The world’s top snowboarders—eight men and four women—are set to compete today (Tuesday, Feb. 9) in a head-to-head format. A men’s and women’s winner will emerge atop the sport’s most progressive freeride contest. The riders will be dropping into 16 acres of prime inbounds freeriding terrain at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort featuring 50-plus enhanced and natural features. Since last Thursday’s qualifiers, over 50 inches of fresh snow has fallen, once again creating a fresh canvas for these riders.
The competition begins at 9:30 am MST and will follow a two-run, head-to-head format allowing for a third tiebreaker run if needed. The riders will be judged on overall impression. The men’s field will go head-to-head, with the field reducing from eight riders, to four riders, and finally to a showdown between the last two riders to determine the overall winner.
The women’s round will be reduced from four riders, to the final two competing for the title.
The Matchups Everyone Is Talking About:
Rice vs. McMorris
Hold onto your seats as the winningest X Games medalist and two-time Olympic medalist, 27-year-old Mark McMorris, who’s known as the most dominant force in slopestyle contest riding, goes head-to-head against 38-year-old Travis Rice—a rider who’s earned GOAT status as an X Games Gold Medalist (2002), National Geographic Adventurer of the Year (2011), star and co-producer of arguably the most-viewed snowboard film of all time, The Art Of Flight (2011). Plus, the Jackson Hole native has the hometown advantage. Did we mention he’s also the architect of the Natural Selection Snowboard Tour?
Ferguson vs. Kotsenburg
The second buzziest matchup is between two style masters: 26-year-old Ben Ferguson versus 27-year-old Sage Kotsenburg. This is a true head-to-head matchup with spectators passionately cheering for their guy. Kotsenburg made his mark on snowboarding earning a gold medal in slopestyle at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Ben Ferguson is frequently on the podium and is a fan favorite for his fluid style, blasting stylish methods, and lending easy style to the most difficult tricks.
Sadowski-Synnott vs. Beaman
In the women’s field, all eyes are on the between youthful Zoi Sadowski-Synnott against Hana Beaman, who earned the highest score of the day in Thursday’s qualifier. Beaman has years of experience riding just this kind of terrain, while Sadowski-Synnott will be relying on her competitive drive and technical slopestyle moves. Who’s gonna take it?
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