Ben Ferguson performs in Jackson Hole, 2016; Photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool
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The Natural Selection Tour is said to be the highest level of competitive snowboarding and focuses on the backcountry.
The newest competition in the winter sports world – the Natural selection tour – will encompass the toughest, most varied and most difficult backcountry terrain in three worldwide locations. It’s an idea and a dream of professional snowboarder Travis Rice. It is the world’s first backcountry competition.
Aside from the Burton US Open, Freeride World Tourand the FIS World Snowboarding Cup, there aren’t that many big pro-level snowboard competitions. And nobody has placed so much emphasis on the hinterland so far.
Sixteen men and eight women will drive in the opening tour. Half of the drivers were announced this week; The rest will be announced in January. It is not known why the number of competitors varies by gender. The Natural Selection Tour committee selects each participant, including Pat Bridges, editor of Snowboarder Magazine, and pro snowboarders Barrett Christy Cummins and Travis Rice.
The opening event in Jackson Hole will air on February 3rd and 9th, 2021 Red Bull TV free. You can see a teaser below.
Natural Selection Tour: The Terrain
The three places on the tour are Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming, Baldface Lodge in Nelson, British Columbia and Tordrillo Mountain in Alaska. In each location, the competition depends on how well the drivers handle the natural backcountry and inbound terrain.
“The innovative format of the tour will reveal the creative expression of the riders and will require a deep understanding of the conditions in the backcountry to get the upper hand. All events take place within seven days to ensure that the site is in top condition, ”the tour website says.
In Jackson Hole, snowboarders ride through a complex zone with rugged obstacles and steep jumps. In Baldface, British Columbia, the terrain includes 80 massive drops and kickers on an extreme slope of over 40 degrees.
Travis Rice is taking a natural selection test course. Photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool
In Tordrillo, Alaska, participants will ride a section of the terrain that includes large mountain drops and narrow, steep spikes. Tordrillo’s runs reach a whopping 7,500 feet. This will be the location of the “finalists”: the four best men and two women will compete against each other in a final epic competition.
Besides being based on natural backcountry terrain, the Natural Selection Tour will try to be sustainable in other ways. The tour is partnered with Conservation International and YETI Development of a “sustainability strategy” with climate-neutral events and nature conservation initiatives.
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