The Red Bull Supernatural, Travis Rice's brainchild, is one of the most innovative snowboard events of all time. This year's event combined elements of contest riding with backcountry snowboarding on a piste, near Baldface Lodge in British Columbia. The world's best riders were set loose on a course comprised of over 100 man-made features. Perfect pillow lines, tree jibs, gap jumps, log jams, and booters were strategically scattered across 'Scary Cherry,' allowing riders to showcase their best tricks. As part of the Red Bull Signature Series, Supernatural will air in its entirety for the first time on NBC, March 31.
We caught up with Travis Rice to hear about his favorite memories of the incredible event and plans for the future.
What was your goal with the Red Bull Supernatural?
The goal of Supernatural was to create the highest echelon of snowboarding contests-- the next step. Bringing together the incredibly talented, youthful world of X Games, Olympics, park-style riding and planting it firmly into the conditions that we spend all year looking for: backcountry and fresh snow.
How much time did it take to build the course on 'Scary Cherry' and did it ultimately turn out how you envisioned?
There were several years leading up to this but the actual 'here we go' production time was a few trips during the winter last season. We started July 1 and did about four and a half months of building the course. Once it snowed, around mid-November, we spent another two and a half months working on the course as the snow fell, doing a bunch of snow shaping and also really strict avalanche control. We spent a lot of time controlling the slope, making sure that every layer of snow that fell bonded to the one underneath, cutting, using explosives, cornice cutting, etc.
What was your favorite feature?
It's like if you had a hundred children, and you had to pick... I guess I would have to say my favorite was up top. There were a couple pillow lines that we built. I actually didn't even ride them, but Gigi [Ruf] rode them. Watching Gigi take his 2nd place run was all-time. The way he rode those double pillow features-- you'll see it on Saturday.
What was your favorite memory from the Red Bull Supernatural?
I have a lot. After we ran the event, everyone rode so well and was healthy. No one hurt themselves. It was such an amazing group of people. Afterwards, we were all standing around, just at the bottom, in a circle, and we had a big bottle of Jagermeister that we were passing around the circle, getting a chance to think about what we were grateful for. I think that was, for me, a pretty emotional moment-- to have everyone there and so excited post-event.
Following the event, Pat Bridges said, "More events like the Supernatural need to happen for the sake of our sport..." Are there plans to continue this event?
Yeah, I'm going to do everything I can to [continue the event]. We have an incredibly supportive sponsor in Red Bull, who has really stood behind us to keep the vision of this moving forward. When I first set out to do this event, I never planned on doing it as a one-off. I think that this should and needs to be a global series. It really showcases the different places that we're able to ride, from Asia to Europe to Canada to the lower 48, even up to Alaska. I think that's definitely the goal.
So what now? From That's It, That's All, to the Art of Flight, to the Redbull Supernatural, what do you have up your sleeve?
Hmm... I'd tell you all about it, but then I'd have to kill you. We got some awesome stuff coming up, we really do. I really look forward to what we have coming up in the near future. I was just down south and saw the new cut of Art of Flight in 3-D and it was completely incredible and ridiculous. Beyond that, we're going to have a couple film projects. We're already gearing up for next year's Supernatural. Playing off of everything we learned from this year's event, next year's event is going to go off.
Remember: Saturday, 1 p.m. EST, NBC 2-hour special.
It was shot so well. It really shows what the course was like to ride. We basically built the best mile-long run in the world for snowboarding. And the best in the world showed up for it. Get a Caesar, some maple syrup, get Canadian. I hope you enjoy it.
Have you ever wanted to ride on the back of Terje Haakonsen or John Jackson as they embark on one of the biggest big mountain lines you've ever witnessed? Yes, we're aware of how creepy that might be but with the abundance of point-of-view edits, that's what it feels like to watch.
Red Bull and Travis Rice's Supernatural event took place in British Columbia in early February of this year and it's fair to say that it blew minds. For the event, the world's best freeride snowboarders gathered before a playground of features on the steep slopes at Baldface Lodge.
Among the riders were none other than legend Terje Haakonsen and one of the modern day heroes of shredding, John Jackson. Magical, isn't it? Terje, who paved the way for the future of snowboarding riding alongside John J, who is smashing the boundaries of what can be done in the sport. We can't make this stuff up.
Competitors were given one freeride day during the event, and the majority of them grabbed whatever POV camera they had, strapping it to their helmets, and shouting, "dropping!" almost immediately. Thank the heavens for that, because now we can ride their backs through the ambitious terrain of Baldface. Check out their Contour footage below and look out for the footage in it's entirety, airing March 31 on NBC at 10 a.m. PST.
The world's best riders battled it out and pushed the progression of snowboarding this week in Nelson, B.C during the Red Bull Supernatural.
Out of a field of 18, Travis Rice came out on top proving he is the best all around snowboarder on the planet. Read on for an in- depth view of the contest from Snowboarder Mag's Editor- in-Chief.
Words: Pat Bridges
There are those rare tipping points that only come along so often where everyone realizes that the game has changed. In snowboarding, Ingemar Beckman's Richter Riksgransen method, Johan's TB5 part, and America's sweep of the Olympic podium in Salt Lake City are but a few of these watershed moments. In a seven day period that saw the legitimate debut of a triple cork in competition and the first five-peat in the X Games halfpipe, undoubtedly the most crucial occurrence for real riders took place in the high alpine above a subdued town in the interior of British Columbia.
The 2012 Red Bull Supernatural was spawned from the multi-talented mind of two-time X Games gold medalist and current SNOWBOARDER and Transworld Rider Of The Year Travis Rice. Building upon Travis's endeavor to bring freeriding to the forefront that began with The Natural Selection and continued to the next level with The Art Of Flight media blitz, Supernatural is a one of a kind event two years in the making. With Supernatural, Rice intends to bring a new side of snowboarding, the world of film and freeriding, to the masses. With the involvement of Red Bull and NBC, the inaugural Supernatural is poised to become the ultimate counterpoint to one-sided saccharine snowboarding showcases like the X Games and Olympics, which currently monopolize the mainstream landscape.
While most riders would be content to sit back and rest on the accolades accompanying a season like Rice is coming off of, trust me when I say that Supernatural is much more of a passion project for the protagonist of The Art Of Flight than anything else he has ever been involved in. From finding the ultimate venue and securing resources, to championing the Supernatural cause in the press, the only part of this event Rice has left to chance is the weather which is why he chose Nelson, British Columbia's Baldface Lodge to hedge his bets.
Head here for the rest of this Snowboarder Mag exclusive.
Words: Red Bull
Red Bull and Travis Rice today announce the 16 snowboarders who accepted invitations to compete at the inaugural Red Bull Supernatural at Baldface Lodge outside of Nelson, B.C., Canada. Invites were sent to riders on the forefront of bringing freestyle snowboarding into natural terrain.
On one day between February 3rd and 8th, riders from seven different countries will compete in a first-of-its-kind backcountry competition designed to challenge, then crown the best all-around snowboarder on the planet.
The invite list is partially made up of the top finishers from the Quiksilver Natural Selection, such as Mark Carter, DCP, Nicolas Muller and Wolfgang Nyvelt. Travis Rice and a panel of experts next extended invites to established pros and freeride contenders including Jake Blauvelt, John Jackson, Mark Landvik and Terje Haakonsen. To round out the freestyle contingent of the field, Scotty Lago and Kazu Kokubo, along with two wildcards who are deeply involved in contest-based slopestyle snowboarding, were invited.
Wildcard invites will go to the X Games men's slopestyle gold medalist, to be crowned on January 28th in Aspen, and the current top seeded slopestyle rider on the TTR World Tour, Canadian Mark McMorris. If Mark McMorris wins slopestyle at X Games, the second wildcard spot will go to the silver medalist.
Red Bull Supernatural's judging team will include some of the most recognized legends of snowboarding including Tom Burt (Head Judge), Andy Hetzel, Temple Cummins, Shin Campos, Bryan Iguchi and Mel Simmons (Assistant Head Judge). The overall impression judging system will be used taking into account the line's risk, flow, amplitude, creativity, tricks and control.
Overall judged scores will look at the riders' use of the course as a whole, navigating the steep upper tree section, two cliff bands, a 300' wide jump and a lower powder park section. All competitors will receive two complete runs with a bonus third run going to the riders who finish in the top eight after the first two runs. The best single run score of the day will win.
Red Bull Supernatural Confirmed Rider List:
David Carrier-Porcheron CAN
Devun Walsh CAN
Eero Niemela FIN
Gigi Ruff AUS
Jake Blauvelt USA
John Jackson USA
Kazu Kokubo JPN
Lucas Debari USA
Mark Carter USA
Mark Landvik USA
Nicolas Muller SUI
Eric Jackson USA
Scotty Lago USA
Terje Haakonsen NOR
Travis Rice USA
Wolfgang Nyvelt AUS
Travis Rice and Red Bull have teamed up once again to the change the way we perceive competitive snowboarding. The Red Bull Super Natural is gearing up to be the most progressive contest in snowboard history. In an effort to find the best overall snowboarder in the world, Rice conceptualized a contest that would combine all elements of competitive snowboarding, but in the backcountry of interior British Columbia.
Sound crazy? That's because it is.
Rice and Red Bull spent this past summer scouting the perfect location and building hundreds of log features for the event. The course is only accessible by snow cats and helicopters and mixes man-made features with natural elements. We're talking lumberjack-built pillow lines, dozens of tree-jibs, log ladders, transfers and even a massive kicker that will have 250 foot-wide take off.
On February 2-9, eighteen of the world's best riders will descend upon BC for this monumental contest. The event spans seven days because Rice wants to make sure that conditions and snow pack are the best possible, to ensure all riders fair runs. The format of the event will be the best of two runs with the top nine scores making it unto the third run. The rider that puts down this best third run will take the highly coveted win. This is more than just a simple contest title; it's earning the prestige of being the world's best snowboarder.
Invited Rider List (unconfirmed): John Jackson, Nicolas Mueller, DCP, Lucas Debari, Scotty Lago, Kazu Kokubo, Jake Blauvelt, Gigi Ruff, Wolle Nyvelt, Mark Landvik, Devun Walsh, Pat Moore, Shaun White, Terje Haakonsen, Mark Carter, and Travis Rice.
Wildcard spots: Winner of North Face Masters, Winter X Games slopestyle gold medalist.
Click on the picture to head to Red Bull's site to watch the teaser.