This upcoming Wednesday January 29, we’ll be celebrating not just the best rookies and riders of this year at the 10th Annual Rider’s Poll in Las Vegas, but we’ll also be reflecting on year’s past. We dusted off the old mags so we can all take a ride down memory run together. Through these ten awards shows you can track the history of snowboarding itself—the reign of Tara Dakides, the influence of Craig and Terje, and the staying power of snowboarding’s biggest stars like Peter Line, JP Walker, and even the young Shaun White.
The 1991 Inaugural TransWorld SNOWboarding Rider’s Poll Awards Show
The first ever awards show was held on March 20, 1991 (five years after the first issue of TransWorld SNOWboarding debuted in 1987) at the Shark Club in Las Vegas. It was a reader polled awards show instead of pro rider polled. (The ballot was in a previous issue and the page was marked up and mailed in by TWS readers.) The simple categories and the list of winners reads like a roll call of all that was cool about snowboarding.
Best All-Around: Craig Kelly, Tara Eberhard
Best Racers: Peter Bauer, Tara Eberhard
Best Halfpipe Riders: Craig Kelly, Tina Basich
Best Freeriders: Damian Sanders, Tara Eberhard
Most Extreme: Damian Sanders, Bonnie Leary
The 1st Annual Riders' Poll Awards
The first show was held during the SIA tradeshow March 11, 1999 at The Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas. Hosted by Sal Masekela, the then receptionist/intern at TransWorld (who now hosts the X Games and “The Daily 10” on E) and then editor, Dave Sypniewski. (We're guessing Dave introduced the "Congeniality" and "Cojones" categories.) Highlights from the night were Peter Line freestyling breakdance moves onstage and Tara Dakides winning the first of many awards to come. This was the year that Morgan Lafonte was backflipping at Hood in her bra, Johan was putting down gnarly lines in in Standards TB series, and of course, Mack Dawg released the iconic Decade.
Freestyle Riders Of The Year: Peter Line, Tara Dakides
Big Mountain Riders Of The Year: Johan Olofsson, Karleen Jeffrey
Pipe Riders Of The Year: Terje Haakonsen, Nicola Thost
Best Racers Of The Year: Mark Fawcett, Betsy Shaw
Boardercross Racers Of The Year: Shaun Palmer, Leslee Olsen
Congeniality: Dave Downing, Shannon Dunn
Cojones: Michael Michalchuk, Morgan LaFonte
Video Segment: Peter Line in Decade
Overall Video Of The Year: Decade
The 2nd Annual Rider’s Poll Awards
The 2nd Annual Awards show was March 5, 2000 during SIA (a Sunday night!) at The Joint at The Hard Rock again. Co-hosted by Sal Masekela and Shaun Palmer. TransWorld’s Lee Crane described the crowd as a mix of "old-school pros, next-wave jib punks, photographers, reps, giddy sales managers, tradeshow girls in backless dresses, and over-it snowboard media icons." One notable highlight of the night was when Snurfer-inventor Sherman Poppen came onstage with Peter line to present overall rider of the year award.
Favorite Freestyle Riders: JP Walker, Tara Dakides
Favorite Big Mountain Riders: Johan Olofsson, Karleen Jeffrey
Favorite Racers: Mark Fawcett, Betsy Shaw
Favorite Boardercrossers: Shaun Palmer, Maelle Ricker
Favorite Overall Riders: Terje Haakonsen, Tara Dakides
Maniac Of The Year: Mike Michalchuk
Rookie Of The Year: Scotty Wittlake
Best Video Segment: Jussi Oksanen in TB8
The 3rd Annual Riders’ Poll Awards
By the third show we were in a groove—we had our spot at the Joint at The Hard Rock, and we had our host with Sal Masekela.
We refer to this show as the "The Tara Dakides Show." Although Shaun Palmer did grab the spotlight in his acceptance speech declaring, "I am a complete asshole. Every sport needs one and I'm glad to be your asshole." Kevin Jones drained a can of beer on Tara Dakides' head as she came up to accept one of the five awards she won that night … and Tara retaliated with a beer of her own over Kevin's head. Todd Schlosser and Dave Lee's band Eris rocked the boozy night away and the Wildcats terrorized the backstage. Remember when snowboarding was this raw?
Best Boardercross Rider: Shaun Palmer, Ine Pötzl
Best Big Mountain Rider: Jeremy Jones, Victoria Jealouse
Rock Star Of The Year: Peter Line
Best Rail Rider: JP Walker, Tara Dakides
Best Halfpipe Rider: Todd Richards, Nicola Thost
Best Freestyle Rider: Kevin Jones, Tara Dakides
Rookie Of The Year: Gigi Rüf, Anne Molin Kongsgaard
Best Video Part: Bjorn Leines
Best Overall Rider: Terje Haaksonsen, Tara Dakides
SIA Retailers Choice: Peter Line, Tara Dakides
Reader's Choice: Terje Haakonsen, Tara Dakides
The 4th Annual Riders’ Poll Awards
The SIA tradeshow moved two months ahead and we followed with the January 31, 2002 show at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay Resort (we got kicked out of the Hard Rock). It was the perfect storm of awards shows—Tara and Kevin were still enthroned as the king and queen, but the Grenerds were accelerating at full blast en masse. What happened next is the stuff of legend in the hallowed halls of TransWorld. Drunk Janna Bananas, The Grenerd surge, and resurge, and the resulting scolding of Danny Kass by our events director Louise Balma right into the open mic—"F—k me, f—k you!" Dave Sypnewski and Todd Richards hosted in as much as they could. And Scotty Wittlake was no show to collect Rockstar of The Year—what's more rockstar than that?
Rookies Of The Year: Hana Beaman, JP Solberg
Best Halfpipe Riders: Natasza Zurek,Danny Kass
Best Freestyle Riders: Kevin Jones, Tara Dakides
Best Big Mountain Riders: Jeremy Jones, Victoria Jealouse
Rockstars of the Year: Scotty Wittlake
Best Video Segment: JP Walker/True Life
Best Overall Riders: Kevin Jones, Tara Dakides
SIA Retailers Choice Award: Tara Dakides, JP Walker
Readers Choice Award: Kevin Jones, Tara Dakides
The 5th Annual Riders’ Poll Awards
Held September 5, 2003 in downtown San Diego at the infamous Wonderbread factory—aka the hot box. TWS freestyled it this year with a new venue in a new town (San Diego) during a new tradeshow, ASR. The 'too hot in the city' night left attendees no choice but to commence the beer bonging and liquor thievery. It was a loose night. Shaun White took no part in the debauchery and won his first Rider Of The Year title at the ripe old age of 17.
Rookies Of The Year: Hannah Teter, Zach Leach
Riders Of The Year: Gretchen Bleiler, Shaun White
Rock Star Of The Year: Romain De Marchi
The 6th Annual Riders’ Poll Awards
September 8, 2004, On Broadway San Diego. Tommy Lee showed up. Vagenius played and confused everyone. Neoproto Films Everyday Something premiered. All in all it was a righteous party in a swanky new venue, with one hilarious exception, all the underage riders had to have a bouncer shadowing them the whole night. Picture Pat Moore and Laura Hadar with a big gorilla following them around all night.
Rookies Of The Year: Leanne Pelosi, Travis Kennedy
Riders of the Year: Janna Meyen, Travis Rice
Rock Star of the Year: Marc Frank Montoya
Reader’s Choice Award: Gretchen Bleiler, Jeremy Jones
The 7th Annual Riders' Poll Awards
The night went off in San Diego at On Broadway with the Dingo carrying the show. NeoProtos Some Kind Life premiered and The Suicide Girls put on a show.
Rider Of The Year: Chad Otterstrom, Leanne Pelosi
Rookie Of The Year: Eero Niemala, Anne-Flore Marxer
Reader's Choice: Travis Rice, Leanne Pelosi
Standout Of The Year: Mads Jonsson
The 8th Annual Riders' Poll Awards
Olympic gold medals and 1260s marked this year's show with Shaun White taking home his second Rider Of The Year title and Danny Davis as Rookie. Dingo once again hosted at On Broadway in San Diego. It was a big night for Burton with over half the awards going to Burton riders.
Riders Of The Year: Shaun White, Hana Beaman
Rookies Of The Year: Danny Davis, Elena Hight
Standout Of The Year: David Benedek (double cork 1260)
Readers Choice: Shaun White and Leanne Pelsoi
The 9th Annual Riders' Poll Awards
We're back in Vegas! We're back at The Joint at the Hard Rock January 31, 2008. It was a changing of the guards at this years Riders' Poll. Marie-France stole the show winning three awards in her first year as a nominee, and the rowdy Rome crew shifted the party into triple overdrive in celebration. Young Austin Smith also took Rookie Of The Year and Video Part.
Rider Of The Year: Wolle Nyvelt, Marie-France Roy
Video Part Of The Year: Austin Smith/We're People Too, Marie-France Roy/Any Means
Rookie Of The Year: Austin Smith, Spencer O'Brien
Standout Of The Year: Terje Haakonsen's record breaking air at The Arctic Challenge
Readers Choice: Marie-France Roy, Kevin Pearce