The Humans of the Transfer Banked Slalom | TBS 2024

The tournament of turns is as much about the snowboarders, as it is about the snowboarding.

X marks the spot, and on the Australian winter calendar, no event is more critical than that of the Transfer Banked Slalom. In 2024, the Tournament of Turns is turning ten. With registrations merely days away from being open, our inboxes have been pinging with anticipation. It’s safe to say, the spirit has never been stronger. Best save the date for Friday, 16th August, 2024.

With the tribal gathering of Australian Snowboarding edging closer, we’re drilling down on the cross-section of key figures that make up the tournament of turns.

One man, 2 nose rings and a vision to carve a Banked Slalom course into the Sponars abyss. Matt Galina. Photo: Fawcett

The Builders

Under the adverse conditions of the Australian Winter, Thredbo’s park crews have defied possibility in pursuit of building the Banked Slalom Course. Last year’s low-tide efforts by Anna Fisher and her crew confirmed the commitment of Thredbo to hosting the event – with the novelty of being held in High Noon.

While ‘Playground’ might be the home to today’s course, in its earlier years abreast the sponors t-bar, in an icy-moonscape filled with jagged rocks – Matt Galina carved in a considerably gnarlier course for TBS 1,2,3. Offerings of concussions and collabones to Gallina’s gully were commonplace in a course, where one man would fight the elements in the 11th hour to build what’s become the Transfer Banked Slalom. Although he nearly froze to death, Matt came down from the mountain, and his legacy lives on – to build the course no matter the conditions. This die-hard DIY ethic, is now TBS DNA. 

The Forefathers

As a celebration of snowboarding, perhaps the TBS’ greatest achievement has been unearthing the trailblazers who brought snowboarding to our shores. Often, unassumingly mingling in the pits will be the legendary Geoff Sawyer and Adrian ‘Gibbo’ Gibbs. Guests of the highest order, having blessed the TBS with their presence in the past – we have it on good word that the 10th tournament of turns will draw them out from their south coast enclaves, alongside the founding father of the first Australian Banked Slalom – Ashley Mullins and O.G speed freak Darren Powell.

Peter ‘Coppo’ Coppleson – an Australian Snowboarding legend, at the 2016 TBS. P: Fawcett

The Masters

You’d think the most contented category would be the opens, but you’d be wrong. The most revered race category is that of the masters’ division. A real dogfight between those well-established in the pages of Australian Snowboarding against those still yet to receive the notoriety they long for. Think group chats circulating with claims and callouts for one-on-one race meet-ups.

It’s here, guys like Mark Cowley can be found trolling Adrian ‘Tex’ Borcherds, with a pre-run hot wax, and the godfather Tim Vlandis runs rings of intimidation. With mere seconds between them, it’s the category where pride is most at stake. If there’s old beef still standing between riders, chances are it’ll rear its head in the masters division. 

Mikey Wright, everyone’s favourite power surfer dipping into the Tournament of Turns. P: Heywood

The Cross-overs.

The allure of riding a course so curated and curvaceous like that of the TBS can prove to be too much for the skiing fraternity, so much so that it causes them to cross-over into the snowboarding realm. It’s hear you’ll find the famed teen freeskier of the mid 2000s Boen Ferguson hauling ass and holding his own abreast a board and edging on a top-ten finish.

If it’s not the skiers, the skegs’ll be having a crack. With banks that have replicated stand-up barrels and the opportunity to blow the imaginary fins-out on a few corners, surfing-centrefold names like Mikey Wright and Craig Anderson have gotten their feet in the TBS wax. Hell, we even got sidetracked and gave away some Libtec x Lost surfboards at the 5th iteration of the TBS.

This man is responsible for the hottest wax’s around – Mike Smith of First Tracks. P: Horvath

The wax-freaks

With iteration of the TBS, comes the pre-race preparation (and shit talk). At the core of this are the wax jobs found amongst those in podium contention. While those participating, and highly decorated racers like Jarryd Hughes, Josie Baff and Belle Brockhoff are all anticipated to have high-tech base structures, it’s the likes of Jye Kearney who might come packin’ the hottest wax. A strategic and annual alliance between Jye and First Tracks Mike (Smith) sees a Burton Air reissue wheeled out each race day, with rumours circulating of the time/effort spent ensuring that this board is the fastest in show.

For the rest of us prepping our daily drivers for the race, a complementary hot-wax from the crew at ESS never goes astray, thanks to their hosting of the official Transfer Banked Salom Wax Night and BBQ.

Wiki’s no doubt the Mum to beat, but there’s plenty of contenders. P: Adam Kroenert

The Mums and Dads

In its maturity, the Transfer Banked Slalom has become a real parental outpost for Australian Snowboarding. From Mother-daughter duo podium-sweeps like that of the legendary Marguerite Cossettini and Freya Hammerlein. To the unearthing of flat-spin king come awarded architectural builder Robbie Walker and son, showing up at TBS 8 (unannounced) and securing one of the most celebrated wins of the event’s history. Oliver Windshuttle in juniors under Abi Bright’s lark, while Dad-Max chases down his brother Timmy for a podium finish in the Masters. In its 10th year, will this be a homecoming for Torah? 

Either way, what started out in its infancy as a piss-fueled ruckus, set up in no-mans land has evolved into a seemingly family-orientated show of snowboarding for a large part of the field. However, the ruckus energy still runs deep. 

Quite possibly the peak of all outfits, Shaun wasn’t even playing.

The dresser-uppers

While the origins of dressing up in theme with the Banked Slalom are somewhat unknown, the array of outfits seen at each year’s event continues to grow. No one ever announced a costume component to the event but as years went by, those wearing performance-inhibiting outfits have been in contention for the ‘Spirit’ award. From arse-less chaps to the sighting of Shaun White, it’s safe to say we’ve seen some shit. 

No one was second-guessing Terje’s 1st place podium in open Mens at TBS 7. P: Johnny McCormack

The big Names

While Australia might be a hotbed for international snowboard talent and headline acts nowadays, the TBS has served as a host and drawcard for the biggest names in snowboarding. In its first year, J-Robble (Jason Robinson) came and set the trend for riders outside of training regimes to visit. J-Rob ended up taking first-place honours in opens, and in the following years, the likes of Nicolas Muller, Mathieu Crepel, Bryan Fox, Austin Sweetin, JP Walker, Pat Moore, Mike Rav and the cat himself, Terje – who entertained the idea of competing on his snowskate, have all gone up against the most instrumental person of all …


That’s right, big names can take a back seat at the Banked Slalom because the Transfer Banked Slalom is undoubtedly the annual gathering of Australian Snowboarding. A tribal celebration, where riders from all corners of this continent can come together, talk shit, drink beer(s) and try to beat each other down a course that embodies the very spirit of snowboarding. From ages 5 to 62, we’ve seen upsets and underdogs storm the ranks and energy-drink-sponsored riders loop out on the first turn. Whether you’re there to race, heckle, get high or have one weekend snowboarding for the year, best hitch it to the Transfer Banked Slalom. 

At any given TBS, legends roam. Here, old friends – Damon Hayler and Chumpy (RIP) cross paths at the 3rd annual TBS. P: Fawcett

With the date set for Friday, August 16 2024, registrations for 2024 Transfer Banked Slalom will be live in the coming week, so commence the wax regime, draw your opponents and get ready for the 10th annual Tournament of Turns. Keep your eyes glued HERE.


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