This year is the 10th anniversary of the legendary Wangl Tangl contest - the team battle/art festival/skate jam/musical mash-up session run by the Aesthetiker crew in Mayrhofen, Austria. Over the years the comp has attracted some of the best riders in the world to compete in its unique team format jam, and pushed the boundaries of creativity, both in terms of riding (where the team format sees riders drop simultaneously, and rewards them for busting out tricks that complement each other) and park shaping (it's not everyday you see an obstacle as crazy as the skate-bowl inspired 'Taco' on a slopestyle course). To celebrate its history and its enduring legacy as one of the most original comps in the world, the title sponsors Vans are helping the Aesthetiker crew put on a special edition this winter.
The week of the comp, which runs from March 17th to 24th, will see a whole host of sick live acts descending on Mayrhofen, including Roots Manuva, Black Twang and Brooklyn's finest M.O.P. Yep, for once at a snowboarding afterparty, you'll actually be able to hear their anthem Ante Up performed live, rather than listening to yet another German hip-hop DJ deliver his own weird mashup version...
Riders wise, the Aesthetikers are doing something a bit special this year too - as well as the invited teams, there will be three spots in the final Gang Jam for teams who come through the qualification process, so literally anyone and their mates can sign up to shred. With big guns like Iouri Podlatchikov (and of course the Aesthetikers' very own Steve Gruber and Wolle Nyvelt) already confirmed the standard's gonna be high, but if you and a couple of your mates fancy getting involved, qualifying is guaranteed to be a lot of fun. Check out the details of how to register for qualifying here.
If you and your mates don't feel up to taking on the course, it may well be worth heading out for the week anyway - the three-riders-flying-off-kickers-at-once format of the comp always makes for a pretty spectacular spectator experience. Plus there's all that music going on, the Vans Looking Sideways art show, skate jams etc. etc. And if all that's not enough, there's always the fallback of Austria's classic apres combo - schnapps and oompah-trance. And if that doesn't excite you, I really don't know what will.