Take a look at all of the crucial moments that will make the 2013/2014 winter season one to remember.
Like it or not, the ice cream vans, trees bursting with green and sound of skateboards rolling down the sidewalks, keep reminding us that the little thing that we call the winter season is slowly drawing to a close for another year. Most of the resorts have already shut their doors and even though our flagship event (the Onboard Send Off Session), is right around the corner, we're slowly winding down for summer as well.
Pretty much all of the key snowboard events are done and dusted for the season so we thought it'd be a great time to look back at some of the most memorable moments of 2013/2014. They're neither the best, nor the worst but moreover the ones that have stuck in our heads over the past few months.
So without any further waffle, here are Onboard's top 30 moments of the 2013/2014 season (in no particular order):[splitpost intro="true" numbers="true"]
[part title="Elias Elhardt Drops the Standout Backcountry Part of the Season"]
Elias Elhardt’s part in Pirate Movie Production's Distorted Reality featured everything you could ask for in a backcountry part and more: raw energy, technical tricks, amazing flow, a damn good tune and the biggest back-to-back cab 180 / front 180 that we've ever seen committed to film. Seriously, SO nuts.
It remains one of our absolute favourite parts of this season and we can't wait to see what Elias has up his German wizard sleeve in 2014/15 (he's been hitting up the Himalayas ya know...)
[part title="Brage Richenberg Bosses the BEO"]
Brage Richenberg has been a steady bleep on our radar for a good while now (you may remember him stomping the first double backflip off a knuckle a while back), but it hasn't really been until this season that the young, currently largely sponsorless Norwegian has really flexed his muscle on the contest scene.
Brage absolutely bossed this year's 6 star Burton European Open slopestyle, topping his qualification heat and the semi final, before going on to take the win in the final over Alex Oestreng with a run that included a switch back 12, double wildcat and crazy-stylish front 12 off the toes.
Can some sponsors seriously hook this kid up already?
[part title="Brandon Davis Lands the First Cab 180 Butter to Double Cork"]
Other than taking the corking madness to a quadrupling new heights, you'd be hard pressed to think of a legit NBD still to be done on a snowboard.
However, American rider Brandon Davis channeled his inner Jussi Oksanen and pulled one off quite recently, stomping the first ever cab 180 butter to backside double cork. It was an absolute beauty as well.
[part title="Jake Blauvelt Releases 'Naturally' "]
Jake Blauvelt's highly anticipated, two year powder-porn project 'Naturally' was released on iTunes and the internet (for 72 hours only) back in October and was a breath of fresh air in an congested atmosphere of urban and backcountry booter parts.
The premise of the movie was as simple as its title: follow Jake and friends around the globe with the sickest camera gear and document him using the mountain as his natural playground.
The movie turned out amazing and is absolutely essential viewing for all snowboarders - particularly those who can appreciate the simplicity, beauty and skill in a perfectly executed powder turn.
[part title="Scott Stevens' Blows Minds With His Videograss Part"]
Videograss gave us the Christmas present we always wanted back in December - Scotty's full part from the Last Ones - and it was classic Stevens. Insane one-foots and plenty of WTF? moments - all dreamt up in the obviously swollen, trick-inventing part of Scotty's cerebral cortex.
This thing was way more entertaining than watching my aunt bicker about the texure of the Christmas pudding.
[part title="Joe Sexton's Videograss Part Was Also Next Level"]
While we're on the subject of Videograss, another definite highlight of the season was Joe Sexton's Last Ones part, which dropped waaay back in October.
It contains the kind of burly, extra-kinky jibbing that requires a bit more jib awareness to fully appreciate - you know, noticing stuff like how that boardslide through the mega kink rail was switch, and that back lip pretzels are way harder than they sound.
Give it a watch and see if you agree, we think it's easily one of the stand-out jib parts of the season.
[part title="Halldor and Sage Keep it Real at X Games"]
As arguably the most hyped competition on the snowboard circuit, it doesn't take much for the X Games to become a scene full of extra-serious faces - which of course, nobody wants to see in snowboarding.
Halldor Helgason and Sage Kotsenburg definitely didn't let it get to their heads in Aspen, with Halldor throwing in mock claims after each of his sketchy hits on the slopestyle course that gave both us and his fellow riders a reason to smile that day. Snowboarding doesn't need to be serious all the time and Halldor knows it.
Sage also kept it real on the course, with a full circle carve in the middle of his run, layback 5-0s and other super sick creative stuff. Who knew back then that his creative greatness was soon to be rewarded on a whole other level?
[part title="Next Level Pole to Drone Footage Drops"]
Innovation is always rife when it comes to cinematography and this season it's been all about the rise of the drone. Now, for 600 odd euros and a few hours learning to fly what is essentially a remote control helicopter with a GoPro mount, you can be logging some incredible snowboard footage.
Chrsitoph Weber took it to the next level, getting Mike Basich and Nicolas Wolken to hold the camera for a few turns before letting it go, only for it to take to the sky as if it were attached to a hot air balloon. The idea was inspired and could open up a whole new world of creative and accessible aerial filming.
[part title="Sven Thorgren has an insanely good season"]
Sven Thorgren is a name that most of you should be familiar with after the season that has just gone. The young Swede has been riding at another level recently with his brand of super clean, super spinny kicker crushing. Late last season Sven got a bunch of 1440s under his belt and this year he's been slowly unleashing them at contests.
One of the highlights for Sven has to be his victory at the Beijing Air & Style, where he took gold with a picture perfect backside 1440.
Sven also threw down at the Olympics in Sochi, ending up in 4th place - which, arguably should have actually been a podium spot. Nevertheless, he has become one of the most consistent slopestyle riders out there this season and will no doubt continue to dominate in 2014/15.
[part title="Ethan Morgan Speaks Out About FIS and Competitive Snowboarding"]
Ethan Morgan and Sage Kotsenburg weren't too down with how competitive snowboarding was headed in the run up to the Olympics and wrote down some of their thoughts for us. You can read it in full here.
[part title="Jed Anderson’s Never Not part"]
If we needed any more reminding of why Jed Anderson is one of the most respected jibbers in the world, his part in Nike's team movie Never Not did exactly that.
The phrase 'blows minds' is usually best left in the headlines of sensationalised buzzfeed tat, but in the case of this part it's totally justified. It's quite simply, a masterclass in technical jibbing, and if you haven't watched it yet, well... where the hell have you been this winter?
[part title="Snowboarders Invited to Nine Queens For the First Time"]
The setup at Nine Queens - an enormous snow castle in Livigno with a whole bunch of different transfer options - is one of the most impressive rideable snow structures that has ever been built.
This year for the first time, snowboarders were invited to ride at what was formerly a skier-only event and the resulting footage of girls like Silje Norendal, Jenny Jones and Spencer O'Brien sending it to the moon was pretty groundbreaking to say the least.
See, not all skiers are evil, pole wielding monsters are they?
[part title="Seb Toots Drops a Ridiculous Urban Part"]
Yes, there were cheesy staged intros, fake rail sounds and excessive slow mo but look past that and the snowboarding in this was pretty next level - like, proper computer game stuff.
[part title="Yawgoons Continue Blazing Their Trail of Radness"]
For a tiny hill out on Rhode Island in the US, Yawgoo Valley has churned out some truly world class jib talent. Dylan Gamache and his homies, aka the Yawgoons, continued their webisodes this season and got as creative with their DIY features and tricks as ever.
We didn't think it was possible to outshine Scott Stevens in a snowboard edit but in Yawgoons 12, Dylan Gamache arguably did just that - a pretty monumental achievement.
[part title="Torah Bright Competes in Three Snowboard Events at the Olympics"]
To many, Torah Bright represents the epitome of style in women's snowboarding. After already winning half pipe gold at Vancouver 2010, Torah set out on a new challenge for Sochi 2014, aiming to compete in slopestyle, pipe and boardercross.
And compete in all three she did, giving boardercross a good go, putting down some amazing slopestyle runs, and claiming the silver medal in pipe for one of the most stylish and technical women's pipe runs ever. Best of all, like a true champ, she did everything with a massive grin on her face - massive props Torah!
[part title="Bode Merrill Wins X Games Real Snow Parts"]
X Games Real Snow is a pretty rad concept. Eight of the best street snowboarders film insane 60 second parts, which are then broadcast to the world, bringing a much overlooked aspect of snowboarding into a more mainstream spotlight.
Every single one of this year's parts was ridiculous, but Bode Merrill rightfully took the gold medal with his - which featured massive transfers, one-footers that we played over and over, a transfer UP onto a down flat down rail, and other such madness
[part title="Kevin Pearce's The Crash Reel Airs"]
Back in 2009, Kevin Pearce suffered a horrific head injury that left him in a coma and with a severe traumatic brain injury.
The Crash Reel takes us on the emotional journey that is Kevin's gradual recovery and looks at the impacts that the injury had on both him and his family. It's a beautifully made documentary that we can highly recommend to all snowboarders. If nothing else, it's a stark reminder of all the little things that are the most important to us in life.
[part title="RK1 Drop One of the Sickest Park Edits of the Season"]
We have to admit that we're a little gay for the RK1 dudes. Stale Sandbech, Alek Oestreng and co. never disappoint with their high octane, super technical brand of park crushing.
They are, in our eyes at least, the definition of the perfect park edit - helped along by some fine cinematography by eccentric photographer and filmmaker Olav Stubberud - a legend in his own right.
[part title="Xavier de le Rue Hits up Antarctica"]
Xavier de le Rue could walk into a room full of the very best snowboarders in the world to be greeted by looks of bewilderment and whispers of 'holy shit, is that Xavier de le Rue? That guy is such a boss'
Xavier is a certified mentalist and this season, when he wasn't snowboarding down frozen waterfalls or bee-lining the steepest couloirs, he was hiking and snowboarding down giant faces in Antarctica. Yeah, that's right, Antarctica. The man is a level 100 boss.
[part title="Victor de le Rue Claims the Absinthe Ender"]
And lets not overlook the younger of the two de le Rue's either. Victor has been truly coming into his own over the past few years, and this season, he claimed the coverted ender part in Absinthe Film's Dopamine.
It's a super heavy part with massive spins in the backcountry and a one-foot gap to pillow that saw Victor also claim the cover of Onboard 143. If you missed Victor's part while we were streaming it here at Onboardmag.com for 48 hours, be sure to check it out in the full Dopamine movie.
[part title="Shaun White Doesn't Win at Sochi"]
Although receiving so much attention for all the wrong reasons can't have been that nice for Shaun, the fact that he went to the Olympics as a hot favourite for gold, only to walk away with absolutely nothing was an incredibly significant moment in the 2013/2014 season.
Shaun's dominance in the pipe has been unwavering for the best part of the last decade and had you asked us who would take Olympic gold in the pipe right before the event happened we would have firmly said Shaun. But with a shoddy pipe and some tough competition from Iouri and Ayumu, it just wasn't meant to be.
It came us little surprise to us that a few weeks later, Shaun announced on his facebook page that he would focusing more of his attention on his fledgling music career rather than competitive snowboarding.
[part title="Under Dawgs Take Rainbow Rails to the Next Level"]
[part title="Anna Gasser Stomps a Sick Cab Double"]
As a young, relatively unheard of Austrian ripper prior to this year, Anna Gasser has been making waves of late.
Back in November, at the Olympic training facility (Prime Park) out in Stubai, Anna stomped the first ever cab double by a female rider on a straight kicker and it was as big and legit as they come. Anna couldn't quite hold onto her runs in the Olympic slopestyle finals but is most definitely one to look out for in the future.
The girl has a whopping great pair of metaphorical balls.
[part title="Pipe Contests get a Shake Up"]
The 2013/2014 season will mark the point when traditional halfpipe contests underwent a bit of a shake up. After all of the rigid preparations leading up to the Olympics were finally out of the way, contest organisers the world over were left scrambling around to try and bring creativity and originality back into competitive snowboarding.
Terje attempted to shake up the Arctic Challenge, incorporating wallrides and jibs into the halfpipe walls, while Red Bull jumped in the action by sticking two pipes next to each other to create a massive snow spine ramp. Both contests were interesting concepts but will definitely need some refinement and improvement going forward.
[part title="Sarka Pancochova Cheats Death at Sochi"]
When a slam does this to your helmet and not your skull, you're damn thankful you were wearing it. The brutal slam of the season award goes to Sarka Pancochova!
[part title="Travis Begins Filming for Follow Up to Art of Flight"]
After two years of pre-production, filming has finally kicked off the highly anticipated follow up to Travis Rice's snowboard movie meets heli porn epic that was the Art of Flight.
For movie 3, Brain Farm have stepped up their filming capabilities even further and we're expecting the hype to reach fever pitch before this drops the season after next. You won't even need a Red Bull to feel excited for it.
[part title="Barack Obama Says Air to Fakie"]
He may get a lot of stick for a lot of his policy, but leaving all that aside, it's pretty rad that the president of the most powerful nation in the world is down with snowboarding. Air to fakie will never be said the same way again.
[part title="Sina Candrian Lands the First Ever Female Front 10 in Competition"]
Sina Candrian landed the first ever female kicker front 10 at the end of last season and decided to chuck it in her second finals run at Sochi 2014. While she didn't get it super clean and only managed 4th place when the dust settled the moment was definitely overlooked on the grand scheme of things and is more than worthy of being featured in this list. Another monumental moment for the progression of women's snowboarding. Yeah Sina!
[part title="Snowboarding Wins the Olympics"]
There had been a lot of chat in the run up to the Olympics that competitive snowboarding had sold its soul to the devil. There was no more style, mute grabs were rife and it was all about spin to win.
That whole perception was chucked in the washing machine and royally shook up when Sage Kotsenburg dropped in at the Sochi 2014 slopestyle finals and put down a run that was creative, stylish and huge all at the same time, and rewarded higher than one with back to back triples.
By winning an Olympic gold medal for the USA, Sage became the face of snowboarding overnight and as one of the most down to earth and cool kids we've ever met, there was no better person for it. Not only did Sage win the Olympics that day, but snowboarding did too. An epic moment in the 2013/2014 season.
[part title="Halldor Helgason with THAT backflip"]
If there's one single trick that sticks out in our heads more than any this season it's this one. A laid out backflip, over a sixty foot roof gap. In a neck brace.
Halldor Helgason is god.