From the land of Vikings comes a legandary contestput on by a legandary man, Terje Haakonsen. The ArticChallenge was put together four years back as a sortof anti-contest, a place where the biggest names insnowboarding could come and showcase their skillswithout the pressure of the contest enviorment. Uptill this year they had stuck with that format.
Butfor some reason the powers that be deiced to change itup. Taking away from the mystique and in turn makingit more like the other hundred contests that go onevery year. Kinda disappointing to say the least. Butwho am I to throw stones? In their defense the veryloose jam type format made it easy to watch. No longbreaks between runs, just non-stop action.
The event is being held in Tyrsil, Norway anice little town about two hours north of Oslo. Haakonand the boys pulled out all the stops on theslopestyle course so lets talk about that shall we?
There were a ton of choices including a railledgecombo, a eight foot high railwith a fifteen foot gapto the landing, three table top jumps, side by sidetables (making gapping from one to the other possible)and a giant hip. With that in mind heres a little rundown of who did what…
10. Mathieu Crepel– No longer a little kid, Mr.Crepelshowed people he didnt come to play with solidfrontside and backside sevens as well as huge backsidefives on the hip.
9. Travis Rice– The only thing funner (is that aword?) to watch than Trav’s off hill antics would haveto be his on hill barrage of tricks, including but notlimited to, lofty switch backside 180s, frontsidesevens and smooth rail moves.
8. Quentin Robbins– Making sure the crowd knew thatfolks from New Zealand have no problem on thestuntstick, he laid down a couple mellow sevens.7. Nicolas Muller– Frontside 180 to switch 50-50started off the Swiss lad’s run. From there it justgot better.
6. Steve Gruber– Lucky for him Jussi Oksanen handedover his spot in the contest or he wouldn’t have beenable to put down switch backside fives, making everyoneooh and ahh.
5. Hampus Mosesson– Quite possibly the hardest name to pronouce insnowboarding led after the first roundwith cab nines and buttery sevens.
4. Eerro Ettala– I thought he should have placedslightly higher but oh well, maybe switch frontsideboardslides, back to back sevens or gigantic frontsideairs on the hip are not that hard.
3.Nate Sheehan– A top three finish at the U.S. Opengave nate a ticket to ride here at T.A.C. He let loosesome sick switch backside moves, a cab nine, a sevenover the bottom gap topped it off with some cab-onrail moves.
2. Heikki Sorsa– Danced on the rails, had a couplenice sevens, cab nine, finished up with a pretty sweetbackside five on the hip.
1. Shaun White– Who did ya’ think? It’s getting to thepoint were they should just hand the kid his prize moneyandor trophy at registration. I don’t thinkhe spun anything under a seven, no wait, he did aswick (that’s sweet and sick all in one) backside 180but the rest was sevens and nines. Throw some abovepar rail moves in, what you got is yet another winningrun from the sixteen year old wonder child. Must betough.