10. Iouri Podladtchikov


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!

  1. Alexis Le Forestier

    Why is Chas Guldemond riding this hiddous rockstar board if it’s not his board sponsor ??

  2. JC

    Doesn’t Willett ride for Rome

  3. Dustin

    Most the riders in this article make more money from the sponsors they do have then any board company can produce. Most board companies clam they make no money so pay very little if any at all to even there sponsored top riders. Not to mention most board companies can not afford to pay the incentives side of a contract if the riders starts to win enough contests and published work, so they back out of the contracts or drop you. I can think of countless athletes who are still owed thousands of dollars from board companies that did not follow threw with there end. snowboard companies come and go, but the strong hold companies most these riders have and deserve will pay the bill and not leave them hanging.

  4. Eli Andrews

    There is no coincidence that almost every rider on this list was somehow involved with Burton or the Brand “Forum”
    Jake Burton was a stock broker turned board builder. If you aren’t putting out rider of the year parts and or gold medals you’re going to get cut. Mervin MFG. On the other hand treats their riders like family. Jamie Lynn and Temple Cummins have been on board since the 90s and while they have gotten out of the limelight they are still relevant. IPOD is still on the big B. As for Chas I’m afraid that DCs image doesn’t vibe with contest only results and a mediocre parts in Standard movies. Everyone do the industry a favor and support other companies besides Burton and DC. There riders are left high and dry and luckily there are brands out there like YES and SLASH to pick up older but amazing riders. Boards made in China have no place in snowboarding Ahem, Burton snowboards.

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