The world's best snowboarders have descended upon the Swedish city of Falun to contest 'The Battle', a unique event showcasing the progression of the sport.
Competitors from five different regions of the world, including Europe, Scandinavia, USA, Canada and Oceania will be represented when 'The Battle' begins in a massive purpose built snow park at Falun, Sweden on March 22. The final team was finalised today as organisers worked feverishly to complete the finishing touches of the incredible snow park built at Lugnet Stadium on the edge of town.
The USA team was finalised, with team captain Andy Finch announcing a solid line-up of riders, including Wyatt Caldwell, Ryan Doppel and Tom Flocco. "We're all pumped and we're ready to ride," Finch said. "The park is radical; everything is big so we should see some big tricks," he said.
"There are some great riders here and when the stadium is filled up it will be insane."
The USA team will be up against a stellar field of the world's best snowboarders, including Inger Backman, Terje Haakonsen and Wille Yli-Luoma representing Scandinavia, Michi Albin, Steve Gruber and Friedl Kolar representing Europe, Tosh Osaka, Mike Turner and Mike Osachuk representing Canada, and Quentin Robbins, Nick Gregory and Ben Bright representing Oceania.
While the world's best snowboarders are expected to shine when 'The Battle' begins on March 22, the definite star of the show is the incredible snow park. Co-designed by local snowboarder Jacob Söderqvist, the park contains more than 25,000 cubic metres of snow, which has been produced by snow machines and moved to the site over the past three weeks.
"It really is quite different," Söderqvist confessed.
"When I was thinking about this I thought the most important thing was to build a park that shows people what we can really do on a snowboard and give the riders the best possible park to ride," he said.
"I think we have achieved this as the park really pushes the limits and will showcase the progression of snowboarding."
'The Battle' is one of eight events that comprise the revolutionary Ticket To Ride (TTR) series of events that has replaced the defunct International Snowboard Federation (ISF) competition circuit.
The series is controlled by snowboarders, like Söderqvist and Haakonsen, and encourages progressive and creative riding.
'The Battle' is the final chance for riders to qualify for when the TTR series reaches its climax at the Arctic Challenge in Norway in April.
'The Battle' is proudly presented by Corona Extra; supported by Rip Curl and Arnette.
Associate sponsors include Onboard, Transition, Lunastorm.com, MTV, Braun and Vertical Snowtoys.