Bluebird Skies, Pillows of Powder and Massive Airs Over Natural Obstacles Mark This Historic Day in Snowboarding
Bluebird Skies, Pillows of Powder and Massive Airs Over Natural Obstacles Mark This Historic Day in SnowboardingQuiksilver
today announces that Travis Rice
is the winner of the first-annual "Quiksilver Natural Selection: All-Mountain Freestyle Invitational."
The final round of competition, staged at Jackson Hole's legendary Casper Bowl run, was held in sunny bluebird skies and pristine pow. Hundreds of spectators cheered on the riders as they dropped from the top of the mountain into a field of soft, untracked snow and launched impossible airs over boulders and trees.
Rice was ecstatic after being announced the winner. He earned a check for $18k and the unqualified respect of his peers. Travis will be donating a portion of his prize money to the Jackson Hole Search and Rescue as well as other non-profit organizations in the community.
"Snowboarding is self expression," said Rice. "For me the true reward was seeing everyone walk away with smiles of optimism. After talking with the riders it seems as though we have only scratched the surface of a new era. It's nature that provides us with the most limitless canvas to challenge the way we ride."
The top three winners received a custom painted bison skull, created by local artist Ryan Hayworth. Mark Landvik won the best trick award and received a snowmobile donated by DC Shoes
. The total purse was $75,000, and all athletes got a bit of the butter.
The event, which was actually the brainchild of Jackson Hole local Travis Rice, has been the talk of the snowboard world because of the refreshing new format, the ideal setting and vibe, and the incredible array of talent from every athlete who accepted the invitation to ride here.
"Pipe guys, free riders and legends all came together because of this event," said Brian Craighill, Quiksilver Snow Team Manager. "It was incredible to watch and extremely rewarding to be a part of this event."
The Quiksilver Natural Selection
was held over a seven-day "holding period" to ensure optimal conditions, and it needed every one of them, sneaking in the final runs on Casper Bowl just hours before the contest period would close.
It was Wolle Nyvelt
who stood out from the pack on Casper Bowl with a powerful run keeping massive amounts of speed the entire way through. He started things off with a big straight air to drop into the bowl, hit a cut out jump stomping a huge backside 360 going further than any other rider who went off that same hit. Next, Wolle went for a hip jump tossing up a floaty indy then rolled down to the big hip jump on the course launching into an inverted 720 and finished up with some incredible hits through the bottom section of the bowl.
Second place at Casper Bowl was awarded to Nicolas MÃƒÂ¼eller
who built a small jump at the top of the bowl. He launched a huge frontside 180 right onto a pillow, then threw a smooth backside 360 melon, got some slashers in the mix and trucked it into the big hip jump throwing a giant, super stylish method and finishing up with some smooth tricks in the pow through the bottom of the course.
"Travis's home turf was on fire," said MÃƒÂ¼eller. "Some of the best snowboarders got to really ride the mountain that brought up one of the greatest snowboarders of all time, Travis Rice!" Travis Rice
claimed third place with a technical run. He ripped straight down a steep untracked face and threw a backside 360 off a 40-foot cliff, powered through the bowl and put up a rodeo 540 off the big hip jump and buttered around the bottom section of the bowl.
In the end, the combined best scores from both Dick's Ditch and Casper Bowl determined the top three: Travis Rice
, Mark Carter
, and DCP
During the awards ceremony at the Mangy Moose Saloon, which featured a special performance by GZA
from the Wu Tang Clan
, talk amongst the riders centered on how the event's revolutionary concept could change the sport forever.
"After shredding pow up to my neck, it's hard to imagine a full season of only half pipes and parks again," said rookie rider of the year Austin Smith.
"This format has got to catch on."
The complete contest results, streaming video from both days of competition and a selection of videos and images from the weeklong event are available on the Quiksilver Natural Selection website: www.quiksilver.com/naturalselection.
The Quiksilver Natural Selection is a Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour
FOUR(4)STAR Event, and all of the riders who participated in the Quiksilver Natural Selection have been awarded points toward the TTR Ranking List presented by Swatch.