonHighFives
As announced last Month at the TTR General Assembly in Barcelona, the World Snowboard Tour is currently in the process of updating its structure. The aim is to implement the new 4-tiered system October 1st 2014. All events on the 14-15 Calendar held prior to that date, will still be ran under the current tour structure, with the Star level intact. These events will be converted into the new structure upon implementation. For more information on the World Snowboard Tour and it’s upcoming events check www.worldsnowboardtour.com
Successful collaboration between riders, top events, nations and the snowboard industry makes way for a unified contest series in freestyle snowboarding.
The world of snowboarding is moving closer to a new professional unified tour following the TTR Pro Snowboarding annual general assembly meetings this past week in Barcelona. TTR, a non-profit organization and owner and operator of the World Snowboard Tour, Snowboard Live Scoring System (SLS) and the World Snowboarding Points List, hosted the meeting together with World Snowboard Federation (WSF), an organization comprised of 46 member nations across 4 continents and co-owner of the WCS and SLS. Over the course of two days, 100 participants representing all facets of competitive snowboarding, as well as top international riders like Kjersti Buaas, Torstein Horgmo and Stale Sandbech, met to discuss the future of the World Snowboard Tour and unanimously agreed that the future is now.
For the first time, the world's top riders, event organizers, and major industry representatives, together with the snowboard nations, have agreed on one united concept for the future of the World Snowboard Tour.
With this unanimous decision, the TTR Pro Snowboarding and World Snowboard Tour have created the foundation necessary to build competitive freestyle snowboarding into the pre-eminent global snowboard media and communication platform. By building a mutually advantageous partnership between TTR, the riders, and the events, coupled with a compelling commercialization model, the TTR aims to build snowboarding into the most exciting winter sport and unite the snowboard community under one roof.
Grand support for new World Snowboard Tour 2.0 concept amongst events and riders
Supported by the world's best snowboarders and the foremost international events, the members of the TTR General Assembly approved the creation of an Elite Tour and a World Qualifying Tour. With the new concept, the tour will be reduced from six to four competition levels. The three levels Regional, National and International events, in the categories Slopestyle, Halfpipe and Big Air, will make up the qualifying tour. Riders will actively compete on this level to determine who will move into the Elite Tour. The Elite tour will feature the best events in the world and will host only the top riders.
Further underscoring the support for the new tour proposal, TTR and the events, the top snowboard athletes have expressed their desire to commit to participate at all the World Snowboard Tour's top contests. In an effort to reciprocate such support and highlight the important role that the riders play on the Tour, the TTR formally recognized the newly organized Riders Association, representing female and male Slopestyle, Halfpipe and Big Air riders and lead by an interim board until a full board can be installed, as a formal member of TTR and has been given up to 4 seats on the TTR Board of Directors.
“We are motivated to align to unify competitive snowboarding and create one consistent World Series where all the best riders take part”, says three times X Games winner Torstein Horgmo.
IMG and TTR to implement extensive development plan
Global sports and media expert, IMG, with which TTR has had a working relationship with over the last 5 years, will launch a profound partnership in marketing, sponsorship and central TV production/distribution, which will set a steady economic foundation for the flourishing of the World Snowboard Tour.
"This is an outstanding opportunity for the sport to move forward from both a commercial and media standpoint. IMG is committed to investing and growing the World Snowboard Tour in both awareness and exposure on a global scale. We plan to enhance the platform we have built over the past five years and maximise the potential the sport undoubtedly has. We see a very bright future ahead for Snowboarding." Adam Kelly, Head of Business Development, SVP, IMG Media.
Board of TTR Pro Snowboarding strengthened
A new board for TTR Pro Snowboarding was elected, adding 10 new international members, with expertise ranging from event organization, marketing and sponsorship, to nation and rider representation.
Reto Lamm, president of the TTR Pro Snowboarding said "All the attendants were aware that the timeframe after the Olympic Games is ideal for the reformation of the World Snowboard Tour. The energy and consistency with which the concept of the World Snowboard Tour 2.0 was developed, discussed and finally decided without any dissenting votes is overwhelming. TTR is strengthening the ties between the events, riders and nations. Never before have such a solid and unified snowboard environment gotten together to shape the snowboarding future.”
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