Subject to an unprecedented period of growth in popularity in recent years, the banked slalom is in actual fact the original competitive snowboarding discipline. Crepel tells it like it is: “Back in the day, it dawned on us that we as snowboarders should do things differently to skiers. So we started out by putting gates in natural halfpipes, and that’s how it all got started. I’ll bet it’s as fun today as it was back then – and not to mention more fun than skiing…”
With Bang and Haakonsen setting a fast and technical course, the bar was set for a very high yet friendly level of competition in what turned out to be challenging weather conditions.
And when all was said and done, nobody could beat Crepel’s time, who finished some three quarters of a second faster than his nearest rival in the pro division, Canadian Charles Reid, and exactly one second faster than third placed finisher Haakonsen.
Crepel, a former Halfpipe and Big Air World Champion, has proved on several occasions this season that he also carves a mean turn. The 31-year-old Nixon team rider won both the Legendary Banked Slalom at Mt. Baker and the second stop of the DC Hit & Run in Meribel just a couple of months back.
“I’m really happy I got to come here and ride with all these guys,” said Crepel after being crowned champion. “It’s a great atmosphere, and it felt amazing to hear the noise of everyone cheering you as you came down the mountain. It’s events, with parties like these, that are the real roots and heart of snowboarding.” added Crepel.