Above: Torgeir Bergrem styles out at X Games Norway, a TTR Elite event. Photo: Mike Brindley
Competitive snowboarding (and the organisational structures behind it) are so fractured right now that it may come as a surprise to that the World Snowboard Federation (WSF) and Ticket To Ride Pro Snowboarding (TTR) were still two different entities. But that shouldn't lessen the importance of the news that the two organisations have merged to form one.
In fact, it's the divided nature of our international circuits that makes this, in its nature at least, a positive step in the right direction. Where we've previously lamented the lack of unity that's seen FIS events clash with X Games, surely anything resembling a move towards a cohesive organisation that has the best interests of snowboarding at its heart is a good start?
We first heard that this action might be on the cards this time two years ago when the General Assembly of both organisations agreed that major events would be charged less to be on the TTR, and work on an authoritative 'rider's union' would continue; and with six Elite events in the 16/17 calendar as opposed to three in the 14/15 season, some progress has been made thanks to the combined efforts of the governing bodies.
But for riders still having to trek across the globe, spanning continents to seek tour points with seemingly little co-ordination across the whole affair, it's clear that there's still a little way to go. Let's hope that this official merger is the start.
In October 2017, an 'Extraordinary General Assembly' will be held in Zurich to elect a new board and president for the organisation, you can read the full press release from the TTR website here.