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World Event News
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While most ski areas are now closed, high altitude resorts that remain open are offering extra events and activities in a bid to keep busy.
At Kaprun in Austria the second annual Kitzsteinhorn banked slalom will take place on the local glacier on Saturday 2 May 2015. The Kitzsteinhorn is home the three snowboard parks and a highly regarded half pipe.
The contest will be open to all comers with prizes in different competitor categories including Open, Girls, Industry, 40 and over and 15 and under. The overall winner gets a starting spot at the infamous Mt Baker Banked Slalom's 2016.
Registration is free and limited to 150 riders who should sign up by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org Lift passes for the day will be only 10€ for competitors who’ll also get free food and drinks on the hill. Pro riders already confirmed to attend include Terje Haakonsen and Arthur Longo.
After the contest the action will move the the Medieval Castle of Kaprun for a party from 10.30pm to mop up the season with some live music and Austrian refreshments, which again will have free entry to the party.
Shots in the start-gate, legends on the course, and hectic after parties, The Kitzsteinhorn banked slalom looks like a killer day out
A one of a kind castle-themed setup with five massive features had been carefully carved out of 150,000 m3 snow as the playground for the Suzuki Nine Knights 2015 in Livigno, Italy. The invited all-star line up consisted of skiers and snowboarders who arrived from all corners of the globe for the week-long session running from the 5th to 10th of April. Mottolino Fun Mountain saw riders stomp many personal first tricks and making the most out of the immense feature by working together with film-makers and photographers to document the action at the sunset, heli- and night shoots. The mini ramp placed on a snow cube at 12m hight, completed "Il Castello” and saw skaters ride in an unusual setting making for additional stunning visual material.
Sven Thorgren was the first to test the 35m beast of a kicker out of the snowboarders and he kept up the momentum all week claiming the peer voted “Ruler of the week” prize, as well as winning the Big Air contests and, stomping his first frontside triple cork 1440. He was stoked on the week naming the helisession as one of his favourite moments and pointing out fellow Swede Tor Lundström’s achievements “He was sending it, learning a back triple 14 and new frontside 14”. Finn Peetu Piiroinen was the rider who got the loudest “wow” during the hip session flying higher than the 9.5 meter halberd, while the Belgian duo Sebbe de Buck, who claimed the “Best Style”- title, and Seppe Smits mixed it up with fun combos and handplants on the wallride. Halldór Helgason (ISL), did not fail to show one of his trademark methods and also went head to head in the Monster showdown edit with his fs 540 indy vs. Kevin Backström (SWE) fs 720 tailgrab.
Jesper Tjäder (SWE) and Christof Schenk (ITA) claimed a shared “Rulers of the week” title, determined by their peers. Jesper upped the ante from last year’s huge 55m “death gap” with his super technical “Dream Line”, which included an alley oop double flatspin. Christof charged all week, stomping a triple backflip and throwing down a huge flatspin 450 in the hip session. Big Air contest winner Luca Schuler commented; “I think every rider here used the setup in a creative finding new lines, but one of my absolute highlights was Jesper's double backflip over the big axe!” The various shoots saw many perfectly timed simultaneous double backflips and backflip trains, as well as the youngest participant, the14-year old Aspen Spora (USA) stomping a backflip on the huge kicker with ease. Nicky Keefer (USA) took home the “Best Style” always tweaking out his tricks to the max.
The four invited photographers Alex Papis, Markus ‘Fischi’ Fischer, Cyrill Müller, and Christoph Schöch snapped away to take exclusive shots from the week as well as partaking in the photo competition. See all the winning shots on www.nineknights.com
Once again, the Black Yeti proved that the future snowboard pros are just around the corner. During the 2015 Völkl World Rookie Finals the best 107 young riders from all over the world showcased their talent in the latest World Snowboard Tour Slopestyle competition of the season. The young guns had something impressive in their bags of tricks and took care for some solid entertainment in the Ischgl Snowpark with their 3 runs each.
Henna Ikola © Gustav Ohlsson
Male Rookie Mons Røisland from Norway was killing it with a Switch Backside 1260 Mute and a Backside 900 Mute on the first two jumps, and a Cab Boardslide Underflip on the canon rail. He then hit the rails with a Tail 270 out and a Frontside 180 Switch Backside 360 Out. Mons is taking home the title as WSF World Rookie Champion 2015 and a wild card for the Air & Style. With his needless first run, the 18-years-old outdid his team mate Fridtjof Tischendorf (NOR) and Swiss rider Dario Burch who filled the other podium spots in the male Rookie category.
Female WSF World Rookie Champion became Henna Ikola from Finland. In her winning run she laid down a Backside 360 Indy and a Frontside 360 Indy on the kickers followed by a 50-50 Melon out, and a Backside Boardslide and a 50-50 Frontside 180 off on the rails. Rookie girls Hanne Kjøll Eilertsen (NOR) and Elli Pikkujamsa (FIN) came second and third.
In the male Grom category Wendelin Gauger (SUI) grabbed the highest position on the podium. The Swiss ripper landed a Switch Backside 900 Mute on the first kicker just before he stomped a Frontside 720 Mute on the second one and performed a 50-50 Backlip Out and left the jib area with a 50-50 Frontside 360 Out and a Lip Noseslide.
Reira Iwabuchi from Japan showed the best run among the female Grom: Backside 360, Frontside 360 Indy, 50-50 Nosegrab out, 50-50 and a Noseslide to Fakie.
For the UK, Matt McCormick came 21st Raymond Prentice 49th and Fin Bremner 50th in the Rookie Men's category.
Besides the Yeti Trophies, the Rookies and Groms received stoking prizes for a total value of 20,000 Euros: a wild card for one of the next season’s Air & Style events for the Male World Rookie Champion, 2 all-inclusive trips to the 2015 South America Rookie Fest in Chile, a filming session with Pirate Movie Productions, many invitations to 2016 World Rookie Tour stops in Italy and Austria, as well as 2 invitations to the Rookie Photo shooting in Corvatsch. In addition, the riders took home prizes from the 2015 Völkl World Rookie Finals sponsors: Völkl, SP Gadgets, RedBull, Glorify and Ischgl.
The world’s best skiers were joined by elite snowboarders for the first time at the Suzuki Nine Knights Big Air contest in Livigno, Italy on the of 10th of April 2015. With perfect blue bird conditions, the athletes launched themselves off the 11m high jump, flying 35m before landing their tricks, much to the delight the cheering crowd and judges. The gigantic snow castle on Mottolino Fun Mountain saw Sweden's Sven Thorgren take the victory over the other snowboarders, and standing at the top of the all-Swiss ski podium, was 18 year-old Swiss skier Luca Schuler.
Snowboarders went huge during the entire contest, confirming their rightful place in the line-up. Continuing his big air domination from the days before, Swede Sven Thorgren stomped massive technical tricks with style, including a cab 1260 roastbeef shifty shifty, backside rodeo 540 nosegrab, and a frontside triple cork 1440, a personal first. Looking back on his win, Sven was stoked: “It feels so crazy to win today. It was also my first time landing my frontside triple and I’m just super pumped.” In second was fellow Swede, Tor Lundström with Belgian rider Seppe Smits rounding out the podium, who landed a clean Backside Triple 1440 nose grab, a personal first.
Video edits will follow soon, with full highlights from the week, so stay tuned to www.nineknights.com. Next up is the Suzuki Nine Knights MTB on 31st of August to the 5th of September 2015 in Mottolino, Livigno.
Of the many skiers competing, it was a 100% Swiss podium with Luca Schuler, Kai Mahler, and Fabian Bösch taking first, second, and third respectively. Luca’s mastery of big tricks combined with his huge amplitude pushed his score to the top. His tricks included: a triple cork 1080 safety, double cork bio 1260 safety, and a bio 720 Bow & Arrow. Stoked on his performance, Luca explained, “It feels fantastic to win. Last year I was second and this year I’m first, so it really can’t be better. The jump was perfect and I got to try two doubles… man, it was awesome.”
Sven Thorgren (SWE): Frontside Triple Cork 1440 (personal first), Cab 1260 Roastbeef Shifty Shifty, Backside Rodeo 540 Nosegrab
Tor Lundström (SWE): Backside Triple Cork 1440 Mute, Frontside 1440 Mute (personal first day 4), Frontside 360 Stale
Seppe Smits (BEL): Backside Triple 1440 nose (personal first), Cab 1260 mute, Switch Backside 180 Method
Luca Schuler (SUI): Triple cork 1080 safety, Double cork bio 1260 safety, Bio 7 Bow & Arrow
Kai Mahler (SUI): Alley Oop Double Cork 7, Switch right triple cork 1260 safety, Cork 540 blunt
Fabian Bösch (SUI): Triple 1440 safety, switch double cork misty safety, Cork 720 blunt
[Photos: Klaus Polzer / David Malcrida]
The world's best skiers and snowboarders have been absolutely killing it this week on "Il Castello" at the Suzuki Nine Knights on Mottolino Fun Mountain in Livigno, Italy. Of the many tricks we've seen, these two made it into the first Monster Energy #monstershowdown: Halldór's FS 540 Indy and Kevin Backström's FS 720 Tailgrab. Now, all we need to know is, who should take the win?
Be sure to head over to www.nineknights.com for all of the updates!
For the last seven years, Suzuki Nine Knights has provided world’s best skiers and now also snowboarders, an incredible playground to get creative on, and this year is no exception. The infamous "Il Castello" snow castle on Mottolino Fun Mountain, Livigno, Italy includes five distinct features, giving riders more options, more choice, and more opportunities, than ever before.
Simon Gruber © David Malacrida
The first feature includes a beast of a table at 60m wide and 11m high, with five take-offs and three landing options, the biggest kicker measuring 35m from take-off to landing. Further down the line is the hip/Monster Mini-Ramp obstacle with a hip measuring 12m high and 30m long, a 11x11m mini-ramp placed on a 16m high cube of snow, as well as the 12m long GoPro Wallride. On the right line is the Blue Tomato Cannon Rail followed by the O’Neill #unreasonable feature, which allows for riders to speed through a tunnel, launch over the enormous axe, or land a 18m long hip. This line ends with the Völkl Stairset, where riders can play with a double kinked rail or a down rail.
The first few days of the week-long session saw the riders exploring the feature, regardless of the strong winds limiting the opportunities for hitting the biggest kicker. When the winds finally let up, the first to guinea pig was Swedish snowboarder Sven Thorgren, who quickly moved from straight airs to stylish 7s in just a few rounds. For the skiers, fellow Swede Jesper Tjäder started the big kicker trend, nailing a massive 360 after only a couple hits. The other features were shown just as much love, with the riders finding new ways to hit every obstacle, coming up with creative lines. On the tranny of the cannon rail feature, Austrian skier Luggi Brucic threw down a massive rodeo 1080 while snowboarder Halldór Helgason (ISL) stomped a slow and stylish rodeo 540 indy on the same take off. "The course is insane. It’s not kidding around, that’s for sure. Every feature is massive and it’s going to be really sick once we get used to it. I think we’ll definitely see some creative lines and people sending it,” said Halldor.
Jamie Anderson (USA) was one of the athletes landing new tricks including her first cab 1080 during the infamous week of progression at the 2015 Suzuki Nine Queens in Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis, Austria. Locking in a world’s first was also fellow snowboarder Klaudia Medlova (SVK) with her lofty double backside Rodeo 900 mute. Skiers Silvia Bertagna (ITA) and Lisa Zimmermann (GER) pushed the limits once again, with Lisa stomping a Switch Double 1080 Safety, another big claim of a world premiere.
See it from their eyes in this GoPro Highlight video.
Check out these edits from the UK's Jenny Jones and Katie Summerhayes.
The immense snow castle with its three take-offs and skate-ramp on Mottolino Fun Mountain in Livigno, Italy is crawling with shapers and snowcats, who are perfecting every angle of the infamous setup for the Suzuki Nine Knights 2015.
With snowboarders at the event for first time the stacked riders list is now complete with Wild Card winners, who will join the event running from the 5th to the 10th of April at Mottolino Fun Mountain in Livigno, Italy. During the week the skiers and snowboarders will partake in various photo and film shoots exploring the many options of the castle. With four new tricks documented at the Suzuki Nine Queens in Austria a few weeks prior, it remains to be seen what the men will get up to. Friday 10th of April the Big Air Contest will see the knights compete one against another and Wednesday 8th of April will see the Public Night Shoot put on a showdown open for public.
UK freestyle skier Paddy Graham is in the mix this year.
Without a doubt, the Suzuki Nine Queens 2015 in Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis, Austria has made its mark on female freeski and snowboard history, with many personal firsts and some never before landed tricks.
The week-long session ran from 15th to the 20th of March 2015 and featured heli, sunset, and sunrise shoots, as well as the final showdown, the Big Air Contest. During the contest, we saw young German freeskier Lisa Zimmermann take her third consecutive title, while Norwegian style queen Kjersti Ostgaard-Buaas came out on top of the snowboarders.
UK freestyle skier Katie Summerhayes took 4th place. The GoPro moments were separated in Ski and Snowboard, Katie Summerhayes also took home the 2000 dollars with her awesome helmet spinner mount shot, where she started the camera spinning on the run in then rotating her trick in the inverse direction and then landing with the spinner rolling again... it will be out soon!
As the final event of the Freeride World Tour, the Xtreme Verbier is not only a prestigious contest in itself. It also decides the fate of the contenders for the World Champion title of the year. While in the women's skiing category, Eva Walkner (AUT) was untouchable already after the latest stage held in Haines, Alaska less than a week ago, a lot was on the line today in the other categories.
Today's battle for the FWT titles took place on the mythical 3222m (10570 ft) Bec des Rosses, all while celebrating 20 years of Xtreme. The much respected north face that has provided the stage for the Xtreme Verbier for twenty years, showed a new challenging side, being dressed in a lighter snow cover this year.
In the men's snowboard category the battle was very tight and a podium result today was crucial to anybody contending to grab the title. The situation translated directly into what will probably be remembered as one of the most diverse and next-level snowboard freeride event of all times. As if paying tribute to the Bec des Rosses and its greatness and surprises, the riders incessantly showed new interpretations of the face, making for the supreme showcase of what is possible on a snowboard.
Jonathan Charlet (FRA) had the chance of taking over Sammy Luebke (USA) in the overall if he won today's event – provided that the super smooth American rider didn't finish second. Jonathan stepped up to the challenge and delivered a mind-blowing run, perfectly mixing playfulness into his trademark big mountain style of riding, ending it up flying down the apron in what could have been the forerun for wingsuit pilot, Geraldine Fasnacht (SUI).
An incredible score of 91.00 set Jonathan straight to the top. “I'm super stoked! Everything was just great. I realized a run without any pressure – extraordinary! Long live the Argentois,” the new World Champion said with a salute to his hometown.
Jonathan can thank the - as of today - former World Champion, Emilien Badoux (SUI) for taking care of the rest needed to secure the title. Emilien has been out with injury all season, but he showed that he is more than just back in the game. He rode an amazing line where he used the big middle feature below start number 2 as a transfer over to a no-fall zone with a huge triple that no-one else had spotted so far. Stomping 1-2-3 he was completely in sync with her Majesty the 'Bec' earning him 85.75. This put him in front of Sammy who had chosen a third approach. He laid out with the cliff right below start number 1 giving him VIP entrance into the more open patch, finally setting himself up for a very technical finish with two big drops in the fall line earning him a score of 82.75. Good for a 3rd place in this great celebration of 20 years of snowboard on the 'Bec' - yet just 30 ranking points away from the title.
In 5th place was the UK's Sascha Hamm.
Not on the podium but definitely deserving to be mentioned was the absolute veteran (19 out of 20 possible starts on the Bec des Rosses), Steve Klassen (USA). And what a classy rider! Staying right on top of his game for 19 years, taking features of all shapes and sizes all the way to the very bottom of the face like a certain pink rabbit with excellent batteries.
Wildcard and former Olympic Champion, Nicola Thost (GER) showed that she has ridden off any wildcard intimidation and re-found her freedom to flow. She set herself apart today, with a score of 71.00 - 16 points more than number two!
“My plan for today worked out really well. It was a perfect day, and I knew from the beginning that I would have a lot of fun. It was super fun to ride this mountain and I’m absolutely stoked I could take the win,” the winner said afterwards. “The snow conditions were fine, and it’s just awesome to win Verbier. There’s really a positive vibe going on at this event, and this helps a lot to have fun and stay focussed at the same time.“
The battle for the title in the women's snowboard category was between Shannan Yates (USA) and Estelle Balet (SUI).
While Shannan caught up with Estelle in Alaska, Estelle knew how to use her home advantage in Verbier. Opening the contest in the line that Nicola also chose, unfortunately some slough lead her to a minor stop in the flow, but the difficulty of her airs were enough to give her the 2nd place today with a score of 55.00.
Shannan tried to make the difference with a technical line on riders' left which allowed her to keep a good flow but without the same difficulty of features. Enough though to squeeze in on the podium just one quarter of a point ahead of Anne-Flore Marxer (SUI/FRA) with a score of 52.25.
The event in Haines, Alaska was a true show of freeride at its best. It was a nine day wait for the weather to play along but everyone seemed to know that it would be all worth it. The setting was like an Alaskan postcard with fresh powder under a clear blue sky and with a big glacier as a backdrop. Having shown great form all season, Eva Walkner (AUT) had a solid lead in women's skiing coming into the event. With four out of five results counting for the final ranking, and Eva counting one win and 2nd places in all the other events, she can now call herself World Champion no matter how she performs in Verbier. The suspense for the titles in the other categories is still intact as the Freeride World Tour moves into the final event.
The UK's Sascha Hamm was 6th and his point total qualifies him for the Xtreme Verbier.
FWT15 - Run of Sascha Hamm (GBR) Swatch... by FreerideWorldTourTV
The athletes delivered mind-blowing performances, whether fighting to grab the title or simply attempting to qualify for the last stage of the season in Verbier (SUI) on March 28. The conditions on the 740 vertical meters (2300 ft) competition face, The Venue, were close to perfect with knee deep, blower powder covering the characteristic long and impressive spines.
FWT15 - Haines, Alaska Teaser par FreerideWorldTourTV
The men's snowboard category started the contest shortly after 9.15am (AKDT) (6.15pm CET).
First out of the Swatch gate was Sammy Luebke (USA) and he certainly didn't throw away this incredible opportunity to open the new FWT Alaskan venue in style. With his usual smooth riding, he started out with a lot of speed pulling a double in the steepest part of the face. He managed to keep that level of action all the way down the face including a well executed 360 and another big feature. He put his competitors under pressure right away with a whopping score of 90.00, giving him the win in the end. "Everything lined up the way I thought. I'm excited to go to Verbier!" Sammy summed up his day at work.
Flo Orley (AUT) was last to go in the men's snowboard category and he confirmed that he is on fire this season with an all-out, perfectly ridden line including the biggest fly of the day in his category charging out over the rollover leading into the steep bottom section. He took 2nd place scoring 87.00, thus removing the chances of Jonathan Charlet (FRA) to make an early claim at the FWT title at this event.
The 3rd podium place went to Colin Boyd (USA) who was also on track to challenge Sammy until a small loss of control after a 360 took his score one notch down to 82.00.
Cast your vote! Jamie Anderson's front 1080 mute or Klaudia Medlová’s backside double rodeo 900 mute at the Suzuki Nine Queens 2015 at Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis, Austria?
Post #NineQueens then #Monstershowdown #Jamie or #Monstershowdown #Klaudia to tell us who should take home the Monster Energy Showdown!
The long awaited Swatch Freeride World Tour 2015 Alaska stop in Haines has now been confirmed for Thursday March 19th 2015, with first start at 10am (AKDT) (= 7pm CET). Ski men will drop in first, followed by snowboard men category, ski women and snowboard women. The face didn't change from the original choice and the event will happen on "The Venue", a classic Alaskan Heliskiing (AH) run.
Watch it LIVE on www.freerideworldtour.com
Today the mountain guides in charge of the event safety skied the face for a new inspection since the last snowfall. They report a 20 cm (8 inches) fresh layer of Alaskan powder on top of the already firm base. Bluebird conditions are forecasteded for Thursday, so if all the stars align as expected, it will be a dream scenario for this much awaited premiere FWT event in the mecca of freeride.
Eva Walkner (AUT), Estelle Balet (SUI) and Jonathan “Douds” Charlet (FRA) all have the possibility of closing the deal and taking the World Champion title in their respective categories right here, at the second to last stop of the Freeride World Tour. The men's skiing category is still completely open as all the riders will compete for a spot in the FWT finals at the Xtreme Verbier on March 28 2015. The top 12 ski men in the ranking will qualify for the fifth and final stop, as well as the top 6 ski women and snowboard men and top 4 snowboard women (counting the best three of the four possible results).
The face where the battle will take place is the same as was prepared for Tuesday; the 700 vertical meters face (2300 feet) called "The Venue".
With the natural beauty of this typical Alaskan terrain, gorgeous conditions and possible world titles, all ingredients are there for an outstanding event here in Haines, Alaska.
Having recently arrived to the Suzuki Nine Queens castle in Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis in Austria, Jamie Anderson (USA) didn’t waste any time dialling in a new trick, landing a massive frontside 1080 mute during the sunrise shooting session. This GoPro Moment captured the pumped rider who stated, “I landed a decent Front 10 at Breckenridge last week, but wasn’t super stoked on my style. Sessionning Nine Queens at sunrise today was magic, and I felt inspired and fuelled by the pink sky insane mountain backdrop, and the sick castle jump! With the sun peaking at 7am I was down to do the 10! I stomped my second try and was definitely on cloud 9.” With some of the best female skiers and snowboarders riding the huge castle, the scene is set for many more moments of progression. Stay tuned for more edits and join the Public Big Air Day taking place Friday March 20th, 2015.
More info on www.ninequeens.com
Watch it LIVE on www.freerideworldtour.com
This week is the first time the Freeride World Tour stops in Haines, Alaska. The riders have been on hold since Saturday waiting for a snow storm to settle so that the face could be secured. The venue has now been secured by the Seaba Heli and FWT guides and everything is ready. In order to not miss the weather window, a decision has been made to go ahead and hold the contest today.
The start order of the competition is Ski Men, then Snowboard Men, Ski Women and Snowboard Women.
There is the possibility of having a World Champion crowned in three of the four categories already at this stop, so it promises to be extremely exciting.
The name of the face is The Venue and it offers everything you can dream of from an Alaskan event.
Kjersti Ostgaard-Buaas (NOR, snowboard) and Emma Dahlström (SWE, ski) are some of the girls checking out the immense snow castle built on top of the Austrian Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis ski resort for the 5th edition of the Suzuki Nine Queens. The GoPro Course Preview gives you a sneak peak to the action to come this week, and with some of the world’s best female freeskiers and snowboarders here, the action is going to heat up, especially as we head into the public Big Air Contest on Friday 20th of March.
Two days of sunshine and soft snow has enabled the girls to ease into riding the castle, going bigger with every run, nailing back-to-back tricks, and getting more imaginative with the castle as the week goes on, especially now that the winds from earlier this week have calmed.
As Kjersti explains, "There’s so many creative angles, directions, and choices here, and you can really play and explore. That’s what is so exciting."
Head over to ninequeens.com for more information regarding the many rider sessions such as our sunrise/sunset filming or heli-shoot, and for all of the insider info on Friday’s Big Air contest.
The FWT has moved across the Atlantic to Haines, Alaska for the fourth tour stop of 2015. The field has been reduced in all categories leaving only the top 60% for this first-ever FWT event, in what is known as the mecca of freeride. 2015 will surely not only be remembered for the 20th anniversary of the Xtreme Verbier but also for the historic stop in Haines that is about to kick off.
FWT in Haines a reality
It has long been a dream, for organizers and athletes alike, to have an FWT stop in the grandiose terrain around Haines, Alaska. It is now a reality and the battle in the Alaskan mountains will be decisive for the athletes who wish to compete at the 20th edition of the prestigious Xtreme Verbier - the paragon, classical final event of the SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE®. Only the top 16 ski men, top 8 snowboard men, top 8 ski women and top 5 snowboard women based on the first three stops of the FWT 2015 have qualified for this exclusive stage in Haines, and their results in Alaska will determine the field the Verbier.
FWT15 - Haines, Alaska Teaser by FreerideWorldTourTV
“The community is very excited to welcome the Freeride World Tour to Haines,” says Leslie Ross (USA), Haines Tourism Director. “The Freeride World Tour features the best skiers and snowboarders in the world and this will be a historic occasion for the town and surrounding region. We can’t wait to introduce them to our world class skiing and riding and our Alaskan hospitality.”
The UK's Sascha Hamm is one of the riders who have earned their spot at Haines.
This contest not only provides the athletes with a chance to ride the amazing terrain around Haines, which many athletes have already qualified as one of the highlights of the season. It also gives one more result to base the qualification for the Xtreme Verbier on.
The historic event in Haines will be broadcast live just as the other FWT stops on www.freerideworldtour.com. It has been very important to the FWT organizers to provide fans with the opportunity to follow the action real-time, although it is both costly and demanding to set up for live coverage in this extreme and remote location. As always, weather plays an important role and since it can be particularly tricky on this latitude, a nine-day ‘weather window' has been assigned with the expected competition date being March 14. Staying up to date on any changes in schedule has never been easier though, with a brand new FWT app with push notifications now being available in the different app stores.
As for the snow conditions it looks promising. Freeride World Tour Americas Manager Tom Winter (USA) reports that: “According to the Haines Avalanche Information Center, we are returning to an onshore flow and snow and colder weather is expected into next week. This will help prime the venue for the athletes and I can’t wait to see them turned loose in Alaska.”
Xtreme Verbier 20th anniversary
There is no doubt that the SWATCH XTREME VERBIER 2015 BY THE NORTH FACE® will be the freeride event of the decade. Freeride VIPs, legends and faithful fans will be on the spectator friendly venue at the Gentianes to watch and celebrate as the qualified top FWT riders and special 20th anniversary wildcards will be leaving their tracks on the Bec des Rosses.
For FWT riders to qualify for the Xtreme Verbier the criteria is: top 12 for ski men, top 6 for snowboard men and ski women and top 4 for snowboard women, counting 3 of 4 results on the FWT 2015, allowing for one throw-away.
Among the wildcards is Swedish alpine slalom racer, Mattias Hargin (SWE) who has a special relationship to Xtreme Verbier as both of his sisters, Janette Hargin (SWE) (winner 2011) and Christine Hargin (SWE) (winner 2012) as well as his girlfriend Matilda Rapaport (SWE) (winner 2013) have mastered the descent of the Bec des Rosses. Mattias compares the renowned competition face with the mythical downhill run in Kitzbühel: “Bec De Rosses is freeriding's equivalent to the Hahnenkamm and hence is a contest venue out of the ordinary. I've never raced the Hahnenkamm but will now take on Bec de Rosses, which is one of my biggest challenges so far as I have to push boundaries for myself as a skier. It is far beyond my comfort zone but I very much look forward to the challenge!"
The most decorated downhiller in the history of US skiing, Daron Rahlves (USA) will also be taking the start on the Bec. His talents go way beyond alpine racing and he counts titles in both jet ski and ski cross before and after his ski racing career. He is also no stranger to big mountain skiing as he has received the Powder Video Award for the "Best Line" in 2010.
As for the Bec legends, Steve Klassen (USA), Aurelien Ducroz (FRA) and Xavier de Le Rue (FRA) have all accepted to make a special FWT comeback for this anniversary edition. For FWT General Manager, Nicolas Hale-Woods (SUI) celebrating the history is important - also for the future: “Steve Klassen, Gilles Voirol and Jérôme Ruby were the pioneers on Bec des Rosses. Their legacy is honored by today’s Champions. But most important is the next generation, with hundreds of Juniors making their way to ultimately, one day, stand in the starting gate facing Gentianes. The magic of Xtreme Verbier lies in the excitement, which is equally strong, every year.”
The UK's top two female snowboarders Jenny Jones and Aimee Fuller will be hitting this thing of beauty in a few days time. They'll be joined by notables such as Anna Gasser, Christy Prior and Jamie Anderson.
Kelly Clark (USA) and Taku Hiraoka (JPN) earned the winning halfpipe titles today at the 33rd Annual Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships presented by MINI. Both riders are taking home $45,000 each and ending their competitive snowboard season on top, with Kelly Clark’s win today making for a record eight first place US Open halfpipe titles. Taku Hiraoka’s win continues the theme of Japanese domination of the men’s divisions at the 2015 US Open following Yuki Kadono’s historic slopestyle win yesterday.
The final day of competition took place under sunny skies in front of a packed crowd surrounding the 22-foot halfpipe at Vail Mountain. The women’s event was a battle of 1080s between Kelly Clark and Chloe Kim. In the end, Kelly Clark took her record eighth Burton US Open halfpipe title landing a huge frontside air, backside 540 mute, frontside 1080 indy, Cab 720 mute, crippler stalefish, finishing with a method air for a score of 91.
Chloe Kim added a brand new super stylish frontside 1080 tailgrab to her run landing it for the first time in competition for a second place finish of 88.74. Arielle Gold took third place with a score of 83.87 and a great effort at putting down a frontside 1080 stalefish on her third run.
Clark said, “Today I saw these girls doing tens, and I was like, yes, that's what I was waiting for! It's about the progression of women's snowboarding. I was proud and I was excited, I was also pretty overwhelmed getting to stand on the podium for the eighth time at the Open—it's a big deal for me. I'm so grateful to still be a part of snowboarding and I know women's snowboarding will be in good hands whenever these girls take over.”
Kim learned her frontside 1080 last week, she said, “The first time I tried it was at Mammoth Mountain, my 9s were feeling really good, and I was like, I could go 10 pretty easily right now, so I sent it and it came around really easily for me.” Kim strategically waited until the finals to unveil her new trick, surprising competitors and wowing the crowd.
The men’s finals featured a super competitive field with the podium ultimately decided on the final runs. For Taku Hiraoka, today’s US Open title marks the biggest win of his career, with past results that include silver at the 2014 US Open and the 2014 X Games, as well as a 2014 Olympic bronze medal. He set the high score of 90.99 on his second run with a frontside 540 indy, to a backside 900 mute, frontside double cork 1080 stalefish, Cab double cork 1080 mute, ending with a lofty frontside 1260 tail grab.
Hiraoka said, “I’ve been idolizing this contest since I was little, so being a winner here is really special for me. The US Open has the biggest crowd of all the contests I enter, and it motivates me a lot.”
Arthur Longo also rode hard throughout the three run finals with huge amplitude and style, putting down his second place score of 84.99 on his last run. Longo said, “This is a run I’ve never done before in practice or in competition, so it felt so good.” Longo progressed his run throughout the finals, which culminated with a stomped Switch Alley Oop Double Rodeo 900 Melon on his last hit. Ayumu Hirano came in a close third with a score of 84.75.
In addition to the halfpipe awards today, Burton is proud to partner with Clif Bar & Company to present the Clif ‘Raise the’ Bar Award rewarding creativity and style by spotlighting the best throwback trick in the halfpipe. The award will be presented to Chloe Kim and Danny Davis, both laying down a classic McTwist in their halfpipe runs. Both riders will take home $2,500 each.
Today’s halfpipe finals also determined the World Snowboard Tour Pro Series champions with Kelly Clark and Ayumu Hirano taking home the halfpipe titles.
Women's Halfpipe Finals Results
1. Kelly Clark, BURTON, 91.00
2. Chloe Kim, BURTON, 88.74
3. Arielle Gold, RED BULL, 83.87
4. Xuetong Cai, NIKE, 71.00
5. Hikaru Oe, BURTON, 62.62
6. Queralt Castellet, YONEX, 52.50
Men's Halfipe Finals Results
1. Taku Hiraoka, BURTON, 90.99
2. Arthur Longo, VOLCOM, 84.99
3. Ayumu Hirano, NIKE, 84.75
4. Jan Scherrer, NIKE, 78.62
5. Iouri Podladtchikov, MONSTER, 73.25
6. Christian Haller, BURTON, 67.87
7. Danny Davis, BURTON, 62.12
8. Taylor Gold, MONSTER, 61.12
9. Ben Ferguson, BURTON, 49.12
10. David Habluetzel, BURTON, 24.87
Ben Ferguson - swallowtail!
Jamie Anderson and Mark McMorris take home the Pro Series Slopestyle Champion titles; while Jamie Anderson was able to defend her Burton US Open win, Yuki Kadono claims his first ever US Open victory.
Check this little head-to-head edit featuring back-to-back triple cork 1440's from Mark McMorris vs back-to-back triple cork 1620s from Yuki Kadono.
Mark’s tricks had only been done once or twice in his career, Yuki’s were both pulled for the first time ever.
The level of competitive freestyle snowboarding just took a quantum leap!
Full report on RedBull.com
Slopestyle finals at the Burton US Open in Vail, Colorado, wrapped up the first ever World Snowboard Tour Pro Series today, with Jamie Anderson and Mark McMorris taking home the Slopestyle Champion titles. After a second place at the Burton European Open in Laax, Switzerland, Jamie Anderson stepped it up, winning today’s finals and taking home the Women’s Pro Series Slopestyle title. Mark McMorris having already claimed a second place at the Burton European Open, took out second spot in the men’s final round today, securing himself the first ever Men’s Pro Series Slopestyle Champion title. Yuki Kadono took home the top spot of the Burton US Open presented by MINI, after a history making last run including back-to-back Triple Cork 1620s.
With some of the worlds best riders attending, the 33rd Burton US Open presented by MINI kicked off with women’s Slopestyle semi-finals earlier this week, determining the top six girls for finals. The Men’s semi-finals were postponed due to bad weather and went down today, with the top ten moving up to finals. As the third and last event on the World Snowboard Tour Pro Series, the Burton US Open crowned the first ever Pro Series Slopestyle Champion titles, determined by the rider’s best two results out of three events. The Burton European Open presented by MINI in Laax, Switzerland, the Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain, California and the Burton US Open presented by MINI in Vail, Colorado; three of the most prestigious events on the planet.
History was made when Yuki Kadono (JPN) dropped in his last run throwing down a trick fest of Switch Backside 270 on 270 out, Lipslide to Fakie, Half Cab on Backside 360 out, Frontside Double Cork 1080 Mute, Backside Triple Cork 1620 Mute and a Switch Backside Triple Cork 1620 Melon. A run he had never tried before scoring a 90.05. Mark McMorris (CAN) landed a solid run including back-to-back Triple Cork 1440s putting him just behind Yuki. Young gun Tyler Nicholson (CAN) rounds it out in third place, with his first ever Burton US Open podium. Due to today’s second place and his performance at the Burton European Open in January, Mark McMorris worked his way up the WST Pro Series ranking, securing him the first ever men’s Pro Series Slopestyle Champion title.
“In the beginning of the year I don’t aim to win a certain title, I try to win every event I enter. Winning an award like this at the end of the season is definitely the icing on the cake.” – Mark McMorris, Slopestyle Pro Series Champion 2015.
The ladies were battling it out for both the top spots of the event as well as the Pro Series Champion title. In the end Jamie Anderson (USA) was able to put down a clean run with a Cab 270 to Tailslide, Switch Boardslide to Regular, Boardslide 270 out, Backside 540, Cab 720 Nose Grab and a Switch Backside 540, getting a high score of 90.95 and securing herself her fifth US Open victory. That combined with her second place at the Burton European Open in Laax, Switzerland, landed her the first ever female Pro Series Slopestyle Champion title. Anna Gasser (AUT), attempting a Cab 900 in her last run, threw down a strong performance landing in second, Spencer O’Brien (CAN) locking in a Backside 900 Melon laid claim to third place.
“I’m so incredibly stoked to be the first ever World Snowboard Tour Pro Series Champion.” – Jamie Anderson, Slopestyle Pro Series Champion 2015
Enni Rukajarvi (semi-finals)
Women's Slopestyle Finals Results
1. Jamie Anderson, OAKLEY, 90.95
2. Anna Gasser, RED BULL, 82.55
3. Spencer O’Brien, NIKE, 82.05
Men's Slopesyle Finals Results
1. Yuki Kadono, RIDE, 90.05
2. Mark McMorris, BURTON, 87.80
3. Tyler Nicholson, ROCKSTAR, 77.20
4. Sven Thorgren, OAKLEY, 76.80
5. Niklas Mattsson, ROME, 75.30
6. Eric Beauchemin, US SNOWBOARDING, 71.70
The World Snowboard Tour Pro Series award ceremony will be held tomorrow, Saturday March 7th, 2015, when the Pro Series Halfpipe Champions for both male and female categories will be announced as well.
While the Pro Series 2014/15 is a wrap, the World Snowboard Tour continues on with the International, National and Regional Level events, all of which can be found on www.worldsnowboardtour.com/wst-calendar
[Photos: Blatt / Patterson]
Blue skies greeted competitors and fans on day two of the 33rd annual Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships presented by MINI. The halfpipe semi-finals featured a stacked field of 16 women and 30 men competing in Vail Mountain’s 22-foot superpipe during a full day of heated competition. Chloe Kim (USA) and Ben Ferguson (USA) put down the highest scores of the day to lead the pack of six women and 10 men advancing for a chance at the Burton US Open halfpipe title.
Fourteen-year-old 2015 X Games Gold medallist Chloe Kim (USA) came prepared with a technical bag of tricks and precision control, putting down the two highest-scoring runs of the day in the women’s field. Kim upped her first score of 87.25 with a final run score of 87.62. Her winning run consisted of a lofty Method, into a frontside 900 tail grab, McTwist indy grab, frontside inverted 720 indy, into a Cab 720 melon grab, ending with a huge frontside lien air.
Kim said, “The pipe was really good, so I knew I could go bigger on my second run. I wanted to do the same run, but just drop in faster.”
Kelly Clark (USA) landed solidly in second place, followed by Arielle Gold (USA) in third.
Men’s halfpstyle semis followed with a loaded field of 30 talented competitors. 2014 Peace Park MVP Ben Ferguson (USA) took the lead early and held it throughout the competition riding with massive amplitude and creative style. His winning run started off with a huge frontside 720 Japan, into a Cab double cork 1080 mute, double crippler indy, backside 900 mute, ending with a frontside double cork 1080 melon grab for a score of 89.24.
Ferguson said, “I just wanted to land my run—I was super nervous, I just wanted to put something down and it worked out.”
The battle for the 2015 Burton US Open halfpipe title and the $45,000 men’s and women’s first place cash purse continues on Saturday, March 7th beginning at 11:00am MST on Burton.com/USO and 2:00pm MST on FOX Sports 2.
Women's Halfpipe Semi-Final Results
1. Chloe Kim, BURTON, 87.62
2. Kelly Clark, BURTON, 84.75
3. Arielle Gold, RED BULL, 73.87
4. Queralt Castellet, YONEX, 72.75
5. Xuetong Cai, NIKE, 72.12
6. Hikaru Oe, BURTON, 71.00
Men's Halfpipe Semi-Final Results
1. Ben Ferguson, BURTON, 89.24
2. Taylor Gold, MONSTER, 87.00
3. Arthur Longo, VOLCOM, 84.25
4. Jan Scherrer, NIKE, 81.75
5. Iouri Podladtchikov, MONSTER, 81.62
6. Taku Hiraoka, BURTON, 80.87
7. Danny Davis, BURTON, 78.49
8. Ayumu Hirano, NIKE, 77.50
9. David Habluetzel, BURTON, 76.87
10. Christian Haller, BURTON, 75.37
Tonight, come watch the US Open Broomball Tournament finals starting at 4:30pm MST at Solaris Ice Rink, an exciting community event featuring top teams battling it out on the ice. Spectators will be treated to fun intermission activities and can step into a free, hockey themed photo booth for a memorable keepsake. Pacifico will be on hand for the 21 and over crowd.
Join us tomorrow, Friday, March 6th for women’s slopestyle finals and men’s semi-finals and finals starting at 8:50am MST at Vail Mountain with live coverage at Burton.com/USO and on Fox Sports 2.
The 33rd Annual Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships presented by MINI kicked off today at Vail Mountain with women’s slopestyle semi-finals. Men’s slopestyle, originally scheduled to follow women’s, was unfortunately cancelled due to an incoming weather system that brought in strong winds and snow.
Jamie Anderson © Blatt
With fair weather kicking off the morning, 14 women dropped into the freshly groomed slopestyle course, which consisted of three creative rail features and three massive jumps. 2014 US Open slopestyle winner Jamie Anderson (USA) effortlessly landed in first place on her first qualifying run, starting with a half Cab to 50-50 backside 180 out, to a switch boardslide to regular, into a tailslide 270 out on the upper rail section. Anderson pulled a huge backside 180 off the first jump, into a Cab 540 Mute, finishing with a frontside 720 Mute earning a score of 84.90.
Anderson described the course as “super creative and flowy” and said, “I was really stoked on riding today and just having fun.”
Cheryl Maas (NED) took second place on her solid second qualifying run, followed by Spencer O’Brien (CAN) in third. Today’s top six women move on to Friday's women’s slopestyle finals starting at 8:50am MST.
The UK's Aimee Fuller did not start the event. She posted a picture of her kit on Facebook and said "Sometimes things happen for a reason. Hurt my foot 2 weeks ago, so missed out on Park City GP. Arrive in Vail stoked to ride the US Open, come down with a stomach bug, been in bed 36 hours and not eaten 😐 good luck to all the ladies out there today. SEND IT! Gutted to be missing this one."
With the men’s slopestyle semi-finals cancelled today due to weather, all 31 registered men’s slopestyle riders, including Mark McMorris (CAN), Stale Sandbech (NOR) and Maxence Parrot (CAN) will now compete in the rescheduled men’s semi-finals on Friday starting at 11:00am MST, with the live webcast on Burton.com/USO beginning at 10:40am MST. The best of two qualifying runs will determine which 10 riders will progress. Men’s slopestyle finals will start at 2:00pm MST to determine the 2015 US Open slopestyle champion. There are no UK men riding.
Women's Slopestyle Semi-Final Results
1. Jamie Anderson (USA), OAKLEY 84.90
2. Cheryl Maas (NED), ROCKSTAR, 76.80
3. Spencer O’Brien (CAN), NIKE, 74.95
4. Anna Gasser (AUT), BURTON, 71.75
5. Sina Candrian (SUI), LAAX, 67.80
6. Enni Rukajärvi (FIN), BURTON, 61.20
Tonight, watch the first US Open Broomball Tournament at the Solaris Ice Rink from 4:30–7:00pm MST, followed by good times at the US Open Kickoff Party with Andy Thorn & Friends on the Solaris Concert Stage from 7:00–8:30pm MST.
Tomorrow, Thursday, March 5th, don't miss day two of the Burton US Open with halfpipe semi-finals starting at 10:00am MST, with live coverage on Burton.com/USO. Attendees are invited to check out the Sponsor Village in Golden Peak to enjoy free product sampling, demos and giveaways as well as Après All Day events throughout Vail Village and much more!
The 33rd annual Burton US Open presented by MINI announces a packed webcast schedule that will feature four days of webcasts on www.burton.com/USO allowing fans all over the world to watch the action from top pro snowboarders like Mark McMorris, Stale Sandbech, Jamie Anderson, Danny Davis, Kelly Clark, Chloe Kim, Ayumu Hirano and more.
Complete coverage will stream live online at www.burton.com/USO beginning on Wednesday, March 4th and will feature the battle through men’s and women’s halfpipe and slopestyle semi-finals, as well as the world-class slopestyle finals followed by the epic final halfpipe runs. During the US Open webcast, viewers will be entertained by three different commentators, including Snowboarder Magazine Editor Tom Monterroso, veteran snowboarding host for the BBC, Tim Warwood, and pro rider Jack Mitrani.
Complete 2015 Burton US Open Programming Schedule in Global Time Zones*
*Times are subject to change.
Wednesday, March 4th – Men’s and Women’s Slopestyle Semi-Finals on www.Burton.com/USO:
9:45am – 3:15pm MST
11:45am – 5:15pm EST
5:45pm – 11:15pm CET (Central Europe)
1:45am – 7:15am JST (March 5th)
Thursday, March 5th – Men’s and Women’s Halfpipe Semi-Finals on www.Burton.com/USO:
9:45am – 3:15pm MST
11:45am – 5:15pm EST
5:45pm – 11:15pm CET
1:45am – 7:15am JST (March 6th)
Friday, March 6th – Women’s Slopestyle Finals on www.Burton.com/USO:
11:00am - 12:35pm MST
1:00pm - 2:35pm EST
7:00pm - 8:35pm CET
3:00am - 4:35am JST (March 7th)
Friday, March 6th – Men’s Slopestyle Finals on www.Burton.com/USO:
1:45pm - 4:05pm MST
3:45pm - 6:05pm EST
9:45pm - 12:05am CET
5:45am - 8:05am JST (March 7th)
Saturday, March 7th – Women’s Halfpipe Finals on www.Burton.com/USO:
11:00am – 12:35pm MST
1:00pm – 2:35pm EST
7:00pm – 8:35pm CET
3:00am – 4:35pm JST (March 8th)
Saturday, March 7th – Men’s Halfpipe Finals on www.Burton.com/USO:
1:45pm – 4:05pm MST
3:45pm – 6:05pm EST
9:45pm – 12:05am CET
5:45am – 8:05am JST (March 8th)
For additional details on all things US Open, including a full list of invited riders, concerts, product demos, and the history of the longest-running snowboard event in the world, head to www.Burton.com/USO. You’ll also find highlights of winning runs, full webcast replays, contest recaps and more. Follow and tweet along using #BurtonUSOpen.
Bringing together snowboarders and freeskiers for the Suzuki Nine Knights 2015 is an exciting development making the riders list double as interesting. The infamous “Il Castello” snowcastle on Mottolino Fun Mountain, in Livigno, Italy, will this year also include the unusual element of a skate ramp, stepping up the innovation at the supersession running from the 5th to the 10th of April 2015. As usual, for aspiring knights there are still a few wild cards on offer through the “Wanna be a Knight?” online video competition, as well as, via the slopestyle qualifier event held in Mottolino Snowpark. The day not to miss is the public Big Air contest held on Friday the 10th of April.
The provisional list of snowboarders includes Kevin Backström, Marius Bakken, Sebbe de Buck, Halldor Helgason, Keita Inamura, Sage Kotsenburg, Tor Lundström, Ethan Morgan, Maxence Parrot, Seppe Smits, Sven Thorgren and Sebastien Toutant.
Whilst there's no British snowboarders on the provisional list, James Woods and Paddy Graham are on the ski list.
Seppe Smits 2014 © Klaus Polzer
With five take-offs leading into three landings the main jump of the life size “Il Castello” is set to provide ample opportunity for creativity and progression. The lower section boasts a multifaceted “snow & skate” obstacle, which combines a skate-ramp, wall rides and a hip, offering up the possibility for skiers, snowboarders and skateboarders to ride it at the same time. A handful of skaters will join the session to make for an action packed Suzuki Nine Knights 2015. The skaters will be announced soon along with the 3D designs.
Two ways to grab an invitation to the Suzuki Nine Knights?
Engraving your name on the coveted riders list is still possible. The “Wanna be a Knight?” online video contest is dishing out a few spots, so send in a short video before the submission deadline on the 23rd of March 2015. The rules can be found on www.nineknightssnow.com where you will also see all the entries. There second way to qualify is through the slopestyle competition held on the 28th of March 2015 in the Mottolino Snowpark in Livigno. This event is open to everyone, to participate sign up on www.mottolino.com/en/blog/take-part-into-suzuki-nine-knights-2015
Cheryl Maas (NED) and Eric Willett (USA) have clinched the slopestyle World Cup event of the Sprint US Grand Prix tour, which was staged yesterday at Park City Mountain Resort, Utah. The Dutch veteran who had entered the finals of the top-6 ladies as second best qualifier celebrated a three-peat keeping the momentum from her two wins at Stoneham last weekend.
Earning 87.75 in her first of three runs on a three rails, two kickers course with a boardslide to fakie, switch gap to boardslide, 50-50 to backside 180 out, switch backside 540 nose and backside 720 tail, Maas relegated Karly Shorr (USA, 81.00) and reigning big air world champion Elena Koenz (SUI, 79.75) to the second and third rank.
In the men's final of the top-10, Willett clinched his career's first with 95.25 in his third run consisting of a frontside 180 to cab 360 out off the down flat, cab 270 to regular, boardslide 270 out, frontside 1260 mute and a switch backside 1080 double cork to finish things off.
The 27-years-old led a US podium sweep with Charles Guldemond (92.50) and Eric Beauchemin (87.50) rounding out this season's second slopestyle World Cup podium as second and third.
The FIS Snowboard Freestyle World Cup tour continues Sunday, March 1st, with a halfpipe World Cup event at Park City, UT. Finals are scheduled for 1 PM MST (9 PM CET).
For the UK Rowan Coultas was 13th and Jamie Nicholls was 19th.
[Photos: Sarah Brunson]
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