Former board sponsor: Santa Cruz
Sponsors: Vans, Monster Energy, Quiksilver, TSG
Iouri Podladtchikov is a character. He was born in Russia but moved to Switzerland at a young age with his parents and quickly got into snowboarding – in particular, the icy walls of the superpipe at his home resort of Davos.
Oddly enough, I-Pod rode on the Russian snowboard team at the 2006 Turin Olympics before getting on board with the Swiss National Team. These days he’s one of the world’s best in the stunt ditch, with numerous wins and podium places at 6 Star TTR and X Games events. At the European X Games in Tignes this past season, he stomped a trick that no rider has done before – a cab double 1440 that he dubbed the YOLO flip. And yep, you guessed it – it was all on a custom made snowboard.
Why Iouri doesn’t have a proper board sponsor we have no idea, but it does raise the interesting question of whether top drawer contest results are what snowboard brands are looking for in the riders they choose to sponsor in this day and age. Do X-Games superpipe gold medals sell snowboards? Or would brands rather invest in riders with exciting, aspirational personalities and something a little different to offer?
As always, let us know what you think in the comments section below!