In case further proof were needed that Alaska remains the ultimate proving ground for snowboarders, have a gander at this latest webisode from the Pirates crew, which takes us behind the scenes of Perceptions.
Gigi Rüf has been coming to AK for a mind-boggling eleven years now, making the diminutive Austrian something of a yoda to young powder padawans Elias Elhardt and Manuel Diaz - I half expected to see him clinging on to Manuel's back as he comes flying out of that spray on 2.36 ("Control! Control! You must learn control!"
Still, it doesn't really look like these guys have all that much to learn; Elias has been blowing up as a backcountry rider since THAT Pirates part last year, earning him the pleasure of Gigi's company throughout the past winter (including a trip to Japan with WL snapper Matt Georges), while Chilean ripper Diaz is perhaps the most exciting speed freak/lunatic to have arrived on the scene since Johan Olofsson - given he hails from a relatively small snowboard market, it'll be interesting to see if he continues to receive the necessary heli budget from a fresh sponsor once his Nike deal wraps up. We certainly hope so; just as skateboarding has benefitted from a ton of South American talent, it's refreshing to see a snowboarder from the Andes ripping up the rule book.
Coincidentally, if this edit has inspired you then why not grab our latest snowboard wallpaper for your desktop, starring Gigi in AK?