Number 5 on our list of rad banked slalom events, and bringing us bang up to date is Nike’s Snake and Hammers. As David Benedek once told us back in issue 102 when asked about the future of slopestyle courses: “They should build stuff that’s so odd you can’t even do a double cork – even if it’s ten whoop-di-doos into a drop down. Some crazy shit. It should be about who can ride this thing creatively.” Turns out that Nike did exactly that.
Snake and Hammers combined the berms and whoops of a traditional banked slalom with features that are more at home on professional slopestyle courses – stairsets with handrails, massive booters and a mini halfpipe section. Nike of course then proceeded to invite a whole host of top riders to ride the courses (including Mr. Benedek himself we might add) and the rider with the quickest time and best tricks took the crown.
The Snake and Hammers event that Nike have conjured is a perfect example of how something as tried and tested as the banked slalom has been fused with an aspect of snowboarding that is at the forefront of progression and created something truly unique.
It’s an encouraging step for snowboard racing and for all of us who love using our edges for a little more than scrubbing a bit of speed on the way to the next down flat down rail.
Which banked slalom course would you most like to ride in this list and why? Let us know in the comments!