In team sports, a rookie year is player’s first season playing professionally. But in snowboarding, how do you define a ‘rookie’? The definition is not black and white. If you’re paying attention, however, you know it when you see it. The three young riders below each had breakout seasons with standout parts in major video projects—one with contest results and achievements to note as well—and people took note, landing them with this coveted nomination. It’s safe to say these boys are on the come-up.

Jesse Paul

Before this season, the snowboarding community knew Jesse Paul was good. We’d seen his cat-like reflexes on Hood’s Palmer Glacer in the summer, in Working for the City 2 and the Impaler videos. But this was Jesse’s year to show everyone who was paying attention, and those that weren’t, just what he is capable of. With a nod from Bode Merrill, Salomon got behind him, and he spent his winter with Merrill and Jon Ray creating an undeniably ‘Rookie of the Year’ part.

Red Gerard

Red Gerard’s name is not a new one. But this season, the child sensation turned 16 and shook the last lingering bits of ‘little kid style’ he had, filming a hammertime part for TransWorld SNOWboarding‘s Insight movie between his hectic globetrotting contest schedule, which brought him to Vail where he closed a well-rounded and stylish contest run with a perfectly stomped triple that landed him in fifth place at the US Open.


Severin Van Der Meer

Severin Van Der Meer is a wildcard. Few stateside had heard his name before this season. Then anyone who watched Absinthe’s /fterForever wanted to know more about Sevi, the Swiss-German rider who can boost to the moon, grab, and hold on. This season he shared a part with Max Buri, but if Severin stays on this trajectory, there’s an opener or ender in his future.

We'll be announcing the winner at this year's Riders’ Poll event in Breckenridge, CO on December 9th. Be there!

RSVP for free tickets here!

About Riders’ Poll:
For 18 years, TransWorld SNOWboarding has polled the professional snowboarding community to find their picks for the best riders of the year. Each season, these awards are decided by the opinions of over 100 pros. While TransWorld SNOWboarding hosts the awards, the winners are truly a reflection of peer acknowledgement—the highest honor any rider can receive. All TransWorld SNOWboarding Riders’ Poll winners will be announced and awarded in Breckenridge, CO on Friday December 9, 2016 during the Winter Dew Tour weekend.

Check out more about Riders’ Poll Here.