The Nissan Freeride World Tour is basically the biggest, baddest test of freeriding snowboard skill there is. Every year, the comp attracts a bunch of bearded nutters looking to test themselves by throwing themselves down gnarly lines and off huge cliffs at insane speeds – which makes it about the coolest and most legit big mountain comp out there. The final stage of the tour, the long-running Verbier Xtreme comp, boasts a list of former winners that reads like a who’s who of freeriding – including Axel Pauporté, Jeremy Jones and Xavier de le Rue. So when James Stentiford was asked to compete in this year’s World Tour, he was understandably pretty stoked. Stenti, widely recognised as the best freerider this country has ever produced, earned himself the invite with his podium place at last year’s Chamonix leg – where he was a wildcard invite. Impressed by his obvious skills and his ability to read the mountain, the organisers decided it’d be great to have him back on board this year. Stenti was only more than happy to oblige. He said: “To get on the podium is pretty exhilarating for a UK snowboarder and that sort of spurred me on a little bit. I thought why not have a crack at it?”
Things will be kicking off in Stenti’s home-town of Chamonix this weekend with the first leg of the tour (see the slightly cheesy teaser above), and our man is aiming high. “I’d like to win one to be perfectly honest and on the right day if I get the right line I think I can win, so that’s my motivation. And also I want to get to Verbier. Every freerider’s dream is to ride that mountain in perfect conditions.” Having watched James ride on several occasions, we know he’s got what it takes, so here’s hoping he’s back on that podium come Saturday. Come on Stenti!