23/01/2010 | by Tom Copsey
Our 2009 flashback continues and begins in May with the tragic loss of two well-know, talented and respected riders. Our thoughts go out to their family and friends. Over the summer not a great deal happens until August when pipe riding gets retarded…
British snowboarding is rocked by news of the death of Chamonix-based snowboard coach and all-round nice guy Keith McIntosh at the annual British Boardtest in Kaunertal. The snowboarding world mourns the loss of another influential rider as Karine Ruby dies after falling into a crevasse in the mountains above Chamonix. Rest In Peace.
Dedicated shredders who’ve not quenched their thirst for ripping make a beeline for their glacier of choice, with slushy, sun-drenched parks on ice patches above Les Deux Alpes, Dachstein, Hintertux, Whistler and Mount Hood seeing the bulk of the action over the summer months. Others fly beneath the Equator’s waistband as winter hits the southern hemisphere and resorts in NZ and South America open their doors. We put up what feels to be over a thousand teasers for movies varying from random to epic on the website and everyone else went surfing, or so it seems.
Confirming what we’d heard back in April, ESPN and Canal+ announce plans to bring the X-Games to Europe – Tignes, France more precisely. The Onboard crew are stoked to have 1000 free text messages per month.
As seems to be a yearly occurrence now, another big name rider leaves the Burton team for pastures new upon which to graze. This time it’s Finnish legend Heikki Sorsa who finds himself out on his ear and, in a surprising move, opts for small core brands Bond Outerwear and Weekend Snowboards.
Other than that, we put up another billion movie teasers and everyone else is still surfing.
Yep, most people are still surfing but in an effort to remind pro shredders that they belong in the mountains and not in Bali the contest season kicks off afresh in the southern hemisphere dragging some back from their beachside retreats. Lack of snow leads to the Australian Open being cancelled but across the water in New Zealand, the NZ Open more than makes up for it. 1-0 to the Kiwis. It’s the pipe contest that’s the real talking point as a number of riders unleash their double corks and set the bar for an exciting season leading up to the Olympics. Shaun White wins, with his last two hits a Cab 10 double cork and front 9 double – clearly having a private pipe with dual foam pits built for you to train without any pressure does wonders for one’s whirlybirding. It’s not just White who’s at it, though. Word on the street is that Shaun wasn’t planning to show his hand until Louie Vito pulled a first hit Cab 10 double cork in the qualifiers and Luke Mitrani unleashed his double Heave-Hos. Say what you want about White but there’s no denying he’s a serious competitor.
Back in Oz it’s time for Stylewars in Falls Creek where, despite some cruddy weather, Mikkel Bang returns from injury and continues his uncanny knack of making switch backside 12s actually look good, but even this is not enough to stop Sebastien Toutant and his double cork ‘Tootsie Roll’ 10s and 12s taking first place. This result, combined with another first place at the NZ Open slopestyle, means Toots becomes the youngest ever TTR tour leader. 1-1 in the Aussie/Kiwi contest kickabout.
So, with minds blown by where snowboarding’s pushed itself to these days, attention swings back to the northern hemisphere as summer winds down and we’re eagerly anticipating seeing all the movies we’ve been teased with and to watch snowboarding on steroids ourselves. Our final flashback, covering September to December, will be here on New Year’s Eve.