Sports

World's best snowboard athletes set for competition near Nelson

Before heading up to Baldface Lodge, competitors in the Red Bull Ultra Natural event took some time to chill and enjoy a night of curling at the Nelson Curling Club on Wednesday. Here pro snowboard John Jackson (back left) and Jeff Penserio (back right) look on while Travis Rice gets set to throw a stone. - Christian Pondella photo
Before heading up to Baldface Lodge, competitors in the Red Bull Ultra Natural event took some time to chill and enjoy a night of curling at the Nelson Curling Club on Wednesday. Here pro snowboard John Jackson (back left) and Jeff Penserio (back right) look on while Travis Rice gets set to throw a stone.
— image credit: Christian Pondella photo

The world’s best snowboarders are now waxing their snowboards at Baldface Lodge just outside of Nelson as the holding period for Red Bull Ultra Natural opens.

On a single day between now and February 21, riders will redefine what is possible in competition on the snowboard run of Travis Rice’s dreams. The single day competition ensures that the event takes place under only the best possible conditions – a mix of deep powder, good sunlight, and safe conditions.

The lucky sixteen will drop into the 45-plus degree slope nicknamed “Scary Cherry” within Baldface’s tenure. The riders will be met with a wider start area, more line options, more than 80 refined on-course features, additional creative transitions and an even more inspiring jib section. This year riders will be judged on overall impression of their run with the better of two runs counting.

Due to a recent injury, Kazu Kokubo has given up his spot on the roster.

“I was really looking forward to riding with everyone again this year and hope to join everyone again next year,” said Kokubo. “Good luck to all the riders, get some powder for me.”

In Kokubo’s place, Rice hand-selected Austrian rider Wolfgang Nyvelt. Nyvelt has the potentially lethal combination of big air contest experience and serious backcountry film parts that could make a major statement at Red Bull Ultra Natural.

The updated rider list for the 2013 Red Bull Ultra Natural is as follows: Travis Rice, Gigi Rüf, Nicolas Müller, Lucas Debari, Jake Blauvelt, David Carrier-Porcheron, Eero Niemela, Wolfgang Nyvelt, Terje Håkonsen, Mark McMorris, Pat Moore, Mikey Rencz, Torstein Horgmo, Bode Merrill, Jussi Oksanen and Bryan Fox.

Fans can tune-in to NBC on March 30 at 10:30 a.m. to catch Red Bull Ultra Natural presented by Nike Snowboarding.  The show airs as part of the Red Bull Signature Series, an action sports property featuring some of Red Bull’s top events including Dreamline, Wake Open and Rampage.  The Red Bull Signature Series is the most progressive and innovative action sports property in the world, featuring surfing, snowboarding, mountain biking, skiing, BMX, wakeboarding and motorsports events.  For more information, please visit www.redbullsignatureseries.com.

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