18th Annual Riders’ Poll Gallery & Highlights Pete's always been a ladies' man. Here he is with some ladies, man. Those ladies are Jamie Anderson, Robin Van Gyn, Leanne Pelosi, and Kimmy Fasani. Readers' Choice Award-winner Travis Rice drove up from Denver with Liam Griffin in a brutal stormy Friday evening I-70 scenario and barely made it in time for the awards. We're certainly glad they did. With a heavy ending part in Video of the Year-winning STRONGER. and in town to compete in the Dew Tour, Torstein Horgmo came out to Riders' Poll with his girlfriend, Alarie Reznik. This group represents the future of freestyle snowboarding. Brandon Davis, Red Gerard, Kyle Mack, Nic Baden, and Brock Crouch with filmer/editor Drew Hastings. A friendly duo. Lib Tech rider Sam Hulbert and Dew Tour judge Giom Morisset. Thank you, Powder Magazine, for coming out in full force. Two Olympians with a lot of Riders' Poll shows under their belts, Scotty Lago and Heikki Sorsa. Heikki is judging at the Dew Tour this year. This is a heavy lineup right here. Leanne Pelosi, Spencer O'Brien, Julia Marino, Kimmy Fasani, Sylvia Mittermüller, Julia Marino, and Kimmy Fasani. In town for the Dew Tour, slopestyle power couple Tyler Nicholson and Jamie Anderson came out to unwind a bit during the contest weekend. On either side of last year's Rookie of the Year winner, Hailey Langland, are some of the most established women in snowboarding: Robin Van Gyn, Jess Kimura, Leanne Pelosi, Jamie Anderson, Kimmy Fasani, and Spencer Obrien. It's always good to see either of the Mitranis, but seeing Luke and Jack together is even better. Two dudes who've aged very well: Todd Richards and Sani Alibabic. Come to think of it, does Todd get plastic surgery? The DC boys are always after a good time. It was great to see these dudes come out thick in support of Devun Walsh's Legend Award. Torstein Horgmo, Mons Roisland, Anto Chamberland, Cody Lee, Jordan Morse, Devun Walsh, Sebbe De Buck, Brady Lem, and Bobby Meeks. The interaction between these two is similar to a married couple. The night's hosts, Peter Line and Eddie Wall. Two of snowboarding's most talented young riders, Julia Marino and Hailey Langland. The fact that Devun Walsh's mother, mother-in-law, wife, and two daughters came all the way from Canada to watch him receive the Legend award is a testament to its significance. Huge congratulations to Devun on still being one of the best to do it, twenty years into his pro career. Saturday evening plans for Breckenridge local Madison Elsworth and his wife, Hailey: Riders' Poll. Volcom's Jeff Kabigting, in town from Southern California, with Lynn Tallman. The lady of the evening, Kimmy Fasani. Kimmy is now the reigning Women's Rider of the Year. Pictured with Electric's snow team manager, Cody Rosenthal, and husband and professional skier, Chris Benchetler. Locals boys Nick Larson, Forest Miller, and Jacob Carey with a friend whose name we don't know. But we do know she has a nice floral dress. This past season, Standout Performance of the Year nominee Christian Haller broke a world record with a hip air at Nine Knights and produced a unique and artistic snowboard film called GLUE. We're so stoked he made it to Riders' Poll with Jan Scherrer. Kevin Backstrom and Tor Lundstrom came all the way from Sweden to accept the Online Series of the Year Award for their BYND X MDLS series. And to party with Ryan Runke, Stephen Duke, and Brendan Gerard. This is the photo next to both 'rolling deep' and 'heavy squad' on Urban Dictionary. Burton came out in force. Left to right: Zak Hale, Danny Davis, Terje Haakonsen, Ben Ferguson, Hailey Langland, Brock Crouch, Red Gerard, Kimmy Fasani, Frankie Chapin, and Darcy Sharpe. Red was nominated for Rookie of the Year after an incredible season both filming and on the contest circuit. The Mervin boys. Chris Rasman, Dave Marx, and Ted Borland. Brock Crouch seems to do just fine with the ladies. Photographer Chad Chomlack came all the way from Whistler with his son Jadyn, a BC up-and-comer. Congrats to Kazu Kokubo on taking home Video Part of the Year. His part in Union's STRONGER. is an absolute classic. Kazu Kokubo pictured with Carl Harris to his right and Ayumu Hirano and Miles Atkinson to his left. TransWorld SNOWboarding's Digital Content Manager, Justin Cafiero, and Managing Editor, Taylor Boyd. Dave Marx lights up a room. Transworld contributes to the nightlife in Summit County quite a bit, but never more than the night of Riders Poll! PHOTO: Chris Wellhausen Klaudia Medlova, of Slovenia, put out a sick part this year that included a double backside rodeo, making her the first female to stomp that trick and helping cement her place as Women's Rookie of the Year. Jesse Paul has been impressing those following snowboarding closely for a while now, but this year was his breakout, with a part in Reckless Abandon that put him on the map and earned him the Rookie of the Year Award. Robin Van Gyn's riding in Full Moon Film is technical, stylish, and downright gnarly. It's hands down some of the most progressive backcountry riding ever seen from a female and earned her Video Part of the Year. Devun Walsh has been a top-tier pro twenty years, ushering into the scene numerous younger riders throughout his career. This past season he worked on the film Wildcats Never Die, both behind the scenes and in front of the camera. The movie is a reminder of how impactful Devun and the Wildcats have been on snowboarding and why he is the recipient of this year's Legend Award. Devun's acceptance speech was long—in a good way—and a highlight of the night. Jerome Tanon couldn't make it to accept his award for Standout Performance of the Year, recognizing his film The Eternal Beauty of snowboarding, so he sent in a video acceptance speech that centered around him uncorking a bottle of champagne with the ol' 'shoe against the tree' trick. It was a fittingly unconventional way to accept an award for an unorthodox snowboard movie. Surprisingly, the Video Part of the Year Award Kazu Kokubo received for his segment in Union's Video of the Year-winning STRONGER., is his first-ever Riders' Poll trophy. About time. It was such an honor to have Kazu come from Japan to accept it. Union's George Kleckner took the stage with Riley Goodwin, Anto Chamberland Torstein Horgmo, Travis Rice, and Kazu Kokubo to accept the Video of the Year Award for STRONGER. The movie is one of the most impressive team videos ever created, which is logical when you have one of the most impressive teams ever created. Leanne Pelosi is the first recipient of the newly added Influencer Award. Pelosi has a long history of making things happen in snowboarding, and the past two seasons she has worked to create Full Moon Film, a project we believe progressed snowboarding as a whole. After battling injury Jess Kimura self-released an outstanding full part that helped nominate her for Video Part of the Year, Rider of the Year, and Readers' Choice. She ended up taking home the latter for the fifth time! Jess has worked so hard to get where she's at, and rad to see her continually recognized for it. One of the best to ever strap in, Travis Rice flew into Denver Friday night and made it to Breckenridge in the knick of time to accept his Readers' Choice Award at Riders' Poll. Kimmy Fasani has pushed boundaries on her board for quite some time, and she just keeps getting better. Her Video of the Year-nominated part in Absinthe's /fterForever is incredible. She's also made a strong effort to help mentor, educate, and bring up the next generation of female snowboarders, and we're proud to say she is the Women's Rider of the Year. Congratulations to Bode Merrill, who is now the reigning Rider of the Year after a heavy season—even by his standards—documented in Reckless Abandon. Bode's heartfelt acceptance speech addressed the avalanche that almost took his life last winter while filming for the movie, urging us to prioritize safety in the backcountry. Congrats to Jesse Paul who walked away with the Rookie of the Year award, after heavy footage in Reckless Abandon. Chris Grenier looks very proud.
Photos: Chris Wellhausen
Riders’ Poll has been around the block a couple times. The first took place in 1991 in Las Vegas during the SIA tradeshow. The second was also in Vegas during SIA, but eight years later in 1999. In 2003, the show moved to San Diego, and in 2008 back to Vegas, before moving to Denver two years later. This year, in Breckenridge, marked the first time Riders’ Poll has been hosted in the mountains. The show has also taken place over a month later for the last eight years.
There are always questions when making a switch of that nature. And honestly, until last night was over not even we at TransWorld SNOWboarding were certain what the ultimate reception to this change would be. But as we filed out of the Riverwalk Center with around 1000 other people into Breckenridge’s snowy downtown, the success of the event’s new time and venue was evident.
Hours prior, the crowd streamed in following the Dew Tour Steetstyle competition taking place off Main Street. As the lights dimmed, snowboarding’s odd couple, Eddie Wall and Peter Line, took the stage to conduct the show. The list of other presenters was a stacked one including Todd Richards, Louie Vito, Danny Davis, Mark McMorris, Terje Haakonsen, Jack Mitrani, Spencer O’Brien, and Chris Grenier.
As influential snowboarders presented awards to influential snowboarders, 600 Bud Lights were consumed at the nominee tables. The acceptance speeches were as diverse as the winners, ranging from direct and concise to drawn out and heartfelt. Rider of the Year winner Bode Merrill’s sincere speech was a reminder to everyone in attendance the risks associated with much of the snowboarding that garners Riders’ Poll nomination. Being trapped in an avalanche during the filming of Reckless Abandon was a wake up call for Bode, and he took the time to address it in the film and on stage: "I was very close to dying the year and I was almost gone and so standing here tonight is extra special to me.” It was a sobering moment, and a necessary message as a new season begins.
Devun Walsh also accepted his Legend Award with an equally earnest address to the crowd, beautifully acknowledging his appreciation for snowboarding and his gratitude for the accolade. Listening to Devun--someone who has been around snowboarding for decades--was a reminder as to why we all do this, and those reasons never change. Throughout its nearly twenty iterations the intent of Riders’ Poll has not changed either. It is an event that celebrates snowboarding.
Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees. And thank you so much to the massive crowd that turned out to honor those who represent all of us, as snowboarders.
Check out the full list of winners below, and watch their highlight videos
here. Men's Readers' Choice
Women's Readers' Choice
ADVERTISEMENT Online Video Series Of The Year
BYND X MDLS
Standout Performance Of The Year
The Eternal Beauty of Snowboarding, Jérôme Tanon
Video Of The Year
Men's Rookie Of The Year
Women's Rookie Of The Year
Men's Video Part Of The Year
Kazu Kokubo, STRONGER.
Women's Video Part Of The Year
Robin Van Gyn, Full Moon
Men's Rider Of The Year
Women's Rider Of The Year
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