And the King of the Hill is... - Onboard Magazine

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And the King of the Hill is…

Fortunately the day started a bit different than all the other days before: When I looked outside the window this morning, it was not raining but had dumped during the night!

Riksgränsen covered with some centimeters of fresh powder!

The visibility was still not really good so we decided to catch up with Pirates producer and filmer Basti Balser for an interview in the morning. If you want to know the title of next year’s movie and who has the banger part, come back here as I will upload the interview probably tomorrow or on Monday. I know I have already promised an interview with Swedish rider Stefan Karlsson but this guy is harder to get hold of than James Bond! Never mind, Basti has told some interesting stuff about their trips so you shouldn’t miss it…

Mattias Johannesson on the backcountry slopestyle course. (picture: Lucas Nilsson)

We timed it right as straight after the interview the backcountry slopestyle started at 1 p.m and fortunately it wasn’t raining this time. None of the riders had built any kickers as all the wet slush from yesterday has frozen during the night but nevertheless the course looked really good with some cliff drops, a backcountry kicker and a step up corner. Jonte Nilsson was the favourite after a first and second place in the big air and moguls yesterday and it was a close call but in the end Peter Ström brought it home with a really creative line and a huge drop, Jonte becoming third. Here is what he said after the contest: “The contest was a lot of fun and a bit like a freeride contest where you had to be creative and find a good line. My problem was that I couldn’t really find a line so I mainly concentrated on the kicker.” Nevertheless I guess Jonte won the “King of the Hill” overall ranking. Why I’m only guessing? Well, they just told us that there is no space for us at the rider’s banquet which will host the prize giving… After the weather and the poor conditions, this is just the tip of the iceberg. I think Peter and me have to get drunk now, the cabin fever just hit us terrible…

The weather changed all the time today – from clouds to snow to sunshine. Photographer Lucas Nilsson managed to capture this unique moment…

It was a real great experience to finally be able to visit such a legendary place like Riksgränsen and nobody can do anything against a sometimes grumpy mother nature but I had the feeling that they could have organised the whole event much better. As it also included a freestyle skiing division that decided over the Swedish national champion at the same time, it seemed like they were putting much more effort in the skiing event and left the snowboarders with the worst conditions. I think it would be much better to leave the organisation of a snowboard event to snowboarders and not skiers… Nevertheless thanks Riksgränsen for hosting us and I hope you are in a better mood next year!

Jonathan Nilsson, King of the Hill 2008. (picture: Peter Lundström)

Here is the ranking for the backcountry slopestyle:

1. Peter Ström
2. Tomas “Knoddas” Johansson
3. Jonathan Nilsson
4. Johan Arijoki
5. Frederik Tegerbro

For more information check out the King of the Hill website.


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