It’s pretty common knowledge by now that Shaun White is a majority shareholder in the company that owns the Air & Style series. Quite what he was going to do with the brand has been thrown open to wild speculation.
The contest will also incorporate other elements familiar to the Shaun White brand: skateboarding, BMX, three music stages, an interactive kids area; a fashion show; technology; cuisine, gaming, art and… skiing.
Until now. Over the weekend Air & Style announced that not only will the continue the Beijing contest, they are rebooting the Innsbruck leg and adding another event in Pasadena, CA, the first Air & Style to take place on American soil.
As many correctly hypothesized, not only will the contest feature the mega-booter (built by Snow Park Technologies) that the series is known for, it’ll also incorporate other elements familiar to the Shaun White brand: skateboarding, BMX, three music stages, an interactive kids area; a fashion show; technology; cuisine, gaming, art and… skiing.
No scooters then.
Not only will El Blanco take to the stage as part of his band Bad Things, he’ll also be involved in the riding itself, though at the moment it looks unlikely he’ll actually be competing. He’ll instead be present at both snow and skate demos taking place over each two day event.
This is what he himself had to say:
Air + Style brings together my personal and professional interests. Seeing sports, music, fashion, art and culture collide at a venue like the Rose Bowl is going to be incredible. The Rose Bowl is an iconic stadium that carries meaning for the residents of Pasadena, the city of Los Angeles and sports fans across the U.S.; it felt like the natural fit for such a unique event. Air + Style has been an international event since 1993 and has been hosted in historic stadiums like the Birds Nest in Beijing. Having traveled extensively for snowboarding and skateboarding, and now for music with my band BAD THINGS, it has been interesting to see how people in different parts of the world react to music and sports. Air + Style brings these worlds together. This event has so many elements and appeals to people of all ages. I love that all my friends and family can come and enjoy the two-day experience.
What no one will confirm nor deny however is which, if any, of the two main snowboard competition circuits this will run in conjunction with. Shaun White famously has little time for the TTR, but seemingly has no loyalty for FIS either other than during his Olympic cycles.
At a time where the WST is desperately trying to unify all contests (other than the Olympics) and crown a legitimate world champ, throwing a third ‘tour’ into the mix would seem like the worst thing to happen to the competitive snowboarding circuit as it’ll pull riders in yet another direction. And seeing as the prize purse for these events is quite substantial ($450,000), it’s quite likely that this will do just that.
Still, it’ll be a show, that’s for sure, Air & Style always is, and we’ll probably be amongst those watching.