Under bright, bluebird skies, 18 of the world’s best snowboarders -- the most notable up-and-comers alongside the icons of snowboarding -- progressed the sport to a new level, as Red Bull Supernatural ran on February 4th at Baldface Lodge outside of Nelson, B.C., Canada. From the first rider to drop, Scotty Lago, through Travis Rice’s final run, the never-before-ridden Red Bull Supernatural course challenged every aspect of the competitors’ talents, bringing the most progressive riding of our time together in a single run.
“We’re walking away with a different state of mind. This was an experiment and it’s the beginning of a new, possible future for snowboarding,” says Rice. “These guys ride like this all the time. It’s just a really tough thing to capture, even in a video part. No breaks, riding first tracks and on all-natural terrain. Here we are able to showcase the talent in snowboarding today.”
Rice came out hot from the very start, putting down a nearly flawless run, hitting as many features as possible, stomping landings and adding inversions to multiple maneuvers. His first score of 91 held the top spot throughout the day. Gigi Rüf scored 84 points on his first run, which held the second spot throughout the day. Nicolas Müller topped John Jackson’s score of 80.6, with an 82.6 in the final run with buttery transitions and the solid, stylish riding he is known for. But Jackson didn’t walk away empty handed; he won ‘Best Trick’ by stomping a double cork 1080 off the big kicker on his final run.
“Everyone had standout moments. The talent on course today was mindboggling.” -Tom Burt, Judge
“We had no idea that people would tee off that big without having ever seen anyone hit the features before,” says Tom Burt, Head Judge for Red Bull Supernatural. “This contest puts together where snowboarding is headed, riding the mountains, but adding freestyle riding into the mix really ups the level. Nature alone can’t fully provide a course like this.”
Travis Rice’s dream run for Red Bull Supernatural is built across 2,200 vertical feet on the slope nicknamed “Scary Cherry.” The run is now host to over 80 man-made features including pillow lines, enormous platforms and goal posts in the over-40-degree top section. Most riders had hit five or more features over varying size before heading into the super-kickers where fresh powder landings allowed riders to open up with speed and style. The final slopestyle section had pillow platforms to tap and log rides that took riders straight into the finish line.
“Today was a great example of where our sport is going and what we can do to get it to the next level,” says Jeff Pensiero, Owner of Baldface Lodge. “I was surprised at how much these guys really stepped up their game to ride this course. I thought a lot of it was not rideable, but these guys proved that they earn their livings exceeding expectations.”
Standouts of the day include Terje’s fast turns punctuated by massive methods off the hip transfers, Eric Jackson’s butter into a huge 540 off an upper platform and Lucas Debari’s enormous air launched off a platform initially built as an evacuation heli platform. Burt says, “Everyone had standout moments. The talent on course today was mindboggling.” Burt also points to Devun Walsh’s 360 pillow platform tap on the final hit and Nicolas Müller’s switch 720 off the kicker as some of the day’s most notable moments.
Red Bull Supernatural Results
- 1. Travis Rice 91.00
- 2. Gigi Rüf 84.00
- 3. Nicolas Müller 82.60
- 4. John Jackson 80.60
- 5. Lucas Debari 77.00
- 6. Kazuhiro Kokubo 75.50
- 7. Jake Blauvelt 73.10
- 8. David Carrier-Porcheron 69.20
- 9. Eero Niemela 68.90
- 10. Devun Walsh 68.80
- 11. Mark Sollors 68.30
- 12. Terje Haakonsen 68.20
- 13. Eric Jackson 65.80
- 14. Mark Carter 64.70
- 15. Mark McMorris 63.00
- 16. Sage Kotsenburg 62.00
- 17. Scotty Lago 59.40
- 18. Mark Landvik 55.50
Red Bull Supernatural is set to air on Red Bull Signature Series on NBC at 1 p.m. ET on March 31. The event was filmed and produced by Curt Morgan and the Brain Farm crew -- the same people who brought you "The Art of Flight."
SUPER, NATURAL is a registered trademark of the Province of British Columbia. The Red Bull Supernatural event was not affiliated with or endorsed by the Province of British Columbia.
- Red Bull Supernatural competition photo gallery
- Red Bull Supernatural course build gallery
- Rice comes up big at TW SNOW Riders' Poll Awards