Red Bull Supernatural: Rider list announced!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ll have seen the epic trailer for Travis Rice’s new backcountry snowboard contest in Baldface, BC, christened: Supernatural. Well today Travis and his friends at Red Bull have announced the rider list, and it goes as follows:

David Carrier-Porcheron CAN
Devun Walsh CAN
Eero Niemela FIN
Gigi Rüf AUT
Jake Blauvelt USA
John Jackson USA
Kazu Kokubo JPN
Lucas Debari USA
Mark Carter USA
Mark Landvik USA
Nicolas Müller SUI
Eric Jackson USA
Scotty Lago USA
Terje Håkonsen NOR
Travis Rice USA
Wolfgang Nyvelt AUT

Travis Rice warms up for a new kind of snowboard contest. Photo: Scott Serfas

As you can see, it’s pretty much a who’s who of backcountry freestylers, so no doubt about it, this contest is gonna go off! As for how the 16 names were selected, the press release explains that “invites were sent to riders on the forefront of bringing freestyle snowboarding into natural terrain. The invite list is partially made up of the top finishers from the Quiksilver Natural Selection, such as Mark Carter, DCP, Nicolas Müller and Wolfgang Nyvelt. Travis Rice and a panel of experts next extended invites to established pros and freeride contenders including Jake Blauvelt, John Jackson, Mark Landvik and Terje Håkonsen. To round out the freestyle contingent of the field, Scotty Lago and Kazu Kokubo, along with two wildcards who are deeply involved in contest-based slopestyle snowboarding, were invited. Wildcard invites will go to the X Games men’s slopestyle gold medalist, to be crowned on January 28th in Aspen, and the current top seeded slopestyle rider on the TTR World Tour, Canadian Mark McMorris. If Mark McMorris wins slopestyle at X Games, the second wildcard spot will go to the silver medalist.”

So that’s that then. As for who gets to judge such an illustrious field of competitors, and on what criteria, we’re told that “Red Bull Supernatural’s judging team will include some of the most recognized legends of snowboarding including Tom Burt (Head Judge), Andy Hetzel, Temple Cummins, Shin Campos, Bryan Iguchi and Mel Simmons (Assistant Head Judge). The overall impression judging system will be used taking into account the line’s risk, flow, amplitude, creativity, tricks and control. Overall judged scores will look at the riders’ use of the course as a whole, navigating the steep upper tree section, two cliff bands, a 300’ wide jump and a lower powder park section. All competitors will receive two complete runs with a bonus third run going to the riders who finish in the top eight after the first two runs. The best single run score of the day will win.”

Which leaves just one burning question: when exactly is it happening, and where can you watch it? Well, the event has a five day weather window between February 3rd and 8th, and the competition will take place on just one day – whichever looks like having the best conditions. It seems there will be no live webcast, however, and while viewers in America can look forward to a “two-hour Red Bull Supernatural special airing” on March 31st via the national NBC network, we’ve yet to hear the plans for worldwide TV or web coverage. Your best bet for now is to visit for updates.

Incidentally, the Supernatural event apparently forms just one part of a new, cross-sport series of Red Bull events called the Red Bull Signature Series. So if you’re into your BMX or mountain biking, keep an eye out for some more mindblowing concepts in the next few months (a few of you might remember the Devon based Empire of Dirt they hosted back in 2008, and rumour has it the latest comp is gonna be special).

In the meantime, the anticipation surrounding Travis Rice’s project goes into overdrive. Will it live up to the hype? Can a powder contest really claim to crown “the best all-around snowboarder on the planet”? And will that rider be Travis?! Time will tell.

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