Men's Rookie of the Year
Professional snowboarding, much like any elite level of athleticism isn't just about the current superstars. It's about the next generation, the new vanguard, and the future of our sport. Every year, it seems that although the moniker "rookie" gets quite confusing, there are a handful of kids who step up and stamp their place in our culture. This past winter, one soon-to-be competitive superstar, a dual-sport crossover sensation and a newcomer to the video part-based model of pro riding have earned the nod for our potential Rookie of the Year titles.
Summit County-based Chris Corning made his name well known at last year's Burton US Open of Snowboarding when he put down one of the most ridiculous slopestyle runs in the history of the event and landed in fifth place, but he had a hell of a season before people started asking who in the hell this kid was. He won the overall FIS World Cup championship and took home 5th place at the Air & Style in Los Angeles. Plainly put, Chris is set to make a massive debut at the 2018 Winter Olympics and he utilized last winter to make his official introduction to the entire snowboard world.
While Brock Crouch is just as apt on a surfboard as he is on a snowboard, the piste is where he shines. Last winter, Brock showed up to SNOWBOARDER Magazine's Superpark and barely speed-checked in his week of sending and setting the bar for every session, earning himself his first Superpark Charger award in the process. He also crushed it at The Launch while balancing a healthy dose of slopestyle contests as he aims to make the 2018 US Olympic slopestyle and big air team. Brock is legit, and he's leading the new wave of up-and-comers while climbing the ladder to the top tier ranks of pro snowboarding.
The Midwest ripper whose name was relatively unknown before the start of last winter, Mike Liddle rocketed to the top of this list the minute that his ridiculously technical and balls-to-the-wall part came out in Arbor Snowboards' first-ever film, Cosa Nostra. Liddle's last name seems to be an oxymoron, due to the fact that the features he chooses to session are gigantic, and if this is his first big offering in the video realm, the sky is the limit for this young gun.