Photography: Chris Wellhausen
Snowboarding’s stars came out in force Friday night, rocking The Fillmore Auditorium for the 13th Annual Riders’ Poll Awards presented New Era. Infamous emcee GT and Signal’s Dave Lee presided over the biggest night in snowboarding as the best riders of 2011 took the stage to receive their awards from a legendary cast of presenters including Terje, Bryan Iguchi, Big Mountain Jeremy Jones, Danny Kass, Marc Frank Montoya, BJ Leines, DCP, Roman DeMarchi, and Scotty Arnold.
In the Women’s Rookie Of The Year category Finnish phenom Enni Rukajärvi took the well deserved win after placing first in both the Winter X Games slopestyle and the Burton US Open slopestyle in 2011. The Men’s Rookie Of The Year title went to Mark McMorris for a breakout season that included landing the first backside 1440 triple cork and placing second at the X Games slopestyle.
Women’s Video Part Of The Year was handed to self proclaimed loose cannon, Jess Kimura, for her part in Capita’s Defenders Of Awesome. Men’s Video Part Of The Year was picked up by Eric Jackson for his segment in People’s Good Look, beating out nominees Travis Rice and Bode Merrill. E-Jack’s part came together after working hard to recover from injuries that left him couched for the previous season.
“I was so nervous, I’m not going to lie,” said E-Jack after his win. “I’ve never even been nominated for anything. I went up against a giant—two of them! I can’t tell you how good it feels. To be rewarded with a TransWorld award, it’s insane. I’m really, really stoked.”
In recognition of the growing trend away from traditional DVD video parts, this year an Online Video Project Of the Year category was added. Nominees included Xavier De Le Rue’s TimeLine and Devun Walsh and Iikka Backstrom’s Polar Opposites, but it was Jake Blauvelt’s Naturally series that claimed the new title. Jake’s five-part webisodes premiered throughout the winter on TWSnow.com culminating with a full part released online and for TransWorld SNOWboarding’s Mag+ Ipad app.
Continuing in the video category, Brain Farm’s epic The Art Of Flight was awarded Video Of The Year. Filmed in some of the most remote locations to yet be ridden and with next level production value, director Curt Morgan’s project made a decisive victory. The award was presented by BJ Leines and Roman DeMarch and accepted by Brainfarm’s Jared Slater and Travis Rice.
When asked if he was surprised that The Art Of Flight won Travis replied, “You know what really surprised me was BJ’s Dartanian,” in reference to BJ’s beard fashioned after The Three Musketeers character. Ah, sometimes it’s the little things.
For the New Era Women’s Readers’ Choice Award Jess Kimura’s savage approach to the streets won the readers hearts, placing the second trophy of the night in her hands. For the men it was Torstein Horgmo who rallied the most votes to win the category. Despite no full video part, Torsteins’ X Games Big Air gold and a strong web video presence helped him maintain exposure.
The man, the myth, the Legend Award winner Jamie Lynn was in person to collect his due for a nearly double decade contribution to the style and culture of snowboarding. The crowd went wild went Jamie took the stage and continued cheering as a highlight reel of his career played.
For the final presentation of the evening, Jess Kimura stepped into the spotlight for the third time to accept the Women’s Rider Of The Year Award. She was followed by Travis Rice who won Men’s Rider Of The Year for his groundbreaking riding in The Art Of Flight.
“It feels insane,” said Jess Kimura of her hat-trick win. “I never expected it, especially after last year. I got broke off so to come back and get these awards is amazing. Canadians are killing it right now. There were so many of us up for awards tonight. It’s really hard to make it in the US scene for us so it’s pretty rad that some people are poking their dicks through the barrier. Quote me on that.”
Winners of the Riders’ Poll Awards are determined by polling more than 100 professional snowboarders worldwide. In addition, thousands of TransWorld SNOWboarding readers vote for the winners of the Men’s and Women’s Readers’ Choice awards presented by New Era.
Click the link to see the full list of nominees HERE
Check back for videos from the night dropping soon.