October 17th 2006, 10.30am, Munich, press conference for the Nokia Air & Style 2006
The sky is grey in Bavaria’s capital, but in one of the trendiest bars things are looking bright for snowboarding as Christophe Schmidt and David Benedek are given the honour to introduce this year’s Air & Style concept.
Both world-class riders are from Munich and have been participating at the A&S, one of the most popular snowboard events around, for years – with David winning it in 2002. When the contest moved from Seefeld in Austria to Munich last year they were stoked to represent their hometown. Unfortunately both spectators and riders were not completely satisfied with last year’s contest – for the majority of the former it was hard to follow the snowboarding as many spectators were situated where they could only see the take off but not the landing. And for the latter, the construction of the ramp was not perfect and they had difficulties getting speed. Plus it seemed that the FMX contest was unintentionally getting more attention than the snowboarding. “But for 2006 this is all going to be changed", says Andrew Hourmont, the founder of the Air & Style. And we believe him because the new set up looks much improved.
Firstly, on December 2 the spectators will now view the ramp from the front, both on the grandstand as well as in the arena, and thus they will be able take in the whole jump much better. To improve the kicker construction, Benedek, Schmidt and Austrian Sani Alibabic met with the designers and shapers of the ramp over the summer. They told them what needs to be changed to make the jump more spectacular for both riders and audience: “We went back to what the jump looked like back in the days in Seefeld – less distance, more height. It doesn’t make sense to have a big gap but not enough run-in to really go big", Benedek said at the press conference. Plus, an additional two metres of run-in will result in more pop, longer airtime and more progressive tricks. To focus more attention on the snowboard action there will be more jumps thanks to a Rookie Challenge with some of the best talents of USA, Europe and Asia facing off in the afternoon (watch out for the Strauss Twins – visit their blog!) and three jumps per round in the main snowboard event (the format stays head-to-head like last year), with only the best one counting.
The FMX contest has been reduced in time a little but will be more exciting as the riders compete against each other in a one run head-to-head format. Furthermore, the FMX area goes straight over the second and smaller snowboard jump – maybe Nate Adams, Ailo Gaup or German Busty Wolter will use it for kind of petrol-powered madness?
Last but not least, the musical set up has also changed: This year there will be three rather than two bands playing at the Air & Style – Milburn, a British newcomer band with Ska influences as the first act, Billy Talent from Canada with some rock tunes and Seeed as the headlining act wrap up the evening after the snowboard final and prize giving.
As ever, there will be a big after show party when the contest has ended in Munich’s club 4004, with 4 floors and international DJ stars like Toni Touch, Sentinel Sound, Silly Walks Movement and a bunch of others…
One thing that hasn’t changed over the years is the riders who’ll be there are all at the top of their game: last year’s winner Hampus Mosesson, TTR World Champ Mathieu Crepel, Finnish sex symbol Eero Ettala, 2002 Air & Style winner David Benedek, Suisse styler Nicolas Müller and many more…
Nokia Air & Style 2006, December 2nd, Munich, Germany.
Start: 15.30, End: approx. 22.30
Tickets: €34,90 (main grandstand), € 41,90 (arena), € 125 (VIP) available from: www.muenchen-ticket.de, www.eventim.de, www.oeticket.at
More info: www.air-style.com