The organizers of the Oakley Style Masters warned us … this is no X Games, be prepared for anything. And we were-we being the invited riders including Terje Haakonsen, Peter Line, Nicolas Muller, Travis Rice, Pat Moore, JJ Thomas, Luke Mitrani, Kevin Pearce, Keir Dillon, Danny Davies, and Jake Blauvelt, event organizers from the Arctic Challenge, and the media. No one was surprised, or even that bummed, when the quarterpipe demo was delayed until the last day. It seems wind had shifted the quarterpipe back, removing the scaffolding backbone from its’ snowy skin. Attention was focused elsewhere, such as mini-shredding, and sightseeing the Great Wall and the Forbidden City … and sessioning the resort’s bar.
Things got underway on the last day, and damn, given the questionable healthcare situation and remoteness of the Badaling resort (or the “Bada Bing” resort as Travis Rice calls it) riders went off. Forum teamrider Pat Moore hit the seven-meter mark and was declared the winner of the highest air. It looked to be about an 18ish foot backside air. Pat, however, didn’t go back through customs with the 25,000-dollar solid gold Oakley Time Bomb watch. That stays in Oakley’s pocket, still waiting to be won by the first rider to hit the 10-meter (about 32 feet) mark. Nicolas Muller wowed the Chinese army with a 4.5 meter (14.7 feet) one-footed McTwist, and Burton’s own junior army of Danny Davis and Kevin Pearce unleashed four days worth of energy with doubles-runs. Danny spun backside alley-oop fives while Kevin spun McTwists alongside. This too got a strong reaction from the crowd, who seemed to be getting a better idea of what this whole snowboarding thing was all about. Travis Rice just did one of everything in the QP Trick Book-basically a one-man demo.
Check your mailboxes for TransWorld SNOWboarding next season for a real eye-opening tour of snowboarding in China. Man, we really investigated the hell out of that place and we’re dying to show you snowboarding, China-style. Thanks again to Oakley, Terje Haakonsen, Henning Andersen, and the rest of the Arctic Challenge organizers for a memorable event.