11/04/2013 | by Youri Barneoud
Mission Accomplished – Vans Hi Standard series successfully brought some style to European snow resorts. Paying homage to the roots of the brand, Vans introduced a new concept in ‘competitive’ snowboarding for 2013. Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of Vans’ first snowboard boots, the Hi Standard series aimed to bring the fun and style back to competition. Events took place in major European snowboard resorts throughout March and April, and featured an original big air format and rail jam. Riders were judged on individual style, creativity and ‘self-expression’, whilst to keep it clean, rotations over 720 were not permitted.
More than 200 riders, old and young, boys and girls, amateurs and seasoned pros, were battling for Van Doren Dollars in France, Austria and Scotland. The judging criteria strictly focused on style, variety and creativity – and of course, fun factor; having a good session together, enjoying a BBQ and celebrating the true spirit of snowboarding is all that counted over these few days.
The Vans Hi-Standard kicked off on March 12th in front of the infamous restaurant ‘L’Altiport’ in Les Arcs. During this round, the French riders could get their hands on 2,000 EUR cash for tricks, bringing out their best with style.
Moving on to Austria’s hotspot of snowboarding culture, Zillertal, the second stop of the series was a prime example of the “off the wall” spirit, with a perfect balance of competition and camaraderie, interspersed with some great riding.
With the resort having supported the sport at its best, there could not be a better location to host this event than the Vans Penken Park. Local support from those riding, watching or simple soaking up the atmosphere, was fantastic.
The morning of the 23rd of March kicked off with the big air and soon one rider stood out of the crowd: Austrian hero Herby Thaler, whose smooth methods are unequalled within the scene, pocketed some Van Doren cash straight away. His performance was closely followed by Gabor Abonyi and local shred heads Rudi Kröll und Friedl Kolar, who threw in some impressive one footed tricks. After lunch the bank of Vans reopened over at the rail set for another jam session. This provided the perfect opportunity for Betty, the only girl in the competition to really tackle the rail section, unleashing smooth b/s boardslides on the handrail with style.
Flo Heim walked away with the days biggest stash of cash, whilst 15year old Rowan Coultan achieved the title of „Rookie of the Day“. Finishing off with a tasty Californian BBQ and live act MC Henry Jackson performing at Grillhof Alm it was crystal clear that everyone there had a great time!
The last stop of the Hi Standard series took place in Scotland’s beautiful Cairngorm Mountains, on April 6th. The local park crew had created a truly epic set-up, perfectly for a comp of very high standards. More than 50 riders signed up, with the youngest being only 8 years old! Scottish locals Jamie Trinder and Danny McCormick were killing it, while 10year old Will Gilmore impressed the crowds with his no fear approach.
Overall 9,000EUR was awarded to the snowboarders who performed with style, rather than spinning to win, but also the best tricks and rail jam riders were also rewarded for their moves, and not to mention the worst bail!
For the 2012/13 winter season one can say that Vans accomplished it’s mission; the newly created Vans Hi Standard series successfully brought back some style to European snow resorts.
Visit www.facebook.com/VansEurope/events for more information and pics.
And also check out the Vans Hi Standard video edits:
All our previous posts on the Vans Hi Standard Series on this tag.