Rider of the Year Hana Beaman; photo courtesy Snowboarder, Mike Yoshida
With winter in full swing Snowboarder magazine has announced the recipients of the ultimate accolade a professional rider can receive: the Rider Of The Year honors. Decided upon by a jury of their peers, Snowboarder magazine’s Rider Of The Year award celebrates those elite snowboarders who had the most impact on their sport in 2012.
Swiss sensation Nicolas Muller’s fluid on-camera exploits for Nike Snowboarding and Absinthe Films, as well as his top three finish at Red Bull’s Supernatural and win in the X Games Real Snow Backcountry event, easily earned him 2012 Rider Of The Year honors. Similarly, Hana Beaman’s stellar segments as a part of the groundbreaking “P.S.” webisode series, which includes footage of her becoming the first woman to vault the venerable Mt. Baker Road Gap with a jaw-dropping 720 degree spin, set her apart from her female peers to earn her a long overdue nod.
Among those professional snowboarders tasked with deciding the recipients of these awards were Olympic medalists Danny Kass and Scotty Lago, X Games medalists Gretchen Bleiler, Torstein Horgmo, Pat Moore, Leanne Pelosi, Eero Ettala, Halldor Helgason, Peter Line, Kevin Jones, Jussi Oksanon, and Dan Brisse, U.S. Open Champions Danny Davis and Jake Blauvelt, Outside Magazine 2012 Adventurer Of The Year nominee Jeremy Jones, and three-time Snowboarder Rider Of The Year recipients Travis Rice and David Benedek.
This year marks Nicolas Muller’s seventh Top Ten Riders Of The Year appearance and the third time achieving the most first place votes in the annual tally. According to Snowboarder magazine’s long-standing editor Pat Bridges, “Each season we tap the top snowboarders in the world to provide their opinions in order to help us arrive at what I believe is the most esteemed accomplishment a professional snowboarder can achieve. To be recognized by those riders, who themselves have firsthand knowledge of the talent and efforts being employed in the name of progress, is a true achievement. To that end, I believe Nicolas Muller is being rewarded as much out of jealousy as he is out of respect. His accomplishments in 2012 are probably what our pool of peer judges wishes they had achieved themselves in the last 12 months. As for Hana Beaman, her on-snow abilities are undeniable and this year she found an ideal place to showcase her skills with the highly successful ‘P.S.’ Webisode series.”
Snowboarder magazine’s Rider of the Year issue is on newsstands now, and it can be purchased digitally by clicking here.