Last week, yours truly Onboard Magazine travelled to the Austrian valley of Montafon for an all-new event concept called Nike Snake & Hammers. Nike and the Montafon had conjured up a banked slalom cum slopestyle course that was open to everyone who felt like a few fast turns, slow spins, and slushy transitions. The aim was to snake down course as fast as possible while dropping their best „hammers“ along the way. The course was a combination of numerous turns and banks, the park included a stairset, side by side kicker setup, big bowl, a gap through a snow tunnel to a straight rail, a creative halfpipe and a small hip. In our humble opinion, it was the laid-back park design that made the event stand out, as punters, media, and pros alike were eager to get their edges dug into the banked turns and snake pipe walls.
Despite the challenging weather on the first three days (snowfalls and high fog) the vibe was outstanding, as the course was as inviting and fun to ride as it gets. On the day of the finals the sun came out, many pros and legends alike turned up and made for an unforgettable day on the mountain. Nike pros like Peetu Piiroinen, Jamie Nicholls, Kevin Backström and Spencer O'Brien were joined by an illustre crew of riders like David Bertschinger Karg, Enzo Nilo, Stephan Maurer, Nico Droz, David Benedek and Steve Gruber.
When the judging was complete on the day of the finals, Christian Haller (SUI) showed he had the best mix of balance, speed and tricks winning him a share of the $10,000 prize purse. With a race time of 01:25,10, frontside lipslide on the gap downrail, frontside 720 tailgrab off the kicker and many other tricks he claimed a deserved win. Spencer O’Brien won the women’s contest by snaking down the course with her well documented power and style with the best hammer award going to Jamie Nicholls who threw a perfectly stomped backside 1080 off the kicker.
1. Christian Haller / SUI 2. Stephan Maurer / SUI 3. Peetu Piiroinen / FIN
1. Spencer O’Brien / CAN 2. Nicola Thost / GER 3. Aline Bock / GER
BEST HAMMER: Jamie Nicholls / ENG
Further information about the contest and the complete ranking are published on www.snakeandhammers.com.