When: Sat 4th of April 2009

Where: Leogang, Austria

And the winners are...

This weekend saw the incredible, famous and glorious finals of the Völkl Snowpark Rally 2009 and despite being an alternative photo competition for amateurs we were surprised by the high level of riding and the creativeness of the crews. But we should start with the very beginning...

Each month last winter, from December until March, you could find a new mission on the Völkl Snowpark Rally website, presented in a video message by Völkl team rider Marc-André Tarte. With missions called "Jib your friends", "Back to the roots" and "Action shot", creativity was requested and the whole mountain was the playground. Despite the funny format and the subtle missions, we were more than surprised by the hundreds of photos that got sent in and our Finish style police, Onboard´s photo ed Sami Tuoriniemi, spent many hours selecting the 12 best shots of each mission which could be voted for on the website. The prize for the best shot: A ticket for the finals in Leogang, Austria, and the chance to win an invitation to the all inclusive "Völkl Summer Surf Camp 2009" in France!

Last weekend, the winner crews of the three different missions headed towards the resort of Leogang in the middle of the Alps: The German Kannibales (winners of "Jib your friends"), the local Austrian crew Leo-Gang (winners of "Action shot") and the Slowenian Psyhoslo (winners of "Back to the roots) were ready to fight it all out. The final mission? "Postcard"! Having in mind the postcards you normally get in ski resorts, the idea was to finally create a modern postcard that you buy because you like the snowboard action and not because you want to surprise your friends at home with the ugliest postcard in the whole wide world.

So after the mission had been announced Thursday evening, the crews spent the following two days scoping and shooting in the resort. Völkl team riders Marc-André Tarte and Quentin Robbins joined the groups, giving advice on which spot could look sick and what idea probably wouldn´t work out. Also photographers Paco and Alex Papis always had an open ear for the crew´s questions on angles, light, photo equipment and the composition of a picture. The crews got more and more creative (the Leo-Gang even chartered a helicopter for an hour!) and in the end we saw a "backflip-over-a-chalet-party", an atmospheric church action shot and some crazy wood obstacles.

We will not show the postcards on the website as we wanted to spare these for one of next season´s magazines but what we can tell is that the Slowenian gang won with a postcard that got everything in it: The traditional and 80ies style Method air, some sick and contemporary snowboard action and a perfectly composed postcard Leogang can be proud of. The winner´s postcard will not only be printed but the three Slowenians also won the trip to the Völkl Summer Surf Camp which will take place in Seignosse/ France in June! Leo-Gang became second and Kannibale third, receiving some sick 09/10 Völkl outwear and hard goods.

We hope the Völkl Snowpark Rally returns next year as we wanna see more sick postcards and more pillow fights....

Text: Melanie Schönthier; all pictures: Paco.