We promised we’d have all the info surrounding the Natural Selection Tour for 2021 off that back of our chat with Travis Rice last week. It’s arrived! And we’re stoked to share all the details with you.
This tour is snowboarding on steroids and we can’t wait to watch it all go down.
The world’s top riders from Olympians to big mountain film icons, debuts live, exclusively on Red Bull TV from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort this February 3-9. These invited riders will be competing on some of the planet’s most exciting natural and naturally-enhanced terrain in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Baldface Lodge, British Columbia and Tordrillo Mountain Lodge, Alaska. Top finishers will go head-to-head in Alaska, where the best men’s and women’s all-mountain freestyle riders will be crowned in late March.
“The Natural Selection Tour is designed with Mother Nature as the main character, and with mutual respect for and from snowboarding,” said Travis.
“Women’s snowboarding is progressing so fast and we are thrilled to have both men and women riding in the tour. I’m beyond excited to witness what is possible in snowboarding when riders of this caliber are able to build off of each other’s progress in real time on some of the absolute best riding venues. The opportunity for our team to share it with the world is humbling and a true honor.”
A manifestation of Travis Rice’s wildest dreams, the Tour’s innovative format will reveal riders’ full creative expression and require a deep knowledge of backcountry conditions to reign supreme. All events will run within seven-day windows to ensure that the terrain is in peak season conditions.
WHAT’S THE LOWDOWN ON THE TOUR LOCATIONS?
Stop 1: Jackson Hole
It all starts off at the YETI Natural Selection at Jackson Hole across Feb 3-9, there will be sixteen men and eight women dropping into the venue, a complex zone, rich with natural features, which represents one of the most rugged pieces of inbound terrain at Jackson Hole.
Stop 2: Baldface
The first week of March, top riders will drop into the Natural Selection at Baldface Lodge. The run Scary Cherry, which was home to the Red Bull Supernatural (2012) and Red Bull Ultra Natural (2013) is a freerider’s dream with 80 massive natural drops, kickers and other features spread throughout the famously powder-coated, 40°-plus slope. Baldface Lodge, set in British Columbia’s Selkirk Mountains outside of Nelson, is a snowboarding mecca with 500+ inches of annual snowfall laid across 32,000 acres of open bowls, peaks and perfectly spaced trees.
Stop 3: Tordrillo, Alaska
The championship will be held in Alaska’s remote backcountry at the Natural Selection at Tordrillo Mountain Lodge. The first-of-its-kind event going down on March 20-27 will be held on the mind-bending terrain accessed from the lodge. See riders charge the iconic steep spines and features as seen in Red Bull Media House’s The Art of Flight and most recently the Quiksilver film Dark Matter. Here the top four men’s and two women’s finishers face off on arguably one of the best venues on the planet for riders to push the boundaries of big mountain freestyle riding. Alaska will culminate with the crowning of the unquestionable top, all-around men’s and women’s snowboarder, period.
WHO ARE THE RIDERS ON TOUR?
For 2021, Elias Elhardt, Ben Ferguson, Sage Kotsenburg, Nils Mindnich, Mark McMorris, Chris Rasman, Travis Rice and Gigi Rüf are the first riders announced competing on the men’s side. Jamie Anderson, Marion Haerty, Elena Hight and Robin Van Gyn will be dropping in for the women. The second half of the riders list will be announced for both men and women in January.
“I’m really looking forward to the Natural Selection; I’ve always been inspired by backcountry riding,” said Jamie Anderson, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist. “I’ve had the privilege to compete in all kinds of slopestyle events, but never a backcountry powder tour. The course looks awesome and I’m definitely nervous, but really excited to try something new! It’s going to be insane!”
HOW TO WATCH, TUNE IN AND STOKE OUT?
The Tour will utilize the latest production technology to immerse a global audience of outdoors and sports enthusiasts directly into the action. The opening event in Jackson Hole will air exclusively, free and in its entirety, on Red Bull TV, offering viewers full-access to the evolution of snowboarding. The British Columbia and Alaska stops will air as show packages on Red Bull TV. Red Bull TV is available on the web at www.redbull.tv and as an app across mobile phones, tablets, consoles, OTT devices and Smart TVs.
Stay tuned for the other riders, more info and viewing packages soon!