On Friday night, pro snowboarders and industry members from around the world came together to celebrate the best riding and filmmaking of the year for the 16th Annual Riders’ Poll Awards. Held at the Ogden Theater in Denver, Colorado, Eddie Wall worked the red carpet getting interviews, while hosts Preston Strout and Jack Mitrani kept the crowd entertained throughout the show.
Energy was high with over 1,100 people in attendance and stoke for snowboarding could be felt from the upper balcony to the main floor.
While those who follow snowboarding closely might have predicted many who walked away with a Riders' Poll award, some surprise winners took to the stage, marking a shift in the way riders voted this year.
Bode Merrill's two song ender in Absinthe's Heavy Mental was packed with many never-been-done and massive tricks like a double Miller Flip and one-footer over Chad's Gap, making him a clear winner for both the Men's Video Part Of The Year and Rider Of The Year awards.
And although Ben Ferguson's best contest showings were third at the Copper Grand Prix pipe and the Mammoth Grand Prix pipe, he had strong presence this year, bringing standout tricks to his runs like a monster, styled-out double crippler at the US Open pipe. He continued that presence with his butters and surf-style slashes in the opening segment to Snowboarder's Foreward and at Peace Park before landing the cover of Snowboarder's January issue.
Nominees for Women's Rookie Of The Year included Chloe Kim, Mary Rand, and Silje Norendal, and while Kim and Norendal both had strong podium placements in the contest circuit, Mary Rand took the award for killing it in the streets in her Yawgoons part.
Following that, Marie-France Roy picked up Women's Video Part Of The Year for some solid backcountry booters and lines in her self-made movie, The Little Things. Other nominees included Desiree Melancon for her part in Think Thank's Almanac and Rand for her Yawgoon's part, both street-based. Backcountry parts are still the most coveted for many women riders, and Roy delivered hands-down the strongest of the season, making her a clear pick.
Jussi Oksanen took the Standout Performance Of The Year award for retiring after a banger video part in Burton Presents.
That's all what you would expect for winners.
For the Women's Rider Of The Year award, it was harder to guess. The nominees included Desiree Melancon, Jamie Anderson and Roy, again. Anderson won every contest she entered last season, including the gold medal at the first Olympic slopestyle event at Sochi, making her a solid contender, but once again Roy walked away with the award.
Roy also picked up the new Climate Activist award created by TransWorld SNOWboarding and Protect Our Winters for taking a risk and speaking out in the fight again climate change by creating The Little Things film. The film includes some riding but focuses mostly on Roy's own efforts to reduce her environmental footprint and highlights other riders taking action on the grassroots and political levels, including Jeremy Jones, Gretchen Bleiler, and Tamo Campos.
Video Of The Year went to the Drink Water crew for Pathology, which has some of the traditional spins and flips you're used to seeing in a snowboard movie, but mostly focuses on riders like Austin Smith, Bryan Fox, and Tim Eddy shredding pow and keeping it fun. Traditionally, movies with the most progressive riding have won this category, including The Art Of Flight in 2012 and Déjà vu, last year. One of the main contenders for the win this year was Pat Moore's Mr. Plant, which didn't make the final three nominee cut. Even the Smith was surprised by the win, saying that the crew definitely didn't set out to make movie of the year.
In the Online Video Project Of The Year category, The Manboys took the win. This is one of the most competitive categories with projects like Burton Presents and Rome's Find Snowboarding on the original voting list for riders. While a range of projects made the final three nominee list, including the adidas Nomad series and Jon Stark's Chikenmeat, the riders ultimately settled on The Manboys.
One of the biggest highlights of the night was Chris Roach's Legend Award acceptance speech, where he preached to the audience about the importance of keeping style at the forefront of snowboarding to the cheering crowd.
The awards closed with showing of a trailer for the new TransWorld SNOWboarding movie Origins. Keep an eye out for the trailer dropping soon on TWSNOW.com.
Stay tuned for video interviews with the winners hosted by Eddy Wall and recap edits of night dropping soon.
Women's Rookie Of The Year
Men's Rookie Of The Year
Women's Video Part Of The Year
Marie-France Roy, The Little Things
Men's Video Part Of The Year
Bode Merrill, Heavy Mental
Online Video Series Of The Year
The Manboys, The Manboys
Video Of The Year
Standout Performance Of The Year
Jussi Oksanen for retiring with a banger video part in Burton Presents.
Women’s Readers’ Choice
Men’s Reader’s Choice
Climate Activist Award Presented By Protect Our Winters
2015 Legend Award
Women’s Rider Of The Year
Men’s Rider Of The Year