The highest echelon of competitive snowboarding.
During a ski season that seems perpetually cursed (to us Brits, at least), it’s a blessing that we will be getting some fresh and exciting snowboarding content direct to our screens, courtesy of Travis Rice and the Natural Selection Tour, that airs live on Red Bull TV from 3rd February 2021. The Tour, starting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, will see some of the world’s top riders – Olympians and big mountain icons alike – competing side by side in some of the most stunning locations North America has to offer.
But the hook isn’t just the names on the call sheet so far (Travis Rice, pro snowboarder famous for his previous snowboarding movies including The Art of Flight, Dark Matter and The Fourth Phase, will be joined by Elias Elhardt, Sage Kotzenburg, Pat Moore, Jamie Anderson, Elena Hight, and Anna Gasser… Just to name a few), at the heart of the tour sits Mother Nature, the Natural Selection Tour hopes to bring snow sports lovers across the globe together to enjoy some incredible riding… But also to highlight the climate crisis and unify the industry around sustainability.
“The Natural Selection Tour is designed with Mother Nature as the main character, and with mutual respect for and from snowboarding” – Travis Rice.
To come out top, the riders will have to showcase their creativity in the terrain they’re given, but also demonstrate their deep knowledge of the backcountry and its challenging conditions – No mean feat given the recent heavy snowfall that was seen across Northern America in the last few weeks.
So what does it take to reach the shortlist of snowboarders who are, arguably, some of the best in the world? The Natural Selection Nomination Committee was made up of some of the industry stalwarts – Pat Bridges of Snowboarder Magazine, pro snowboarder Barrett Christy Cummins, Looking Sideways podcast host Matt Barr, Natural Selection Tour COO Liam Griffin, and Travis Rice himself – who made the initial selections based on time-tested backcountry riding, past event finishes, video parts, and the entire breadth of each riders’ career weighed for current performance.
And the locations are as iconic as the names themselves. Kicking off in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on 3rd February, sixteen men and eight women will drop in to the area that is full of technical challenges, natural features, and rugged terrain, requiring them to think on their feet. Subsequent locations of Baldface Lodge, BC, and Tordillo Mountain Lodge, Alaska will be visited in March, conditions allowing.
“It’s so exciting to see this tour come to life. Competing in a new arena where backcountry meets freestyle against snowboarding’s best is a total honour” – Robin Van Gyn.
Tune in to the Natural Selection Tour on Red Bull TV from 3rd February 2021.