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World Event News
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The Monster Energy Shred Show continued yesterday under bluebird skies at the World Ski & Snowboard Festival with the snowboard Slopestyle in the Nintendo Terrain Park on Blackcomb Mountain. In the best of three run format it was Kyle Mack who took the top spot on the podium, Sebastien Toutant in a close second, and Matts Kulisek rounding out the podium in third.
The Shred Show Slopestyle is a 5 Star invitational event on the World Snowboard Tour drawing some of the top snowboard athletes from around the globe. Kyle Mack (USA) landed his second podium of the Shred Show after a second place in the Big Air on Saturday night. Mack’s picture perfect first run, including a 50/50 pole jam frontside 180 to switch 50/50 to switch 180 out, backside lipslide, frontside 360 tail grab nose tap, frontside 900 tail grab, switch backside 1260, and a backside double cork 1080 japan grab, resulted in a score of 86.50, keeping him in the lead for the rest of the competition and earning him the $15,000 grand prize.
Canadian Sebastien Toutant pulled out his best in his third and final slopestyle run for a score of 85.22 earning him second place and $6,000 in prize money. Toutant’s run included a backside lipslide, frontside boardslide down the kink to fakie, cab 360 boardslide, cab double cork 1260, frontside 1080, to a backside double cork 1080.
Finally, Canadian Matts Kulisek rounded out the podium in third place with a score of 82.33, earning him $4,000 in prize money. Kulisek’s run consisted of a frontside tailslide 270 out, gap to backside lipslide, frontside 540 nose tap, cab 1080, switch backside 900 late cork, to a frontside 1260.
Complete results from the Monster Energy Shred Show can be found online at: www.worldsnowboardtour.com
Photo Credit: Patrick Hui
The Monster Energy Shred Show kicked off the sporting events at the World Ski & Snowboard Festival last night with the snowboard Big Air in front of a huge, energetic crowd at the base of Whistler Mountain. Max Eberhardt (CAN) was able to start the Shred Show off on the right foot taking first place followed by Kyle Mack (USA) in a close second, and Justin Morgan (USA) in third.
The Shred Show Big Air is a five star invitational event on the World Snowboard Tour and attracted some of the top big air athletes this year. All 24 riders dug deep into their bag of tricks, impressing the crowd over the 70 foot jump with 10 moving through to the Super Final. Throwing down a perfect backside triple cork 1440 mute grab on his second hit for a score of 95.33, Eberhardt was able to hang on to first place to take home $15,000. With a score of 93.55, Kyle Mack’s also pulled out the backside triple cork 1440 mute grab, putting him in second place to earn $6,000. Justin Morgan took third place and $4,000 in prize money with his stylish switch backside double cork 1260 stalefish grab and a score of 92.00.
The Monster Energy Shred Show continues on Sunday with the Slopestyle, also a five star invitational on the World Snowboard Tour, and on Monday with the Boarderstyle event. Both events will run in the Nintendo Terrain Park at Whistler Blackcomb.
For complete results from the Shred Show please visit: www.wssf.com/event/shred-show
Photo Credit: Michael Overbeck
An article on NBC Sports has suggested slopestyle could be dropped from the Winter Olympic line-up because the injury rates are unacceptable.
Might slopestyle’s first Olympics have been its last?
Ski and snowboard slopestyle have “the potential” to be dropped from the Olympics if they don’t lessen “unacceptably high” injury rates, said an International Olympic Committee official who monitors Olympian injuries.
“Right now the injury rate as it was in Sochi was too high to be a sport that we have in the Olympics,” said Lars Engebretsen, head of scientific activities at the IOC’s medical and scientific department, according to The Associated Press.
Engebretsen said ski and snowboard slopestyle injury rates were “much higher than any other sport in Sochi.”
Shaun White pulled out of snowboard slopestyle one day before the competition, citing injury risk. Another medal threat, Norway’s Torstein Horgmo, broke a collarbone in a training crash in Sochi and withdrew. Canadian favorite Mark McMorris suffered a broken rib at the Winter X Games on Jan. 25 and won bronze in Sochi behind American Sage Kotsenburg.
“I can say what I feel: That sport should change, otherwise we shouldn’t have it. But the IOC may not follow that,” Engebretsen told the AP in Monaco, calling slopestyle “problematic.” “Something has to be done with that sport.”
Another new Olympic sport, ski halfpipe, had seen more major injuries among its elite competitors in the months and years leading into the Olympics, but Engebretsen focused on slopestyle.
“Slopestyle is exciting,” Engebretsen told the AP. “But it’s just become, right now anyway, too exciting.”
The final day of the 2014 VÖLKL WORLD ROOKIE FINALS (WST 3 star) proved that the future of snowboarding is in good hands. The world’s best young snowboarders presented an amazing show at the snowpark Ischgl showcasing an impressive level of riding. For the first time in the history of the tour, the title of the World Rookie Champion is going to Japan conquered by Keita Inamura.
We were on our way back from the Brits when we heard from Hamish McKnight that unless the judges had got it horribly wrong, Katie Ormerod had just won the World Rookie Tour finals. And so it was, 16 year old Katie from Great Britain topped the podium in first as best Rookie girl.
The contest format was judged in an overall impression – the best of three runs counts for the final ranking.
Katie Ormerod (GBR) grabbed the female World Rookie Champion title impressing with a Cab 180 Indy and a cool Backside 720 Mute on the first two jumps followed by a 50-50 to Boardslide, another 50-50, a super stylish Frontside Boardslide before closing off with a Nose Bonk on the pinkball.
The UK's Rowan Coultas finished in 5th overall in the Rookie Boys, so some great results for UK snowboarding.
Katie Ormerod © Gustav Ohlsson
More photos on Facebook.
Keita Inamura (JPN) ended up as the best rider of the day killing it with a massive ride that would have placed well in an adult high class comp. The 17-years old shredhead went all out in his third run performing a Backside 1260 Melon and a Switch Backside 1260 Melon on the kickers, entering the jib-area with a Lip to Front Boardslide Gap 50-50 followed by a 50-50 Frontside 360 out and a Backside 360 on the pinkball - a solid basis for the young rider who received a wild card to the first edition of the Air & Style 2014/15.
The Japanese wings were flying high this year: on the Groms’ front it was Kaito Hamada (JPN) who took home the title of the best Grom with a huge run that would have placed him at fourth position in the Rookie category: Cab 900 Melon, Backside 900 Melon, Cab Hardway in Gap to Boardslide followed by a Front Boardslide 270 out and leaving the jib-area with a Bonk 720 on the pinkball.
Best Grom girl is Elli Pikkujamsa (FIN) who showed a Cab 540 Tail Grab and a Backside 360 Indy in the jumps, a 50-50 Ollie Tailbonk out, then a 50-50 Frontboardslide followed by a 50-50 Frontside 180 out and a Half Cab on the pinkball.
The Rookies and Groms took home prizes for an overall value of 20.000 US Dollar: 2 all-inclusive trips to the 2014 South America Rookie Fest in Chile, a wildcard to the first edition of next season’s Air & Style, a filming session with Pirate Movie Productions, an Onboard photo-shooting, the Golden Ticket to all World Rookie Tour stops 2014/15, a couple of invitations to the 2014 World Rookie Tour events in Livigno, Monte Bondone and Ischgl, and many other prizes by the sponsors of the event - Völkl , Red Bull, Ischgl, Blue-Tomato, Pieps and Kopfarbeit.
There are many reasons to celebrate the weeklong Suzuki Nine Queens presented by O'Neill that took place in Livigno, Italy.
We already know that the UK's Jenny Jones came 3rd for example.
In addition to the big air contest winners, the peer-voted awards determined the “Best Overall” skier and snowboarder, as well as, who had the "Best Style” and the "Best GoPro Shot”. An integral part of the event concept has always been the photo contest and this year saw the spotlight aimed at the people behind the lenses once again. The success of bringing together the ski and snowboard female pro’s for the first time shows in this amazing highlight edit.
The “Best GoPro Shot” saw a collection of insane shots. Two rippers who were set on nailing the shot were skiers Grete Eliassen and the UK's Katie Summerhayes, who used all the skills they learned in the GoPro workshop at the start of the week. The ambitious camera toss from Greta to Katie while on the GoPro axe box impressed fellow riders. The girls got 2000$ from GoPro!
Also, check out the photo contest results from Nine Queens, which saw this cracker of the UK's Jenny Jones from photographer Eleonora Raggi.
www.ninequeens.com and www.facebook.com/ninequeens
Taking place at Keystone Resort April 5th will be Community Cup 2014 (CC14), www.community-cup.com, presented by Volvo. CC14, a women’s snowboard and sustainability-focused zero-waste event, will be comprised of (30) professional snowboard athletes from around the globe, including fifteen 2014 Sochi Olympians competing in Slopestyle and Big Air for a prize purse of $25,000. A sustainable Community Village, celebrating through art and music and helping to bring more awareness to big dreams and small footprints, will also be a part of the event. Rounding out the afternoon will feature music by bands, Paperbird out of Denver, and Boulder’s own crooner Jeff Brinkman hosted on the Clean Water Tour stage. A fundraising organic lemonade stand –non-alcoholic and options to ‘spike’ are compliments of Breckenridge Distillery along with a beer tent offering responsibly brewed local beer with proceeds going to High Country Conservation for the 2014 Greenhouse at Colorado Mountain Project installation College facility in Breckenridge.
Chanelle Sladics, a former pro snowboarder herself, derived and created the event. “I just didn’t see any events out there that truly recognized and moved women’s snowboarding in the most progressive manner possible,” says Sladics. “The creation of the judging promises to showcase women’s talents far beyond what normal events demonstrate and athletes will be able to manifest their talent and execute their best tricks at this event!”
As the only event in the world recognized as a 5 Star women’s snowboarding event, Community Cup 2014 presented by Volvo, will feature pro snowboarders Olympic gold medalist Jamie Anderson, along with Great Britain’s bronze medalist Jenny Jones, and fellow Olympian contenders Kjersti Buass, Sarka Pancochova, Silje Norendal, Cheryl Maas, Christy Prior, Anna Gasser, to name a few. Athletes will be able to bring their semi-final scores into the finals and build off that score –with three additional runs for optimal progression. The event takes place at Keystone Resort in A51 Terrain Park starting on Saturday at 10am.
Gregor Hembrough, Vice-President of Volvo Western Region states, “Volvo Cars of North America is proud to sponsor the Community Cup 2014, joining with its organizers who share our core values of sustainability and eco-friendly practices. Volvo continues its focus on environmental sustainability through our new Drive-E Engine family, by lowering emissions and
providing both class leading Fuel Economy and Power for a superior driving experience, this event is truly a great fit for us.”
Community Cup 2014 will showcase professional athletes and Olympians competing in a friendly, progressive atmosphere. The whole event is executing a sustainable approach to food, water, reusables, festivities, recycling and utilizing recycling/organic materials in all Community Cup-specific banners and competitors’ bibs.
Sponsors of the Community Cup 2014 include Volvo, Keystone Resort, Go Pro, Kicker Audio, Clean Water Tour, Goal Zero, Kleen Kanteen, Transworld Snowboarding, GNU, Simply Straws, Breckenridge Distillery, Atayne, Monocera, Keystone Hospitality, and Aosa Printing. Community Cup has aligned with the following non-profits: B Corporation, Colorado Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute, Protect our Winters, 1:1 Movement and High Country Conservation.
For event schedule and more information go to: www.community-cup.com.
For World Snowboard Tour Event Profile go to: http://www.worldsnowboardtour.com/events/community-cup-2014/
For daily event action go to Transworld Snowboarding: twsnow.com/communitycup.
With finals cancelled due to gale-force winds, yesterday's qualifying results stand.
Norway's Torgeir Bergrem was crowned winner of the tenth edition of the Grandvalira Total Fight earlier today in the El Tarter snowpark. Bergrem's was the highest-scoring run of Friday's qualifying session and, after today's finals were cancelled due to adverse weather conditions, it was enough to earn him the win, followed by Canada's Tyler Nicholson in second and Sean Ryan from the USA in third.
Torgeir Bergrem"I feel great, I'm very happy I won an event like this. Yesterday we had a really good day even though it was pretty windy, but I did my best and the judges liked my run, so I'm really happy," said Torgeir Bergrem after being declared winner of the Grandvalira Total Fight.
The Oslo local also mentioned "the quality of the course and features, and the excellent organization of the event."
Tyler Nicholson from Canada was hyped on his second place finish: "This is awesome! I came to Total Fight last year and ended up fifth, but getting on the podium this year is amazing."
A sunny day with light winds set the stage for Friday's qualifying session at the 10th edition of the Grandvalira Total Fight, the most prestigious slopestyle event in Southern Europe and a 5 Star World Snowboard Tour stop.
The El Tarter snowpark was flawless, thanks to the amazing job by the Coliflor Freestyle team, which gave the competitors the chance to showcase their best tricks. The course started off with two options, a pole jam to barrel or a down bar, followed by a gap to flat bar, into the jump section with two 18-meter kickers and ending with this year's new addition, with two options: gap to wallride or gap to ball bonk (aka the Döner Kebab), which was easily the most technical feature on the course.
Forty riders took part in today's qualifying session, from several countries including the USA, Canada, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, UK, Italy, Holland, Argentina and Spain. The four World Snowboard Tour judges divided the qualifying session into two heats of 20 riders, each of which had 3 runs to qualify for Saturday's final. The top 8 riders in each heat made it through to tomorrow's final.
Torgeir Bergrem qualified first with the highest-scoring run of the day, his run in Heat B included a cab 270 boardslide, switch boardslide, Frontside 1080, Backside 1080 and a Frontside 360 bonk.
In Heat A, Tyler Nicholson qualified first with a cab 270 Backside Lipslide 270 out, Backside Boardslide 270 out, Backside 1080 Double Cork Mute, Frontside 1080 flat spin and Frontside 360 Nosebonk.
Based on weather forecasts before the start of the event, the organizers, along with the World Snowboard Tour committee and the riders decided on modifying the contest format to include 3 runs in Friday's qualifying session as Saturday was looking extremely windy. This led to a highly charged qualifying session, with riders throwing their best tricks and not holding back at all, to the delight of the crowd in attendance. The forecast for Saturday turned out to be spot on, unfortunately, and after waiting for a few hours for any change in the gale-force winds, the riders and organizers decided to cancel the finals after all.
The total prize purse at Grandvalira Total Fight was US$ 50,000, with Torgeir Bergrem taking home US$ 20,924 (15,000€) for first place, US$ 13,939 (10,000 €)to Tyler Nicholson for second and US$ 6,975 (5,000 €) to Sean Ryan for third place.
Amongst the local Spanish riders, Nacho Pérez finished 25th, Rubén Vergés in 26th, Espadaler Vila 31st and Bernat Ripoll in 33rd.
Rubén Vergés, one of the top qualified Spanish riders, said he was "very happy to come out to an event like this, with so many good riders. It was a lot of fun, too bad I didn't make the cut, but we all saw who really rips on their snowboard at the Total Fight this year."
1) Torgeir Bergrem (NOR) 91.50
2) Tyler Nicholson (CAN) 91.25
3) Sean Ryan (USA) 90.25
4) Ulrik Badertscher (NOR) 89.50
5) Markus Olimstad (NOR) 87.50
6) Antoine Truchon (CAN) 86.00
7) Brage Richenberg (NOR) 83.25
8) Kyle Mack (USA) 83.00
9) Kalle Järvilehto (FIN) 78.50
10) Eric Beauchemin (USA) 77.50
11) Nuutti Niemela (FIN) 75.75
12) Kevin Kok (ITA) 69.25
13) Silas Moran (USA) 66.00
14) Billy Morgan (GBR) 64.50
15) Marco Grigis (ITA) 64.25
16) Ole Hagen (NOR) 64.00
The afterparty went off on Saturday night at the Electrosnow Festival, with some of the world's biggest EDM acts on stage.
Grandvalira Total Fight is sponsored by Andorra Turisme, San Miguel, Burton, Red Bull and Buff.
Time may be running out for some Olympic Winter Games host locations – including the 2014 host, Sochi (Russia) – according to an article in Current Issues in Tourism.
The article’s authors have analysed two climatic indicators – minimum temperature of ≤0°C and snow depth of ≥30cm – both from a historical point of view and using future projections. They find that only 10 of the 19 previous host locations for the Winter Games are expected to remain suitable in the 2050s, and as few as six by the 2080s. This will have a major impact on where – and how – future Winter Games can be staged.
Average February daytime temperatures of Winter Games locations have steadily increased, from 0.4°C in the period 1920–1950s, to 7.8°C in the twenty-first century. Given these trends, not all previous locations are likely to be suitable hosts for the Winter Games in future years.
The study focuses on two specific conditions to assess the suitability of host locations, namely the probability that minimum daily temperatures will be 0°C or lower, and the probability that the snow depth will be 30cm or more (with snowmaking capacity). They classify each of the 19 previous host locations for three time periods: baseline (1981–2010), 2050s (representing 2041–2070) and 2080s (representing 2071–2100). They consider low- and high-emission scenarios for the two future periods. On the basis of how often these conditions were, or are expected to be, fulfilled, locations are classified as climatically reliable, marginal/high-risk, or unreliable.
In a high-emission scenario, less than a third (6 out of the 19) of the previous host locations are projected to be climatically reliable by the 2080s. This raises a number of issues for organisers of the Winter Games. Over the next two decades there may be a greater impetus to award the Winter Games to locations that are expected to become unreliable by the 2050s. If fewer regions of the world are climatically suitable, other regions that have not previously hosted the Games may need to be considered.
“In a substantially warmer world, celebrating the second centennial of the Olympic Winter Games in 2124 would become increasingly challenging.” Organisers of the Games need to consider changes in the scale and format of future events, and investigate technologies that can overcome climate vulnerabilities,” report co-author Daniel Scott concludes.
Style and innovation were the judging criteria for the Big Air contest that took place on the 29th of March 2014 in Livigno, Italy for the Suzuki Nine Queens presented by O’Neill. After many days of shooting at the colossal castle the invited snowboarders where amped to push the level of riding in the jam session. Spectators basked in the sun on Mottolino Fun Mountain cheering while the girls sent it. Elena Könz (SUI) came out on top with her two best tricks, a lofty frontside 720 melon and backside 540 mute, followed closely by Jessika Jenson (USA) in second place. Tied in third place were Jenny Jones (GBR) and Isabel Derungs (SUI).
1) Elena Könz (SUI) (frontside 720 melon, backside 540 mute)
2) Jessika Jenson (USA) (cork backside 720, backside 540)
3) Jenny Jones (GBR) (frontside 720, frontside 900) and Isabel Derungs (SUI) (backside rodeo, cork backside 720)
Jenny JonesIt was a day of personal firsts. Elena Könz brought it home with technical riding and style, “All the girls riding together, the amazing weather and the awesome setup, I loved it. The kicker was challenging, but once I got the hang of it, it was super good,” said winner Elena Könz, “I was really stoked on my laid-out backflip, I did it for the first time and it just felt so nice.” US ripper Jessika Jenson received a last minute invitation to the event with her “Wanna be a Queen” video clip and she didn’t fall short of expectations with a second place in the competition. Her best tricks in the four-run final were a stylish backside cork 720 and backside 540. A first ever photo shoot experience for Jessika, she was all smiles, “I'm just stoked to be here in Livigno and I’m enjoying every moment of it. I can't wait, tomorrow is gonna be my first ever heli-shoot!“
Big Air competitions specific for the female riders are a rarity indeed and one who didn’t waste this opportunity was Jenny Jones. “It’s not often there is just a big air, so I was pleased,” she beamed at the end of the day. The Brit pushed herself throughout the week and brought the progression game to the table with her frontside 720 and moving on to a frontside 900. “I’ve always tried it a few times, but never quite got it. Then in the qualification round I got a decent 900 with a tiny hand-drag, so that was cool.“ Unfortunately she was unable to land it cleanly in the finals “I’m just glad I tried it.“
Snowboarder extraordinaire Norwegian Kjersti Ostgaard-Buaas had a go at judging for the first time and saw the action up close from the table of the kicker. “Seeing everyone going huge, and stomping was great, riding with good friends and giving high-fives at the top makes this one of the events that is really connected to the core snowboarding philosophy of having fun and being together. This is when you start to see progression happen.” To her Elena was the undisputed champ of the day, “So many technical tricks, all different direction spins, poking out her grabs, and she sent her frontside 720 far down the landing holding the grab all the way. With layback backflips in between, just having a good time while she is progressing.”
Rounding out the five-woman final was Klaudia Medlova (SVK), who alongside Isabel Derungs has been perfecting her steezy backside rodeos. Another rider worth a special mention is Dutch shredder Charlotte Van Gils who got all the riders, the audience and judges cheering for her frontside 1080 attempts, which she unfortunately was unable to stick. Overall, it was awesome day and the perfect introduction for snowboarding to the Suzuki Nine Queens presented by O’Neill.
Find further details about the event on www.ninequeens.com and on facebook www.facebook.com/ninequeens
A once small Turkish ski area will, as of the 2014-15 ski season, become the country’s largest with 150km of piste, according to reports from the country.
Mt Erciyes, 40 minutes from the city of Kayseri and its airport will offer 160 kilometres of interconnected ski slopes next winter, over taking the long-standing Turkish number one ski area, Uludag, and the more recent Mt Palandoken, which was a recent host of the World Student Winter Universiade.
The ski area’s growth is largely thanks to the Kayseri mayor, Mehmet Özhaseki, who gained control of the ski slopes in 2005 after a change in the management structure. He credits an early conversation with the wife of a Dutch journalist who skied the old Mt Erciyes and didn’t like it, as the basis for his complete overhaul of the resort, which has seen €120m invested so far.
Famed for its heli-skiing and high altitude slopes year round snow cover, the area currently has 11 modern lifts operational but a further nine are due to be operational as of next winter, for a total of 20. It is reported to have some of the lowest priced skiing in the country, thanks to a municipal subsidy and is close to the famous beehive caves of Cappadocia for a further tourist attraction.
The second day of the Suzuki Nine Queens presented by O'Neill started with a happy surprise as bluebird conditions met the riders heading up to the "il Castello" on Mottolino Fun Mountain. Throughout the day snowboarders rode side by side with their new freeski buddies sessioning one feature after the other. The level is already pretty insane and adjustments had been made to all the obstacles after the first day's feedback, and everyone was stoked on it!
Check out the GoPro Course Check video with Possum Torr and Kjersti Ostgaard-Buaas, if you did not see it.
After the first day's speed checks and test runs the girls were throwing down in the kicker photo session that continued well into a beautiful sunset which lit up the Livigno sky. Jenny Jones (GBR) stomped a massive frontside 720 while Isabel Derungs (SUI) was working on her stylish backside 720 and Spencer O'Brien (CAN) impressed with some super nice backside 540s. Some picturesque images were also captured at the quarter pipe where the girls were all trying to better one another's hand plants. Join us for the contest day Saturday 29th of March 2014 to see the progression of the last few days.
Another sunset shoot will take place today so stay tuned for images and videos from Livigno!
For more info go to www.ninequeens.com and www.facebook.com/ninequeens
Photo credits: David Malacrida and Klaus Polzer
Action starts today in the Grandvalira Total Fight contest in Andorra where Billy Morgan has been invited to compete against the best riders on the world scene.
An eager group of freeski and snowboard girls arrived from all corners of the globe to the huge snow castle set up in Livigno, Italy for the first day of the Suzuki Nine Queens presented by O'Neill. The event has now officially kicked off with the girls testing out the many different obstacles of the “il Castello” at Mottolino Fun Mountain. See you at the public big air competition on Saturday 29th of March on Mottolino Fun Mountain!
The UK's Jenny Jones and Katie Summerhayes will be representing in the ladies only event.
After a week of waiting, organizers have confirmed the SWATCH XTREME VERBIER 2014 BY THE NORTH FACE® will take place on Saturday, March 29, 2014. At the finals of the SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR 2014 BY THE NORTH FACE® (FWT) on Verbier’s mighty Bec des Rosses north face, riders will fight for the world titles in freeride skiing and snowboarding. Thanks to the recent heavy snowfalls, the 34 participants and the spectators can look forward to great conditions at this concluding event of the FWT season. The competition will be broadcast live on the Internet on www.freerideworldtour.com from 9:00 AM CET.
FWT14 - Xtreme Verbier Teaser by FreerideWorldTourTV
What an exceptional competition season for the Junior Freeride Tour by Dakine! All three events have been a great success, finishing off with the third competition at Verbier, where the juniors proved that they can and will deliver in the toughest conditions. With difficult and changing snow on the competition face, the lookers left side of the legendary Bec des Rosses, the riders had to negotiate rock hard snow, at times breakable crust and a few patches of soft to make it even more complicated. On top of that the light was almost non-existent, a true flat light day, which really complicates route finding, sticking to your line choice and managing landings. The 92 young but talented skiers and snowboarders showed the cheering public that they were up to it. What an incredible performance. These junior rippers are for sure making some history and taking the sport to another level!
The riders hiked up the side of the face to get to the start, giving them the opportunity to scope their lines. It was a nervous and difficult moment to decide what would be possible, safe, but still spectacular to do in these tough conditions. The juniors seem to have learned a lot from previous competitions, training with coaches and above all being out in the mountains, as they managed to ride fast and controlled at their personal levels on the long and tiring face.
A big part of the FWT pro riders were on site to watch their future competitors come down. Freeride World Champion 2012, Reine Barkered of Sweden, was among the spectators and was pretty overwhelmed by the show. “It’s really impressive to see the level of these guys and girls, especially in these conditions! They’re charging as if there is no tomorrow, but keeping it together really solidly and controlled! I’m a bit jealous actually! This didn’t exist when I grew up... it’s cool, they learn to read the mountain and take decisions at an early age. Mixing that with a good alpine technique creates very solid riders. And most importantly they’re having a good time! The atmosphere is really great.”
The first stand out run of the day was French Aurlélien Collet, fighting for first place in the older skier’s category. He charged down the face in higher speed than any other rider, straight lining a big part of the run with zero hesitation and stomping two good airs. Boom!
“I am used to ride fast with my brother (Rudy Collet, winner at JFT Verbier 2013), we like it. And as I saw some riders had problems with the changing snow, I figured it would be easier to do as few turns as possible… I was also motivated to do a stand out run without any regrets for my last competition on the junior tour,” said Collet after his mind blowing run, and who will take on the Freeride World Qualifiers next year.
Two bibs later his biggest competitor Carl Renvall of Verbier, showed us why these two riders have been leading the rankings. With a bit less speed than Aurélien he still rode that face fast, clean and solid, taking three big cliffs. Not to forget he was doing so in flat light conditions where you couldn’t see anything but white milk in the hard or breakable landings. Wow!
The excitement was almost unbearable to know who of these two would take victory and thereby take home the overall win as well. Finally, at the prize-giving ceremony it was revealed. Verbier homeboy Carl Renvall came out less than a point ahead of his fellow competitor Aurélien Collet! Renvall was obviously stoked but the highlight was still the great spirit of the two awesome riders. A spirit shared by all the juniors and very characteristic for the junior tour.
“I was standing on top with Aurélien (Collet) and Luke (Smith), the three of us were ranked top three before this competition, and we were discussing our lines before dropping in. We were trying to help each other to find the best lines down and it was a nice moment. As we started with random bib numbers we decided Aurélien would drop in first. I saw him from the top and it motivated me to stick to my line choice and go for it. It wasn’t easy, I couldn’t see the landings in the white out but I still quite like these conditions. It’s a true challenge and you really need to have a good technique.”
A rider with good technique is another Verbier local, Maude Besse, who came out on top in the girls, charging down with a fast, solid run stomping a nice big air, closely followed by Illona Carlod of France with similar riding. Their first and second place today, also gave them the same result overall.
The top three snowboarder girls overall, all had a solid season. French Marie Surry took first in Verbier with a clean run, but finally, second placed UK rider Ayla Thidling came out on top on the overall ranking. One of the favourites Maurane Stritmatter, unfortunately fell and hurt her knee and we wish her a speedy recovery.
Ayla Thidling 2nd in Verbier. Photo: T. Lloyd
The younger skiers’ category, 14-15 year olds, and the men snowboarders were last down the face. Some of those younger skiers will be hard to beat in a few years and are showing an impressive skill at such young age in their line choices, one of the hardest challenges for a freeride competitor, and taking years of experience to master. Arthur Raskin of France won the younger category with a top notch run. His skiing was truly impressive and he really earned the top step of the overall ranking as well.
Paul Sautelli has dominated the snowboarders in the previous two events. With a third place in Verbier, it was enough to secure the overall win. The best rider among the snowboarders in Verbier was Sautelli’s friend Paul Meynier, who reached the podium on every event. He was one of the last riders down the face, finishing off in style, keeping the level of riding high till the very end of the competition.
Race director Cyril Neri, was happy after the contest and very satisfied with the 2014 season.
“We have been well prepared and even when conditions were tough we managed to pull off a competition. I am saying this because it also applies to our junior riders. When you are well prepared and well organised you take good decisions. Thanks to our local guide Claude Alain Gailland, he gave us the go this morning. It was a hard decision, but experience pays off. When it comes to the level of competition, it’s crazy to see that some of these young riders can master the runs with perfection and no hesitation, with total control. They are all so cool, really humble and a great new wave of riders with a true freeride spirit. I can’t wait to see this evolve even further next year!”
The weekend is not over! The juniors get to ride with three legendary pros, Seb Michaud, Kevin Guri and Phil Maier, and they will meet the ski patrol to collect more mountain knowledge for their future adventures.
Results Junior Freeride Tour by Dakine, Verbier:
Men’s Ski 16-17
1. Carl Renvall SUI 88.33
2. Aurélien Collet FRA 87.67
3. Arthur Morand SUI 78.33
Men’s Ski 14-15
1. Arthur Raskin FRA 78.67
2. Pouvel Victor FRA 74.00
3. Julien Métrailler SUI 72.00
Women’s Ski 14-17
1. Maude Besse SUI 67.33
2. Illona Carlod FRA 64.33
3. Axele Lecomte FRA 61.33
Women’s Snowboard 14-17
1. Marie Surry FRA 53.67
2. Ayla Thidling GBR 50.33
3. Gabrielle Beche FRA 45.00
Becky Menday is heading out to Austria this Tuesday after receiving a personal invitation from Olympic Athlete Aimee Fuller. Becky was chosen by Fuller and a panel from Red Bull to join Aimee’s UK Team and compete against teams from Austria, Czechoslovakia and Hungary in the Girls only Red Bull Shr3d event.
Becky had submitted a video edit of her riding filmed last year in Big White Canada and her style and skill stood out to the panel of judges who selected her from numerous other entries. Becky has been whisked away on the all expenses paid trip and joins Aimee Fuller and Stef Nurding to film a video edit together showcasing their best skills in park riding, back country mountain free riding and street style. Each country's team then submits their video edit and at the end of the weeks filming the most interesting and stylish edit will win the competition.
Aimee Fuller who shot in to the public awareness during her rather over excited commentary for the BBC during Jenny Jones bronze medal winning run in the snowboard slope style at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics; said “I am stoked to have Becky join me for the week its going to be so much fun"
Becky who has just returned back to riding after a serious injury earlier in the season was very excited to be chosen. Becky said “This is an amazing opportunity to ride with Olympic level riders and also to film with them. I was a little worried as the event is happening the same week as I am to sit my mock exams, but my school have been really helpful rearranging my exams for the week I return”.
Becky in action. Photo: Jools Smith
Becky will then be heading out to Switzerland over the Easter holidays to join girls from Europe and Japan and film a video edit with them for her sponsor Head Snowboards and will finish the Easter holidays with a week training back in Austria with the National Park and Pipe Academy.
We will be sure to keep you informed as to how Aimee and Becky get on in Austria.
A range of day tickets and ‘Comedy Gold VIP’ tickets have gone on sale for the upcoming Altitude Festival so people staying in or near Mayrhofen can attend shows and events even if they have not booked a full package.
This year’s Altitude Comedy Festival runs from March 31st to April 4th 2014 and as always features a veritable who’s who of the comedy world’s top acts along with new stand-ups all performing in venues that give you that up-close and personal feel.
Kicking off this year’s festival, Monday March 31st entertainment sees the Sports Bar at The Strass play host to an Après-ski Show from The International Impro Allstars featuring Steve Frost, Andy Smart, Ian Coppinger and guest. The Gala show at Europahaus will feature Altitude curator and MC for the evening Andrew Maxwell as well as gags aplenty from Tommy Tiernan, Fred MacAulay, Zoe Lyons and Joel Dommett, plus there will be the all-out action Late Show in The Arena at The Strass with a very special guest, plus Alex Edleman, Paul McCaffrey, Benny Boot and MC Damian Clark.
The Comedy Gold VIP Upgrade Ticket entitles holders to a Free Bottle of Wine (or up to four beers) and reserved seating for the Gala Shows, plus holders will have the chance to meet and greet the comedians and compete in the inaugural Clown Hill Race, which will see the comedians competing against each other to claim the title King of the Mountain. They’ll also get an Altitude T-Shirt too.
Day Tickets vary between £30.00 and £55.00 with a full week Festival Wristband costing £180 and a Comedy Gold VIP Ticket Upgrade £120.
This week the legendary snowboard contest The Arctic Challenge was again held in Oslo, Norway. Host and snowboard icon Terje Haakonsen wanted to do something different with this year’s competition as he feels the standardisation of pipes and competition formats has weakened interest in halfpipe riding. In order to help bring creativity back into pipe riding he invited 12 riders including Olympic gold winner Iouri Podladtchikov and X-games gold winner Danny Davis, who worked with pipe shapers to find new layouts.
On the last day of the event the riders competed in two jam sessions lasting one hour each. The first hour was an expression session where riders could focus on single features or combination tricks. The second session the focus was to show creativity, variety, height and technical difficulty in complete runs. Finally the judges decided on a podium of the top three riders based on combined rankings of both sessions.
This year's top riders in halfpipe would again compete at for the podium. Danny Davis took home the win after being among the top 3 ranked riders through both sessions. Iouri Podladtchikov came back strong and won the second session in the contest, but eventually the olympic champion had to settle for second place when both sessions where added together. After solid performances in both sessions the third rider on the podium was the the 18-year-old Australian rider Kent Callister.
The “Wanna be a Queen” online video contest is over and the two snowboard category winners have been invited to join the Suzuki Nine Queens presented by O’Neill in Livigno, Italy from March 26th to 30th 2014. Heading to the chateau will be Christy Prior (NZL) and Klaudia Medlova (SVK) who stood out to the jury. Final preparations are taking place for the big welcome of the queens next week on Mottolino Fun Mountain!
Check out all the edits at www.ninequeens.com/wanna-be-a-queen-snb
The giant castle setup on Mottolino Fun Mountain keeps growing and growing, slowly turning into the perfect feature for the girls to take their sport to the next level. The two huge kickers (22m and 28m table) feature a halfpipe in between, which in turn boasts a step-up transfer kicker leading out of the pipe into the landings of the kickers. In addition the setup is garnished with numerous jib elements such as down and kinked stair-sets, a down rail and a cannon gap feature. Check out the graphics of the castle!
With the addition of the Wanna be a Queen winners, the riders list is now complete. Christy Prior claims a well-deserved spot with her solid technique and unique style including a sweet switch 180 method, double backflip and a nollie backside tailslide bagle-out on the rail. Klaudia Medlova showed one switch trick after the other, and perhaps, in addition to her switch backside 180 and switch backside rodeo she might try stomping that double backside rodeo at the event!
The UK's Jenny Jones is down to compete at the event on Saturday 29th March.
Anna Gasser, AUT
Spencer O’Brien, CAN
Enni Rukajärvi, FIN
Jamie Anderson, USA
Nadja Purtschert, SUI
Silje Norendal, NOR
Jenny Jones, GBR
Kjersti Ostgaard-Buaas, NOR
Elena Könz, SUI
Kristiina Nisula, FIN
Birgit Rofner, AUT
Klaudia Medlova, SVK
Christy Prior, NZL
The 4th and final Episode of #WSTtourbuzz for this season has arrived! Check out all the news on events, riders and the gossip what is going on in the world of freestyle snowboarding – all presented by the one and only Mr. Henry Jackson!
After exciting semi finals and finals of the top eight, tonight was the time for the last decision: Which one of the international riders will be able to take home this years Spring Battle victory? The established live video judging again attracted loads of spectators and freestyle fans to the Festsaal in Flachau, which were given a recap of the whole contest by legendary speaker Henry Jackson before the judges reviewed the runs of the finalists and announced their scores live on stage. Billy Morgan was the one who was able to leave the others behind and scored himself with a Backside Triple Cork 1620° his first victory at Spring Battle in Absolut Park.
Billy Morgan, BS1620 triple. Photo: Markus Richrbacher
One day before the show the action went down on the mountain: 22 riders, of which ten came through qualifying earlier this week, were fighting in semi finals to get a spot in finals of the top eight. The riding level was insanely high: already in his first run Billy Morgan was able to land his Triple Cork 1440°. Local hero Clemens Schattschneider also threw down a triple, which saved him the top spot of semi finals. Roope Tonteri from Finland came in second before three times Spring Battle winner Seppe Smits. In finals the excitement was clearly noticeable. All riders tried their best on the perfectly shaped twenty‐two meter jump. 1260°s and Triple Corks showed the exceeding high level of this 5 Star World Snowboard Tour Big Air contest. Creative grabs and tweaks at the same time secured the right amount of style.
Billy Morgan, who took part in Spring Battle for the first time, was able to top his run from semis and landed a Triple Cork 1620°, which convinced the judges as well as the spectators. He will not only take home his first contest victory but also a big share of the $50,000 prize money as well as valuable World Snowboard Tour Ranking points which will count for next winters ranking. “We all had a great time here at Spring Battle and coming out on the top, finally winning my first contest, is definitely the icing on the cake.“ – Billy Morgan. Clemens Schattschneider, also landing a Triple Cork, came in short behind the Brit with only one point difference. Absolut Park team rider Seppe Smits completes the podium.
Billy said "Yeeee! Finally won somthin!"Spring Battle again was a great success. International riders, established live video judging with freestyle rap from Mr. Dero & Klumzy Thung and great weather completed an awesome week full of breath taking freestyle snowboarding, partys and good times. Already now we are looking forward to Spring Battle 2015!
You can find all further information here www.absolutpark.com or see the even profile at www.worldsnowboardtour.com/events/spring-battle-2015/
1. Billy Morgan (GBR)
2. Clemens Schattschneider (AUT)
3. Seppe Smits (BEL)
4. Torgeir Bergrem (NOR)
5. Roope Tonteri (FIN)
6. Sebbe de Buck (BEL)
7. Antoine Truchon (CAN)
8. Lucien Koch (SUI)
The UK's Rowan Coultas finished in 17th place.
Following a challenging season due to difficult snow and weather conditions all over the northern hemisphere, the SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE® (FWT) now heads to Verbier, Switzerland, for the Grande Finale at the SWATCH XTREME VERBIER BY THE NORTH FACE® March 22, 2014. On the prolific north face of the Bec des Rosses, riders will push their boundaries in the battle for the 2014 world titles. With some new names at this level of competition, the show promises to be very exciting to watch. Fans around the world will be able to follow the action live on www.freerideworldtour.com. The event webcast is scheduled to begin at 9:00 AM CET on the day of competition.
FWT14 - Xtreme Verbier Teaser by FreerideWorldTourTV
“We are at the end of a tough season in terms of snow conditions. Some of the ‘big names’ have not qualified for Verbier, but riders from the Freeride World Qualifier who competed on the FWT for the first time this season will be there, so we are very happy and enthusiastic to go back to Switzerland for the finals of the tour and the 19th anniversary of the Xtreme Verbier,” said Nicolas Hale-Woods, FWT General Manager Europe.
Only the highest ranked 12 male skiers, five male snowboarders, five female skiers and four female snowboarders on the 2014 FWT overall rankings have qualified for the finals on the dauntingly steep and frighteningly jagged 500-metre rock face of the Bec des Rosses. Tension is rising over who will take home the four Freeride World Champion titles. The titles will be awarded using the four best results of the 2014 FWT season, including Verbier, for male skiers and snowboarders, and the best three results, including Verbier, for female skiers and snowboarders.
In each of the four categories, there are still several riders who have the chance to become world champion. Contenders amongst the male skiers include overall leader Loïc Collomb-Patton (FRA), second-placed Sam Smoothy (NZL), third-ranked Jérémie Heitz (SUI), and fourth, Lars Chickering-Ayers (USA). For the male snowboarders, it’s a tight race between Valais local Emilien Badoux (SUI) in first, Sammy Luebke (USA) in second, and Jamie Rizzuto (CAN) in third. Reigning champion Nadine Wallner (AUT) leads the female skiers field only by a few points ahead of her compatriot Lorraine Huber (AUT), with Matilda Rapaport (SWE) on third place also having a small chance for the title if she wins and Wallner is not top three and Huber is not second. With two victories in her bag, Shannan Yates (USA) will win the women’s snowboarding category if she makes the top three, while Verbier local Estelle Balet (SUI) can only win the title if she wins and Yates doesn’t reach the top three.
Some exciting wild cards will add spice to the competition, including 2013 Xtreme winner Kevin Guri (FRA), two-time FWT champion and three-time Xtreme winner Aurélien Ducroz (FRA), and Swiss almost local Samuel Anthamatten in the men’s ski division. As well as 2013 FWT champ and Xtreme winner Ralph Backstrom (USA), three-time FWT champion and four-time Xtreme winner Xavier de le Rue (FRA), 2012 FWT champ and Xtreme winner Jonathan Charlet (FRA), and five-time Xtreme Verbier winner Steve Klassen (USA) in the men’s snowboarding. In the female ski category, 2012 FWT champion and Xtreme winner Christine Hargin (NOR) will get the chance to ski the “Bec”, while in the women snowboarders’, Anouck Mouthon (FRA) will additionally enter the competition.
According to educated weather people in Norway, the sun has been out for only 17 hours since December in Oslo! But as some of the best snowboarders in the world enters the country, it is sun all over the place. The Arctic Challenge open the doors today!
Terje Haakonsen is here. Iouri Podladtchikov is here. Danny Davis is here. Ben Ferguson is here. 12 great and stylish riders are here to help shape the future of snowboarding. The concept is simple, but complex in a modern sports world: Athletes decides on arena and contest format. On Saturday (forecast: sun) a packed Oslo audience (hopefully) awaits action. The riders have three days to decide which format to perform in. The job is as obvious as difficult: Make a format that is cool for both the athletes and the spectators.
And it is more to it: You gotta re-think and be creative. As this is published, Terje is up in the pipe working with SPT to dig and place elements in the pipe that makes you create new plans for your run. Play it by the ear, show your style and variety! The Arctic Challenge does not claim to have the answer to the future, but this is an attempt to inspire riders and boost some new energy into competitive snowboarding.
Some weeks ago The Arctic Challenge crew distributed a letter to the confirmed riders containing depressing information about the mild and rainy Oslo winter. Still all confirmed riders re-confirmed their attendance. The Arctic Challenge crew is very grateful for that. We hope we can return the gesture by bringing these riders a good pipe, sun and great fun! And hopefully some inspiration to a better and rider driven sport!
In a break from a traditional contest format, Europe’s longest running event, the Leysin Champs Open Winter Freestyle Festival 2014 celebrates the roots of Snowboarding and Freeskiing by launching a new, fresh event format. Calling the resort of Leysin home base, and utilising the awe inspiring backdrop of the Vaud region of Switzerland as it’s canvas, this years edition will be split into a film & editing component culminating in a freestyle show and three day music festival at the Place to Be.
Winter Freestyle Festival 13th – 16th March.
World renowned Film Production crews including KBR Productions, Inspired Productions, PVS Company and Methodmag.tv will infiltrate the Vaud region for a week from their home base in Leysin. Their teams will spend a week capturing the best in backcountry powder locations, urban rail opportunities and setting up night time shoots for inclusion in their present productions while creating a Week Edit that showcases the fraternity and emotion of film making that remains the heart of the sport, exposing the aesthetics and sheer beauty of the region.
The event’s public action final will culminate with a Show Event in the Freestyle Park, Leysin, where budding young riders will be judged by members of the film crews vying for a chance to fulfil a dream of winning one of two filming parts in an upcoming edition of the attending Production companies.
Freestyle snowboarding started with the first halfpipe at Lake Tahoe (USA) 30 years ago. For a long time, the halfpipe was the place for progression in snowboarding. Nowadays, the format has stagnated. Snowboard legend Terje Haakonsen and his team intend to change this now. At the 15th Arctic Challenge in Oslo (NOR) from March 12 to 15, 2014, they want to revolutionize halfpipe riding.
12 great and stylish riders are here to help shape the future of snowboarding. Confirmed pro riders are Olympic Halfpipe Champion, Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI), Markus Keller (SUI), Arthur Longo (FRA), Danny Davis (USA), Jack Mitrani (USA), Benji Farrow (USA), Scotty Lago (USA), as well as young guns Gabe and Ben Ferguson (USA). Terje Haakonsen (NOR) will for sure also take part himself. The concept is simple, but complex in a modern sports world: Athletes decides on arena and contest format. On Saturday (forecast: sun) a packed Oslo audience (hopefully) awaits action. The riders have three days to decide which format to perform in. The job is as obvious as difficult: Make a format that is cool for both the athletes and the spectators.
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