In 1999 Oakley asked Terje Haakonsen if he would be interested in doing a special / interactive event with several top riders, to which Haakonsen shared his idea for a new event format. Snowboarding contests had gone stale in format and the industry was hungry for someone to step in and make a change. Upon hearing the news of Terje’s idea for a new approach to an event format, Oakley and TAC crew began the progression of what The Oakley Arctic Challenge is today.
The Oakley Arctic Challenge (TAC) has been the smart fox on the competitive snowboarding scene now for many years. Free from corporate constraints, Terje and his crew have been able to implement new ideas faster and more unexpectedly then any other contest. By 2001 TAC had built the first 10-meter Quarterpipe and 6-meter Pipe; redefining snow architecture for snowboard contests. Even today, with live TV and huge arena productions, TAC is able to keep the essence of the pure jam format that was originally developed back in 1999.
Every snowboard air that has gone above the 9-meter mark in a Quarterpipe, has taken place at TAC: Heikki Sorsa was the first with his legendary world record 9.3-meter air in 2001 – which stood until 2007, when Terje set the new world record air at 9.8-meters, that same year Jake Blauvelt went 9.4 meters in a very special final round.
TAC was also Shaun White’s first International contest win in the six-meter Pipe contest in 2001. Additionally this year could be where Kevin Pearce scores the first TAC hat trick with three consecutive title wins (Kevin has one the last two Quarterpipe contests – 2007 and 2008).
This event is not only special for experimenting with formats, but also with the food. Serving good healthy food since 1999, TAC was the first sports event in Norway serving all organic food in 2003. For the 10-year anniversary they are taking this a step further by making the event even greener.
As a privately funded project (by the Norwegian Bergesen Stiftelse) renewable energy is replacing fossil power, all garbage and materials are recycled, the riders can borrow electric cars, the hotel is environmental certified, the food is organic, the spectators get free bus rides to the arena and the crew is being educated. We are not only talking about a next generation green event, TAC will be living breathing proof of one.
The rider field is once again stacked with heavy hitters, taking center stage as always. Only 24 will earn the golden ticket, but what a ride they will earn: The perfect arena, full house of screaming Norwegians, the legendary parties, the service, the exposure and the fun that has always been what TAC is all about. So far the following riders are confirmed: Kevin Pearce, Travis Rice, Danny Davis, Terje Haakonsen, Peetu Pieroinen, Risto Mattila, Shayne Pospisil, Anti Autti, Colin Frei, Henning Marthinsen, Gian Simmen, Iouri Podlatchikov and Dustin Craven.