Audi Nines called, the riders answered: The Audi Nines “Become A Nine” contest has once again fielded a jaw-dropping collection of video entries from some of the world’s best up-and-coming freestyle snowboarders. The Audi Nines is renowned as an exclusive session for top professional freestyle athletes—but without a few rising talents and dark horses in the mix, where’s the fun? That’s why in the name of progression and true to the Audi Nines philosophy, each year young guns are given the chance to ride the innovative course alongside the invited athletes by sending in their “Become a Nine” video submission. The online qualification is open to every male and female freeskier and snowboarder, pros and amateurs alike, from all over the world.
This year’s Become A Nine contest was by far the biggest and best yet with over 70 entries received—more than double the amount of previous years. Given the high volume and quality of the entries, the Audi Nines team had a tough time selecting the winners and decided to invite 2 women and 2 male snowboards along for the ride.
“We’ve been overwhelmed with the submissions we got. It’s amazing to see the level, not just of the people we already knew, but also
of people we’ve never heard of before!” - Nico Zacek, Audi Nines founder
Watch the WILDCARD WINNERS edits here:
Yuri Okubo - Japan
Yuri Okubo hails from Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, and at just eighteen years old already has an appearance at the Olympic Games under his belt. With a clean blend of swag rail style and big-air technicality, Yuri is sure to make an impression at his first Audi Nines.
Niek van der Velden - Netherlands
A true artist on both rails and booters, Niek van der Velden is the latest male snowboarder to join The Audi Nines roster. Scouted by the Dutch Ski Federation when he was just fifteen, Niek’s got talent to spare, and we’re looking forward to him sharing it with us at this year’s event.
“Woah, I can’t really believe it! There were so many good videos, so I’m quite surprised I got in! Since I started snowboarding I’ve followed the event and it’s definitely one of the sickest out there. And now this yearIi’m part of it! I’m so hyped and really looking forward to it!” - Niek
Lia-Mara Bösch - Switzerland
Joining the talented Swiss contingent at The Audi Nines this year, Lia-Mara Bösch brings a well-rounded skill set and contest experience in halfpipe, slopestyle and big air. Lia-Mara will light up the women’s-only venue at Obergurgl-Hochgurgl alongside the other invited female riders.
"I always wanted to be part of The Audi Nines! I already tried my luck at the video contest in 2015 and 2018, but I wasn’t ready back then. Finally winning the video contest this year and receiving a spot at the Audi Nines feels like getting a precious present. I feel recognised and honoured. It is going to be a fantastic week!" - Lia-Mara
Loranne Smans - Belgium
21-year-old Loranne Smans of Belgium raises the bar on the daily. With huge frontside rodeos and flawless style, Loranne knows her way around a winning run—it’s no wonder she took double gold in slopestyle at the Europa Cup in Livigno last month. We can’t wait to see the show she’ll put on at The Audi Nines.
“I’m beyond stoked to win the Become A Nine video contest! From the sideline it was always one of my favourite events to watch, and I’m honoured to be a part of it for the first time!” - Loranne
The Audi Nines 2019 is going down in Solden from the 24-27th April, it's gonna be wild!