If you ask any competitive professional snowboarder what the hardest part of their season is, chances are they will all tell you the same thing: constantly traveling to make each stop of the rigorous competition schedule. Try asking them what the most frustrating part is? It's likely they will say inconsistent judging, misrepresentation "outside of snowboarding", or scheduling conflicts– perhaps even all three.
Every year there are countless competitions, run by countless organizations, in countless countries, with countless riders. I could go on and on. The demand for one singular organization to oversee and regulate the mess is glaring. That's where the World Snowboarding Federation, (WSF) comes in.
Following the collapse of the International Snowboard Federation, (ISF) in 2002, the WSF was formed with the singular intent of developing snowboarding on all levels. Now, sixteen years into their mission, they have recently elected a new President and Board of Directors.
The event came after the successful dissolution of the existing TTR Board of Directors, and now secures the WSF as the one true global representative of snowboarding. The Board, which is now comprised by a healthy mix of 31 nations, riders, independent events, and core brand representatives, will now work in unison to, "lead the development and growth of snowboarding worldwide, founded on its unique culture."
The Board's recently elected President, Satu Järvelä, will step into the role for the next four years and does so with a tenured list of experiences and an impressive wealth of knowledge. Her previous experiences include but are not limited to, being a former ISF World Champion, a US Open Halfpipe Champion, a former Olympian representing Finland, and a longtime member of the TTR's Board of Directors.
Moving forward, the Board's primary responsibilities will include modernizing existing bylaws and establishing a new system for World Rankings. The latter of which is poised to make the largest impact on competitive snowboarding worldwide. Simply put, there are far too many events without a cohesive system in place for rider's to accurately and effectively compile a ranking. By reformatting the system in place, riders will be able to better select the competitions they enter and will be able to do so without the fear of scheduling conflicts.
Looking into the future, the WSF will play a significant role in collaborating with the FIS to determine Olympic qualifiers that accurately reflect snowboarding and its participants. A transition that is particularly relevant to many after years of controversy and conflict between TTR and the FIS.
Congratulations to Satu Järvelä on her new role, along with the remainder of the WSF's new Board of Directors.
The new complete list of new Board members is as follows: Satu Järvelä (FIN) President, Mike Mallon (USA) V. President, Dustin Heise (CAN) V. President, Dominic Kuhn (GER) V. President, Meinhard Trojer (AUT) V. President, Sacha Giger (SUI), Gian Luca Zanetti (ITA), Anna-Maria Strittmatter (NOR), Joakim Hammar (SWE), Rich Hegarty (AUS) Marc Bajona Carrera (events), Seppi Harml (events), Lukas Draxl (events), Shigeru "ISHI" Ishihara (Chief Advisor), Sven Thorgren (rider), Julia Marino (rider), Arielle Gold (Rider Chief Advisor).