Forget the half pipe, this new snowboarding tour is set to go au naturel.
Bringing together the world’s best freestyle snowboarders, the Natural Selection Tour will feature natural and naturally-enhanced terrain in five unique locations––Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Baldface Lodge, British Columbia and Tordrillo Mountain Lodge, Alaska. The tour kicks off at Jackson Hole on February 3-9 and will conclude in Alaska with the top finishers going head-to-head to determine the best men’s and women’s all-mountain freestyle riders 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 Rice, pro snowboarder. “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.”
Unlike many traditional snowboard contests that are run in controlled park settings, this tour will reward riders with extensive knowledge of backcountry conditions and the ability to link together a creative run on natural terrain.
The first event in Jackson Hole will feature 16 men and 8 women, including Elias Elhardt, Ben Ferguson, Sage Kotsenburg, Nils Mindnich, Mark McMorris, Chris Rasman Travis Rice and Gigi Rüf for the men; and Jamie Anderson, Marion Haerty, Elena Hight and Robin Van Gyn for the women. And for those at home, the Jackson Hole contest will air exclusively, free and in its entirety, on Red Bull TV. The British Columbia and Alaska stops will air as show packages on Red Bull TV.
“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!”
Get a sneak peak of the Natural Selection Tour in the teaser video above.