Great White North.
The world’s greatest professional snowboarding competition starts today and what thrill, what abject thrill in this day and age of cancelled sport and postponed.
Per the press release:
As the Natural Selection Tour heads north on the road to Alaska, the Tour stops this week at the Bronco Natural Selection at Baldface for a backcountry freestyle showcase featuring an all-star, all-Canadian rider list. Ten British Columbia-based riders will be pairing up with regionally-based filmers in a new, progressive format that will allow for maximum expression and style. They will be riding some of North America’s most inspiring, untapped terrain at Baldface’s new tenure in the Valhalla Ranges from March 1-7. A highlight show featuring the riders’ best lines and standout action from the week will broadcast March 19, exclusively on Red Bull TV.
Travis Rice, pro snowboarder and the Tour’s creator explains, “This is a unique year that calls for adaptability. Frankly, I am really excited about the showcase format and that we are adding another dimension to what the world witnessed in Jackson Hole. Full-spectrum snowboarding has been historically captured on film, so we are inviting top filmers to team up with riders and deliver something truly dynamic for all those that tuned in to the Tour’s first stop. The riders are excited about this format and I can’t wait to see what they create.”
Six invited men and four women includingBeau Bishop, Dustin Craven, Craig McMorris, Spencer O’Brien, Leanne Pelosi, Chris Rasman, Mikey Rencz, Marie-France Roy, Mark Sollors and Robin Van Gynwill work in small teams throughout the week to find and ride an all-natural, backcountry freestyle line, while also capturing a video part. The two components, the line and video part from Baldface-Valhalla’s dynamic terrain, will be considered with 70/30 weight by the Natural Selection judges and nomination committee. Judges will use the same criteria as used in Jackson to score overall impression focused on the rider’s chosen line and risk, flow and amplitude, creativity and tricks, and finally, control.
The top scoring man and woman from the Bronco Natural Selection at Baldface will be revealed during the Red Bull TVbroadcast. Each will take home a Model Year 2022 Polaris Snowmobile of their choice and secure an invite to go head-to-head against the top three men (McMorris, Ferguson and Bang) and the top woman (Sadowski-Synnott) coming out of Jackson Hole, at the inaugural Natural Selection Tour super finals: The HempFusion Natural Selection at Tordrillo Mountain Lodge from March 20-27.
Very fine though a shame Mikkel Bang will not be present, seeing the event is taking place in his country’s version of heaven.
At least he gets to go to Alaska for the finals though.