#5. The Burton US Open
29 years deep, the Burton US Open at Stratton, Vermont remains one of snowboarding's top billed events. This year Kelly Clark won the women's pipe for a record fifth time and Kazu Kokubo styled his way to back-to-back wins in the men's pipe. Seriously, just watching Kazu ride at his best qualifies this contest for the list. The slopestyle conditions were definitely less than desirable, but the riding was tight as always.
(Bonus 5 ½: The Dirkesen Derby. Blasting through those berms is just too good. http://snowboarding.transworld.net/1000166192/featuresobf/biggest-year-yet-for-the-fifth-annual-dirksen-derby/)
#4. Ride Shakedown Mont Saint-Sauveur
Three things made the 10th anniversary of Shakedown banger. One: The crowd is full of rowdy, drunk Quebecers and some of Canada's hottest babes. Something like 20,000 people pack into the venue and go nuts when tricks go down. Two: The riding is on point. All you have to do is look at the sheer number of pros to come out of Quebec in the last few years to know the talent pool is deep at this event. Three: poutine. Why isn't this everywhere in the States?
#3. Billabong Air and Style Austria
The Air and Style has long been a venue to watch the progression of snowboarding evolve in front of your eyes. This year was no exception: Sage Kotsenburg landed the first Cab 1440 double cork in competition.
#2. The Oakley Arctic Challenge
Created and owned Terje the event was founded to bring together the most progressive riders and protect the values of independence, creativity, progression, playfulness, and social and environmental responsibilities. This year women riders were invited for the first time.
#1. The Nixon JibFest
The original anti-contest crawled off the pages of the history books this year and made a return to Northstar-at-Tahoe, California. The invite list included the likes of up and comers Chris Grenier, Louif Paradis, LNP, Zak Hale, Eman Anderson, Alex Andrews and a cast of OGs such as Dave Downing and Brian Thien. And the To Do list read pretty much the same as the first contest: Have fun, stack footy.