Share

Events

Snowboard Events Calendar 2016-2017

When and where to see this winter's biggest comps

The Air + Style Los Angeles is now one of the world’s most high-profile Big Air contests. Photo: Sami Touriniemi

 

Following snowboarding’s competitive circuit has rarely been easy, mainly thanks to the presence of two rival tours – neither of which has the best of track records.

On the one hand you have the Fédération Internationale du Ski (FIS), which went from barely acknowledging snowboarding’s existence to presiding over its Olympic qualification process in a disturbingly short period of time. These days they run several successful snowboarding events, including their World Cup series, but the tour still struggles to shake off the baggage of history.

Then there’s the World Snowboard Tour (WST). While on paper it’s always been ‘for snowboarders, by snowboarders’, that’s never quite been enough to consistently attract the best riders – especially when an Olympic cycle rolls around.

“A lot of things change from year to year, making the competitive calendar a hard one with which to keep up”

On top of those, there’s the odd event that’s independent of either tour. These don’t tend to be “elite” contests, yet for various reasons they’ve become staples of the calendar.

A lot of things change from year to year, making the competitive circuit a hard one with which to keep up. Major shake-ups for 2016/17 include the Laax Open joining the FIS World Cup Circuit, and FIS running a ‘Super Series‘ of Big Air comps in major cities that looks an awful lot like the Air + Style.

This is all subject to further tweaks – events continue to be announced as we approach winter, the WST won’t be confirming their full calendar until early December, and some events may count for both tours – but here’s what we know so far. Included is key information about each event, covering the folowing categories:

  • Venue – where it’s all going down, obviously.
  • Disciplines – Slopestyle, Halfpipe and Big Air are the popular ones here; for the sake of simplicity we’ve omitted snowboardcross and any other forms of racing (with one notable exception). Occasionally a quarterpipe comp or rail jam may sneak in too, though.

If you’re more interested in freeriding, you can find all the dates and information for the Freeride World Tour here.

  • Tour affiliation – Whether the event is part of the FIS tour, the WST, or neither.
  • M/F – Whether the event caters for men, women, or both.

 

Events are listed in chronological order – click a link to skip:

NOVEMBER 2016: Milan Big AirAir & Style Beijing | Pleasure Jam 

DECEMBER 2016:  Arag Big Air | Dew Tour

JANUARY 2017: Moscow Big Air  | Laax Open | X Games Aspen | Mammoth Grand Prix

FEBRUARY 2017: Air & Style Innsbruck | Snowboard Jamboree | Legendary Baker Banked Slalom | FIS World Cup Bokwang | Air & Style Los Angeles | Burton US Open

MARCH 2017: X Games Oslo | Audi Snowjam

APRIL 2017:  The Brits

MILAN BIG AIR, 12th NOVEMBER 2016

The fashion capital of the world seems an odd choice of host for the competitive snowboarding season, but it’s not without precedent.

Milan actually hosted a Big Air ten years ago, and will now kick off a packed calendar of inner-city Big Air events. Taking the mountains to the people is always a prime opportunity to get more people into snowboarding, so let’s hope this one goes off without a hitch.

Unlike some of the events on this list, this one – and all FIS Big Air comps, from what we can see – is for both men and women. Even FIS haters have to tip their cap to them for that.

Back to top

AIR + STYLE BEIJING, 18th-19th NOVEMBER 2016

Big Air doesn’t get much bigger than the Air & Style series, which has added a fourth stop for 2016/17. The first port of call is in China, featuring a massive booter under the roof of the iconic Bird’s Nest Stadium.

Ever since its debut in 2011 as the ‘Air & Style Presented By Shaun White‘, the Beijing leg has been one hell of a show – not least in 2012 when an unknown Yuki Kadono blew the doors off on his way to victory.

Reigning champ Max Parrot is still Big Air’s dominant force – can he do it again in 2016?

Back to top

PLEASURE JAM, 19th-20th NOVEMBER 2016

With their reliance on artificial snow, it’s only natural that Big Airs will dominate the early-season calendar. The Pleasure Jam is the first major slopestyle event, taking place on the Dachstein glacier.

Katie Ormerod will be back in Austria, looking to defend her 2015 crown from the likes of Anna Gasser and Aimee Fuller. Meanwhile in the men’s event, Brits Rowan Coultas and Matt McCormick will face off against Mons Roisland, Emil Ulsletten and Mathias Weissenbacher.

As well as prize money for the slopestyle winners, there’s a pretty sweet perk for the winner of Best Trick; a three-week surf camp in Portugal. Nice.

Back to top

ARAG BIG AIR FREESTYLE FESTIVAL, 2nd-3rd DECEMBER 2016

This is stop number two for the Super Series, and this time the action is in Germany.

Much like the London Freeze comp used to be, this FIS Big Air event also doubles as a music festival. No doubt the competition will be fierce, but there’ll be plenty of scope for a few biers and wursts afterwards too.

Music comes from German bands Beginner and Sportfreunde Stiller.

Back to top

DEW TOUR, 8th-11th DECEMBER 2016

For halfpipe and slopestyle riders, this is the first big North American comp of the winter.

The cream of the crop (or at least those who have been invited) descend on Breck to throw down. There’s been a few tweaks to this year’s event – you can read all about it here.

We reckon it’ll be well worth watching; if you’re in the States, you can watch the pipe finals on NBC, and everyone else can live-stream the action at dewtour.com

Back to top

MOSCOW BIG AIR, 7th JANUARY 2016

Whatever you think of the Olympics, it has to be said that the Russians managed to arrange the construction of some pretty terrific jumps for the slopestyle. In January, they’ll be sticking one in the centre of Moscow for a Big Air.

No word yet on who’ll be there, but it’s likely that the usual heavy-hitters will make the trip to Russia.

Back to top

LAAX OPEN, 16th-21st JANUARY 2017

It was seemingly quite a blow when Burton announced that they wouldn’t be running their European Open, but the Laax Open more than filled the gap in 2016. The slopestyle in particular was great, shaking up the old rails-followed-by-jumps format.

Switzerland’s finest park will get another rinsing from the best riders in the world, competing for a cool half million in prize money – and, for the first time, FIS points.

We’re really looking forward to this one. With any luck, Markus Keller will do something weird again.

Back to top

X GAMES ASPEN, 28th-31st JANUARY 2016

Aside from perhaps the ‘lympics, nothing tops X Games for sheer spectacle. Despite its invite-only format and the lack of Big Air for women (which is looking more ridiculous with each passing year), it’s considered the closet thing snowboarding has to a proper World Championships.

It’s far from perfect in other ways too – not least because sharing the stage with skiing and snowmobiling means that the TV coverage often cuts away during crucial moments in qualification – but at the moment it’s the biggest annual event we’ve got.

You can watch it on ESPN in the States, and can stream it for a fee elsewhere. As long as you can stomach the relentless commercial breaks – Yvan Eht Nioj! – it’s well worth it.

Back to top

MAMMOTH GRAND PRIX, 1st-4th FEBRUARY 2016

The long-running US Grand Prix series returns to Mammoth in 2017, retaining the FIS World Cup status that it first picked up last season.

Expect to see hammers aplenty in both pipe and slopestyle. There’s no Big Air, but that’s probably just as well seeing as the event clashes with the Innsbruck Air + Style.

Back to top

AIR + STYLE INNSBRUCK, 3rd-4th FEBRUARY 2017

The second leg of the Air & Style takes place in Innsbruck, the location of the very first A&S back in 1994.

Expect the biggest (male) names in Big Air to be there, including reigning overall A+S champ Sven Thorgren.

As with all Air & Style events, there’s plenty of music lined up too, including Biffy Clyro and The Naked & Famous.

Back to top

SNOWBOARD JAMBOREE, 9th-12th FEBRUARY 2017

The Snowboard Jamboree has been a staple of the Canadian events calendar since 2009, excluding 2013 when Stoneham hosted the FIS World Championships.

Heavy hitters like Peetu Piiroinen, Cheryl Maas and Darcy Sharpe rank among the event’s previous winners of the Big Air, so expect many an elite rider to say ‘oui’ to Quebec.

This is also the final stop of the FIS Super Series – once the dust settles, the highest-ranking snowboarders of each gender will be crowned tour champions.

On top of that there’s the ‘Stairs Master’ rail comp, so the Jamboree really has something for everyone.

Back to top

LEGENDARY BAKER BANKED SLALOM, 10th-12th FEBRUARY 2017

Despite being a race with only a duct-taped trophy up for grabs, the Legendary Banked Slalom never fails to attract the finest riders around. Legends of the 80s and 90s line up against some of the biggest names in modern competition, as well as more than a few local heroes.

The condditions sometimes don’t play ball, but when this event is firing on all cylinders it’s the one you most want to be at.

Back to top

FIS WORLD CUP BOKWANG, 17th-19th FEBRUARY 2016

Given that South Korea is playing host to the next Olympics, it’s not surprising that FIS will once again roll into the Bokwang Phoenix Park for a halfpipe comp.

There’s also a Big Air test event set for November, laying the groundwork for the discipline’s debut at the 2018 games.

 

Back to top

AIR + STYLE LOS ANGELES, 18th-19th FEBRUARY 2017

From one of the oldest comps around to one of the newest. The LA stop of the Air & Style only made its debut in 2014 but, with the backing of majority shareholder Shaun White, it went off with a bang.

Yuki Kadono became the first to win an American A&S, beating Seb Toots and Stale Sandbech to the punch. He repeated the feat last year – can he get the three-peat in 2016?

Expect the scaffolding to stretch to the moon, and the best riders to once again throw down in Cali.

Back to top

BURTON US OPEN, 28th FEBRUARY-4th MARCH 2016

One of the oldest events in snowboarding returns for 2016. With the demise of the BEO – and before that, the NZ, Australian and Japan Opens – the Burton US Open is now the last event of its kind.

Not that it’s any less of a big deal – both the Slopestyle and Big Air events are always right up there with the biggest comps of the year, every single season.

It was only two years ago that Yuki Kadono blew our collective minds with back-to-back triple cork 1620s, and last year that Shaun White returned to the top of the halfpipe podium (see video above). What might they – or anyone else – have up their sleeve this year?

Back to top

X GAMES OSLO, 6th-12th MARCH 2016

The Tignes-based X Games Europe was one of the highlights of the contest circuit until it was abruptly cancelled in 2014. Now, after Oslo picked up the mantle in 2016, the X is firmly back on the continent.

There’s no slopestyle in this one, although there is a women’s Big Air event. There’s also a skateboard street comp, marking the first time an X Games event has featured it alongside snowboarding.

Billy Morgan bagged his biggest medal to date at last year’s event. Maybe this time he’ll get something even blingier than bronze…

Back to top

AUDI SNOWJAM, 24th-25th MARCH 2017

As the final FIS World Cup event of the season, the smart money is on this being a slushy spectacular.

In 2016 this was where Jamie Nicholls became the first British male to win a World Cup, and he’ll no doubt want to retain the title.

Back to top

THE BRITS, 2nd-9th APRIL 2017

As the season winds to a close, it’s always a good idea to head out to the Brits.

The event recently returned to Laax after a few years in Tignes, and features lots of top competition and plenty of opportunities to see out the winter in style.

As well as halfpipe and slopestyle, there’s the Bangers & Cash rail jam that sees riders awarded on the spot with real dough.

The likes of Jamie Nicholls, Jamie Trinder, Katie Ormerod, Billy Morgan and Dom Harington have all graced the Brits in the past – head along in 2017 to watch the latest crop of UK talent killing it in Laax.

Back to top

Share

Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.

production