Turning is so hot right now, and we couldn’t be more hyped. After having an absolute blast at the second Volcom Banked Slalom at Kitzsteinhorn this past weekend, we’ve come to the conclusion that this is exactly the kind of event that snowboarding needs more of right now.
If there was one thing that was clear from the outset, it’s that the kids, the seniors, and pretty much everyone in between, are down for banked slaloms. With a waiting list over 150 people strong, there simply wasn’t enough time in the day for everyone who wanted to ride the course to do so. Tip: sign up early next year!
While the weather could have been a little more cooperative on the day, with heavy cloud blanketing the course for most of it, everyone was still pumped to send their best time through the berms.
After a couple of practice runs, it was yours truly who had somehow lucked out with the number 1 bib, and opened up the timed runs. No pressure then…
At the start gate it’s almost impossible not to feel some nerves. You drop in to roars of encouragement and you’re just praying that you can hold it together enough to not totally stack it with everyone watching. The course had so much flow, with banked turn after banked turn allowing you to point your board downhill, without any real need to scrub speed. Towards the end of the course your whole body is burning and you tell yourself to keep it together for just a couple more turns.
Luckily, I made it to the bottom of the course without any major spills and ended up with a semi-respectable time of 120 seconds – good enough for 27th place. With a barbeque and a beer waiting at the bottom, it was the perfect spot to just chill for the rest of the day, as you watch your friends cross the finish line with varying degrees of success.
Congrats to Tadej Valentan for bossing the Open Division, with the fastest time of the day at 1’14’’32 and to Chloe Sillieres for posting the fastest female time.
The atmosphere at the event was a very special one. Unlike some of the major contests that I’ve been to this season, the Volcom Kitzsteinhorn banked slalom felt more like a friendly gathering rather than a race. Smiles were wide despite the less than ideal weather conditions, and everyone was pumped to ride the course – so much so that once the timed runs were a wrap, everyone head up to the top for a couple more runs through until last lifts. There were some wild snowboard trains and Arthur Longo picked out a pretty chunky gap from berm to berm.
That evening, with legs aching from a hard day’s shred, everyone head over to the Volcom Castle Rock Out, which was exactly what the flyers had it billed as – a rock gig, in a full-on castle. The Picture Books rounded out the day with one of the most energetic sets we’ve watched in a while – be sure to catch them live if you ever get a chance.
All tales told, the Volcom Kitzteinhorn Banked Slalom was a huge success, and we can’t wait to return next year for more berms, bands and beers. Big up to Volcom and Kitzsteinhorn for putting on such a sick event!
1st- TADEJ VALENTAN 1’14’’32
2nd- ARTHUR LONGO 1’14’’51
3rd- MICHAEL DAVID 1’14’’58
1st- STEPHAN MAURER 1’14’'70
2nd- NICOLAS WOLKEN 1’16’'53
3rd- SVETJE BALTIC 1’16’’68
1st- CHLOE SILLIERES 1’20''40
2nd- REGINA LIND 1’20’'50
3rd- MARY LUGGEN 1’22’'25
15 and under division:
1st- MORITZ KAUFMANN 1’25’'10
2nd- JOHANNES SKREBER 1’29’'63
3rd- DANTA BRCIC 1’32’'02
40 and over division:
1st- IVO GMUR 1’15’'39
2nd- CHRISTOPH LIND 1’16’'00
3rd- JAN PROKES 1’18’'53