The 3rd annual Rad-Air Op Longboard Classic, this year with a record 430 registered entrants and 309 starters, didn’t disappoint its fans and turned on fresh snow, night long parties and crowds of participants, all styling Hawaiian floral leis, during a weekend of spring time ambience!
The weather, true winter conditions, was no deterrant to the masses that gathered. Crowds came from Europe and abroad, lured by epic north facing fields, 30cm of fresh powder, free food, free beer and an experience to ride with some of the best free riders in the world.
This year’s event, a focal point for many seasoned snowboarders, saw not only news faces, but also new categories introduced: “We don’t plan too much. The people come and, depending on what kind of equipment they dig out of the cellar, we create new categories,” stated event co-organizer Harry Gunz.
The Longboard Classic’s traditional event category, men riding over 170 cm sticks and women over 160 cm, was definitely the most contested category; Many experiencing the ride of a 2 meter board for the first time. “The mountain was filled with stoked faces all day. Regardless of the events results, it’s the gathering people come for, a sharing of good times, a taste of the past and a contribution to the future of our sport,” says Gunz.
Head pro rider Eric Themel introduced and took honors in the “built before 1985” category. Themel busted out an archived 150 Burton Elite, dressed to kill and rode the course in swallow tail style. This year’s course, 1000 vertical of fresh powder didn’t stop young blood showing up and turning heads. Swiss kid Marco Michael, rode, and stumbled, and rode top to bottom on a snow skate, winning most innovative and most exhausted. The main event, even if seen as a gathering more than a contest, still had its winners. Speed demon honors went to:
1. Birgit Christ (A) ( winner 2001 )
2. Johanna Moser (A)
3. Claudia Hintermeister (CH)
4. Heidi Gunesch (D)
5. Birte M¸ller (D)
1. Alex Deubl (D)
2. Urs Ickler (D)
3. Klaus Baumgartner (A)
4. David Speiser (D)
5. Ralph Castelberg (CH)
The after-riding activities were a mix of free food and drinks, spinning DJ’s, random raffles, the un-official prize giving and late-night closure at the evening bonfire. The event was, and will continue to remain a true classic. One not to be missed.
Op marketing director, Dani Kiwi Meier, who has been an integral part of the event since the beginning, was stoked to have taken the initiative to an associate sponsor; “OP, with its re-launch as a pan-European lifestyle label, is targeting support at core, credible events, both summer and winter. The LBC is the biggest gathering of longboarders worldwide and, as an end-of-season extravaganza, it credits industry greats, welcomes young blood into a huge family of friends and supports our sport at the core of its existence. The event was hassle free and professionally executed by RAD AIR. Op is stoked to be a part of it and will continue to support it!”
For further info on the RAD – AIR OP LONGBOARD CLASSIC go to www.longboardclassic.com