First Annual Burton ‘High Fives’ Competition Confirms World-Class Riders

Sixty of the world's top snowboarders are preparing to make their way to the first annual Burton 'High Fives' snowboarding competition. Presented by MINI, the four-day invitational snowboarding event will take place at Snow Park NZ inWanaka, New Zealand from August 15-18, 2012.

Top riders confirmed for the Burton High Fives event include Mark McMorris (two-time X-Games gold medalist), Sebastien Toutant, Danny Davis, Roope Tonteri, Ryo Aono, Iouri Podladtchikov (World Snowboarding Championships gold medalist), Kelly Clark (Three-time Olympian), Enni Rukajarvi (X-Games gold medalist), Shelly Gotleib, Hannah Teter (Olympic gold medalist), Queralt Castellet, and Southern Hemisphere riders Stef Zeestraten from New Zealand and Scott James from Australia.

The riders attending Burton High Fives will be in for a fun week in New Zealand as the new event brings Kiwi-inspired off-snow team challenges into the competition fold. Here's how it works. During the first night at High Fives, event organizers will name 12 team captains. The riders with the best rankings in the global world ranking list will get to be captains. Then, each team captain will select a team of five riders. From that point forward, every activity that a rider participates in will earn points for his or her team. So for example, if a rider wins the skeet shooting contest and then goes on to place third in the halfpipe finals, his/her team will earn points for these results.

The fun begins on August 15th with the off-snow team challenges, which include skeet shooting, knife throwing, an ATV off-road challenge, jet boat trials and the MINI Countryman Winter Driving Challenge. On August 16th, the off-snow team challenges continue along with slopestyle and halfpipe practice. Then on Friday, August 17th, the slopestyle finals will go down, followed by the halfpipe finals taking place on Saturday, August 18th.

As far as prizes go, the halfpipe and slopestyle competitions will each award a total cash purse of $35,000 as well as TTR points. In addition to cash prizes individual slopestyle and halfpipe results, there is also a $10,000 cash prize for the team with the most points from both the off-snow team challenges and the traditional halfpipe and slopestyle competitions. That's a total prize purse of $80,000 in cash – the largest to date in New Zealand snow sports history.

In addition to the exciting daytime activities, Burton is proud to announce the following evening entertainment at Opium Bar in Wanaka, the official BurtonHigh Fives party venue hosted by Skinny. All gigs are FREE, but get there early as capacity is limited: