A recap of stop #1
Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, Jackson Hole, WY.
The first day of YETI Natural Selection Tour snowboard contest took off Thursday morning, in bounds, at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The contest is the brainchild of world-renowned snowboarder Travis Rice, and has been years in the making.
Twenty four professional snowboarders were selected to participate in the event this year: 16 men and eight women, ranging from backcountry veterans like Eric Jackson (also known as E-Jack) to slopestyle competitor Jamie Anderson and halfpipe rider Ben Ferguson, to newer faces like Zoi Sadowski-Synott. The format followed eight head-to-head heats for the first day, two runs each, with a tiebreaker if needed, overall score not counting.
Each run was scored on each rider’s use of the course, flow and creativity. Fresh snow gave each rider plenty of powder to slash and to cushion the landings on some of the bigger enhanced natural features that were built over the course of the summer.
The head-to-head format and unique judging offered a chance for newer backcountry and freeride competition riders like Sadowski-Synott and Mark McMorris to advance on to the next day of competition.
Eighteen-year-old New Zealander Sadowski-Synott dominated, taking the win at this first competition of its kind for women in snowboarding.
In the mens’ semifinals, Jackson native Blake Paul was knocked out of the competition by Oregonian Ben Ferguson. Ferg went on to face Mark McMorris, who barely slid past Norweigian Mikkel Bang in their heat.
In the final round, Ferg found some difficulty staying on his feet throughout his two runs while McMorris managed to stay up and put together two full lines. McMorris was crowned, adding a Natural Selection win to his already highly-decorated career in snowboarding.
The next stop of the Natural Selection Tour is set to begin the first week of March at Baldface Lodge in Canada.
Written by: Cameron Perry — email@example.com