The 19th Longboard Classic returned to Stuben, Arlberg this April, bringing together snowboarders from all over the world to celebrate the heritage and roots of standing sideways. This year's was bigger and better than ever before, so read on for shots of eye-wateringly bright outerwear, chilled vibes in the sunshine and some seriously rad old-school setups.
St Anton may be well known for it’s affluent clientele, but every year, a group of filthly good-for-nothin’ snowboarders gather down the valley in Stuben for the Longboard Classic. The event is one of the most chilled and inclusive out there, bringing together families, pros and old-timers and inviting everyone to dust off their neon onesies and step-ins that they’ve had stashed away in the attic.
The Longboard Classic isn’t a freestyle event, and as a matter of fact, it’s actually centred around a race, which to the uninitiated could sound pretty intimidating. But it’s the manner of this race that really sets it apart from all that lycra nonsense, making it well worth checking out.
Rather than recording individual times, the attendees are split into groups depending on the gear they’re riding and set off en-masse, Chinese downhill style.
Competitors sprint from the starting line to the edge of the un-pisted mega face, strap in as fast as they can and pin it all the way down to the valley. The first one down of the pack claims it. There are categories for the guys and girls who are on longboards (over 172cm long for men, 162cm for women), those who are on old school gear (boards from 1990 or earlier), and essentially everyone else: the no-schoolers.
This year the event recorded its biggest ever attendance - no doubt helped by the perfect bluebird weather and fantastic snow conditions. As always, after the racing shenanigans were done and dusted there was plenty of time for some more cruisy slush laps, a chance to demo a board from the numerous brands that were pitched up, or for just chilling in the sun with a beer and the homies.
In the evening, the legendary Longboard Classic afterparty got going with some classic snowboard movies playing in the event tent followed by an insanely good DJ set from Mortal Kombat. Like every year, there was an abundance of foot stomping, loose dancing and the inevitable sore heads that followed the next day.
We‘re big fans of the Longboard Classic because of its inclusivity. It’s rad to see so many kids and participating, and it’s nice to have an event where the people who top the podiums aren’t necessarily the main focus. The other plus side is getting to see so much legit throwback gear in one place. From classic Burton and Sims models to Funky snowboards and Crazy Bananas - it’s all here.
Next year the Longboard Classic turns 20, and it’s safe to say it’ll be insane.