23/11/2009 | by Anna Langer
If the Southern Hemisphere season is any indicator of what lies ahead this winter, Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour events will have an additional role as a pre Olympic battleground.
This was showcased at the 5Star Burton New Zealand Open with never-before-seen snowboarding tricks in halfpipe competition, with Luke Mitrani’s Double Cork 900 and Shaun White’s Switch Double Cork 1080 Stalefish to FS Double Cork 900.
The Northern Hemisphere season will be officially kicked off next week in Italy at the Modena Skipass Freestyle Meeting, which provides an awesome setting for one of the nations most important urban snowboard contests, the Nissan Stomp It. This year awarded with a 4Star Swatch TTR status, it gathers Italy’s top riders such as Manuel Pietropoli and last years winner Giorgio Ciancaleoni who will defend his title against fellow top European riders such as Stephan Maurer (SUI) and Niki Korpela (FIN). Expect to see some dramatic changes on the Swatch TTR Ranking as many of the snowboarders are bagging their first result of the season. The contest is run on a Corner structure, designed by one of Italy’s top park designers, Roberto Moresi.
The Swatch TTR Tour will continue on from the 4Star Nissan Stomp It to the popular 4Star Horsefeathers Pleasure Jam in November, which also opens up the women’s competition season. A few tour stops have shifted dates as well as shook up their formats to adjust with the Olympic year. Taking place already in December are the 6Star Billabong Air & Style, which switches to a big air format and the 6Star Oakley Arctic Challenge featuring a slopestyle competition. Also the Swiss O’Neill Evolution event has revamped its format bringing back the halfpipe as a 6Star format and the slopestyle remaining 5Star. At the same time the Swatch TTR Tour rocks China with its premiere slopestyle event, the 4Star Red Bull Nanshan Open. The last big show down in January is the Burton European Open in Laax the following week, where the last TTR halfpipe battle before the Olympics will be heating up.
For the women on the tour the 4Star Horsefeathers Pleasure Jam opens the Northern Hemisphere season, leading into January’s elite female event the 6Star Roxy Chicken Jam, which has moved to a new location in Saalbach Hinterglemm, Austria. This season, the female riders are also invited again to ride the O’Neill Evolution 6Star halpipe before they move on to the Burton European Open. January is a crucial month for the women with each 6Star event offering the chance to collect up to 1000 Swatch TTR ranking points in the various formats.
Stay tuned to ttrworldtour.com for all tour news, videos and updated rider profiles.