2016 Bang Slalom Event Recap and Gallery Fresh off a Baker Banked Slalom victory this season, Mathieu Crepel headed over to Norway to help set up the course, rip it and win it. It was obvious as Mathieu made his way through the turns he was the guy to beat, timed run or not. Stormy weather and flat light conditions were no obstacle for Helene, she shredded the course as if it were a perfect bluebird day. With a ‘best of two runs’ format, Charles took advantage and killed it on his second pass through, earning him a well-deserved silver. The competition jerseys Mikkel prepared for the event reminded me of an art piece on the front or back of the riders’ kit, as the cat you see depicted is Hemsedal’s commune logo, it was a great tie in to the event location. Combining the black and white bibs along with the white out conditions made the non-riding images really fun to capture, with Cheryl Maas showing her stoked in this photo. With Terje’s knowledge designing the course with Mikkel, digging all week and setting the gates, it was a tremendous help in making the first annual Bang Slalom a total success. All hands on deck! The event may have been called ‘The Bang Slalom,’ but Mikkel definitely wasn’t sitting around watching the volunteers, he was right alongside them making it happen! Let’s go and set the course! Terje knows a thing or two about these banked slalom races! Terje getting it done day before competition, where he ended up in third position, and a solid silver in the snowskate division as well, dude can do it all! Banked slalom races always need volunteers to build, shape and prepare, and if you’re going to enter the competition it’s a smart move to show up and help, plus you’ll know the course that much better for a faster time! Volunteers handing out the ‘art piece’ bibs. The weather was definitely present for the competition, but that didn’t slow down the vibe or good times to be had, Mikkel worked a bit extra in lining the course with the ‘blue stuff.’ What was the Bang Slalom competition like? This pretty much sums it up! What a rad crew! From the start gate you hit eight corners, past the cheering spectators, into the whoops, through a set of six really fast berms then jumped through the finish line. Most described the course as fast and gnarly, yet mega fun. Norwegian legend Kim Kristiansen stoking the spectators with an ollie through turn eight. Chairlift and T-bar laps for days with the crew, and quite a bit of new snow to boot! Covering a broad range of age groups in the first annual Bang Slalom; kids and juniors all the way through to the Masters, mixing in the professionals, open division and snowskates. A ripping youngster. Chris Emmington flew out to Norway from Lake Tahoe a week before competition to help Mikkel and company shovel the course, set gates, establish infrastructure and throw down some solid race times as well. Good times for all involved! Masters Class enjoying the ride. Right out the gate and into turn number one, immediately into berm number two and so on, you had to be ready for some quick like edge-to-edge movements. Mental preparation. Roope Tonteri flies the Bang Slalom flag! David Porcheron showing his Bang Slalom stoke to be in attendance and competing in Hemsedal. DCP spent many springtime days on the slopes of Hemsedal through the years flying over jumbo sized tabletops and hip jumps, back when Mikkel was a little youngster, now he has his own event on the very same slopes where these master pieces were built! Wax On Wax Off, Terje knows the deal! Start gate collection of competitors, all vying for that fastest time. Three, two, one…you’re free to drop, good luck. The spirit of banked slalom racing! Out of the final six turns, two of them were positioned on the side of the hill, allowing the riders to come around the gate and drop in with a whole lot of momentum. Mathieu Crepel and Helene Olafson are the proud owners of a custom engraved Nixon watch, detailing their victories. Mikkel Bang, host and co-founder of the Bang Slalom, throws a big thank you to Hemsedal Resort, all the volunteers, the riders and spectators.
Words & Photos: Dean Blotto Gray
A few months ago Terje and Mikkel were enjoying dinner, discussing banked slalom racing and how it would be nice to see one in Hemsedal, Norway. Terje then said to Mikkel, "you could call it The Bang Slalom." And there it was, the beginning of a great idea that materialized into an epic event for one hundred and twenty competitors during the closing weekend on the Hemsedal resort slopes.
The format was simple; best time through the course start to finish is the winner, competition organized into an assortment of divisions to best serve all ages and abilities. Kids, Men and Women's Open, Masters, Male and Female Professionals and Snowskates, all with a fair shot to bring home the title.
Helene Olafson ruled the day for the pro ladies, while Mathieu Crepel swooped into victory lane in the men's, both were ripping fast! If you'd like to see the results in their entirety, including overall times, visit the
Bang Slalom Facebook page, and we're all already looking forward to 2017 edition, it was that much fun! ADVERTISEMENT