Holy shit. Snowboarding just got a nice addition to its poker hand. The Natural Selection Tour officially made its mark today and it was everything we hoped for and so much more.
We really didn’t now what to expect tuning in at 3:30am this morning, tired and wondering if it was a ‘back to the bed’ moment. However, as soon as Gigi Rüf dropped in…we were glued to the screen for the entire event. Racing to the bathroom to not miss any action.
Round 1 delivered. Fresh course and conditions you travel and drop your life savings on to ride. What an incredible day to kick off Round 1 and launch the event. Not only the riding being top tier but the competitive level and how it was integrated into the event was unreal! The format had us not wanting to miss anything.
Austen Sweetin and Gigi Rüf first out the gate in heat one set the bar high and it was game on. Nerves turned into excitement as stoke levels were spread across the course.
In the first round of the mens first four heats, it was Austen Sweetin, Sage Kotsenburg, Blake Paul and Ben Ferguson put it down…clean and mean to progress through to day two of competition (date tbc).
The females put everything on the line in their four heats. Jamie Anderson was the first to drop and came in hot going huge on her run. Riding and navigating through 16 tracks from the previous heats really came into play. The females had to ride smart and powerful to get down the bottom of the run successfully. Things got heated between Robyn Van Gyn and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott as they battled it out into a tiebreaker run. Zoi putting it down on her third run and advancing through to day two of competition. It was Elena Height, Hana Beaman, Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and Marion Haerty that advanced through to day two of competition.
The next round of heats for the mens was stressful and so sexual to watch. Mark McMorris stamped his mark, as he always does…It was like he was just cruising in the park, putting down one of the best back to back runs of the event so far. The Travis Rice and Chris Rasman match up, was as good as competition gets. Both putting it down and going into a tiebreaker, it was a mix of challenging conditions with all the tracks, mind games and going for broke. Travis came out on top.
Pat Moore showed why he’s a force to be reckoned with laying down an incredible last run of the day to beat Nils Mindich in their tiebreaker showdown. Men that made it through to day two were Mikkel Bang, Pat Moore, Travis Rice and Mark McMorris!
Day two of competition is yet to be called. Maybe tomorrow…which would be sick.
Here are the match ups:
Heat 1: Austen Sweetin vs Blake Paul
Heat 2: Ben Ferguson vs Sage Kotsenburg
Heat 3: Mark McMorris vs Travis Rice
Heat 4: Pat Moore vs Mikkel Bang
Heat 1: Hana Beaman vs Zoi Sadowski-Synnott
Heat 2: Elena Height vs Marion Haerty
Stay tuned for details around day two on our social channels here. Tune in live thanks to Red Bull right here.