We still remember how Ulrik Badertscher won the Oakley and Shaun White present Air & Style Beijing 2011! Impressing the masses with unique tricks is what makes Ulrik so special. Some fans were blown away when he conjured a massive double front flip out of a pole jam, but maybe we should mention that Ulrik spent almost every school holiday at a circus school which may help explain his affinity for pulling ridiculous tricks out of thin air. We are definitely looking forward the Ulrik Show in Beijing in December 2012.
Once you’ve seen Seppe Smits shredding, you’ll never make jokes about Belgians again. The former Big Air Junior World Champion has done super well at his debut at the Billabong Air & Style Rookie Challenge in Innsbruck-Tirol in December 2009, winning the contest with a Backside 1260. At the Air & Style in Beijing and Munich he impressed with two second places. The smart Belgian is definitely a candidate for the win at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing.
You might think being labeled the next big thing in snowboarding by the legend himself, Terje Haakonsen, would have been quite a lot of pressure for Ståle. But it was no problem for this young Norwegian who started winning titles, the kind that grownups dream of winning, when he was only sixteen. With the third place in slope style at the New Zealand Open in August 2011 he proved how serious he is. We expect him to be as successful as last year at Oakley and Shaun White present Air & Style Beijing, but Ståle expects to raise the bar for himself yet again, and take home a hard fought win!
He competed at the age of 15 at the US Open and as he stood next to all the big names at the drop-in, Mark McMorris quickly showed what he is for snowboarding: the future. With his victory at the Billabong Air & Style Innsbruck-Tirol in February 2011 and the first backside triple cork 1440 in the history of snowboarding he has confirmed it again. With his victory in slope style at the Burton New Zealand Open he’s already served notice of what to expect from him in this season.
2010/11 was Sebastien Toutant aka Seb Toots most successful season so far. The victories at the X-Games in Aspen and the Oakley and Shaun White present Air & Style Beijing 2010 proved of what the 19 year old Canadian is made of. By now triple corks also count to his game plan, whereat the style never comes too short. Who now thinks that Seb is just a pure contest machine should absolutely watch his online part - it's smashing.
Since his victory at the World Rookie Finals 2010, Roope Tonteri has been a solid component on the international contest circuit. When reviewing the great accomplishments this 20 year old has already achieved, like his win at the European Open slope style 2011, it’s not surprising that he is leading the Overall Championship Ranking on the World Snowboard Tour. Roope is definately one of the top dogs, and there is no reason not to expect him to be up front in Beijing!
Nils Arvidsson, whose full name Nils Sture Olov Leopold Arvidsson, is a rather calm character. He’d rather draw the attention with his stylish FS 1440 shifties than with big talk. Mr. Arvidsson is by no means a freshman at the Air & Style, after he competed in last season’s Billabong Air & Style Innsbruck-Tirol and the Nike 6.0 Air & Style Munich. Both times he missed the podium by a hair and finishing fourth place at both. In his part in “Welcome Home II” you can see Nils showcase his talent in the backcountry. Let’s hope he‘ll manage to climb another notch higher, and onto the podium this time in Beijing.
Although Werni is only 25 years old he’s taken part in Big Air contests for many years now. In 2011 he even took home third place at the Billabong Air & Style in Innsbruck. In his repertoire there are tricks like frontside 1080 Double Corks or switch backside 1260’s, and many more. Strong arguments for Werni being able to land a podium spot in Beijing! In the new Pirates Movie, Werni is part of the Unique 8 Crew. With his extrajudicial style he produced an amazing part and proved why he was picked to be part of the crew. Werni prepared for the Oakley & Shaun White present Air & Style Beijing at the Hintertuxer Glacier – we are sure he’s going to rock this event!
Torgeir Bergrem is an all-round talent and never hits the slopes without his ninja suit. Always up for any kind of prank or joke this unpredictable shredder has been known to jump off a cliff into a glacier lake just because his team manager uttered the fateful words, “Torgeir wouldn’t dare.” The 20 year old Norwegian participated two seasons ago for the first time at the Air & Style Rookie Challenge and straight dominated! In Beijing 2011 his night ended in the most exciting head-to-head battle with Seppe Smits. On top of high-level technical tricks, Torgeir has an unbelievable style that never fails to wow the crowds, and his competitors alike.
A country that has such an abundance of mountains like Austria is sure to produce tons of pro-riders . Clemens Schattenschneider, is truly someone Austria can be incredibly proud of. "Clemi" didn't just come in ninth at the Billabong Air & Style Rookie Challenge 2011 but also rode into the finals beside the really big names at the 2011 O'Neill Evolution. Though he is beyond stoked to take a run at the famous Air & Style ramp, his favorite mountain is still Stuhleck. Hopefully all of Clemi’s love for his home country and their love for him will pay out at his first appearance at the Oakley & Shaun White present Air & Style Beijing 2012!
Sage Kotsenburg comes from a pure and true snowboarding family. Not only does he often ride with his brother Blaze, but his parents get on their boards and shred as well as manage his career, film for him and support him however they can. Clearly the family environment pays off, because the young American landed a third place in Big Air at X Games in Aspen and likewise at the Artic Challenge 2011 in Slope style! Fun little inside fact about Sage, he’s actually afraid of heights!? Sage carries a few different kinds of double corks in his luggage, let’s see what he’ll pull out for us in Beijing 2012!
At sixteen years of age Yuki is the youngest rider in the competition field. He is Japan's rising talent in Big Air and Slopestyle and he proved this with his success last season. At the Air & Style 2011 the crowds and viewers were in awe of his huge backside 1080 double cork. We wish Yuki great success at the Oakley & Shaun White present Air & Style 2012!
Everyone who is thinking “What’s the little chap up to? “should keep those thoughts to themselves. This young man is one of Switzerland’s hottest upcoming snowboarders. Pat rocks the pipe, crashes rails and hits the kicker like a monster. Don’t forget that Pat has almost landed the first switch backside triple cork 1440 ever at the Billabong Air & Style Innsbruck 2012. But with another year under his belt, we are pretty thrilled to see what he is going to do this year in Beijing!
It’s not always easy to be compared with your older brother, especially when he’s one of the best snowboarders of our time. Regardless, Petja Piiroinen is blazing his own trails though and has already achieved some proper results at the age of 21. Not the least of which was being crowned the FIS Big Air Champion in 2011! The Billabong Air & Style Contest Innsbruck-Tirol 2012 was the first time ever both Piiroinen brothers competed at the same contest. Peetu won by throwing a massive cab 1260. Which Piiroinen do you think will take top honors in the “Bro Show” in Beijing?
Victor grew up in a snowboarding family. Some believe that snowboarding may be written into his DNA, just like in his older brother Xavier de Le Rue, definitely one of the world’s best freeriders. Victor is not your typical contest-kid. He spent a lot of time in the backcountry with his brother, and became somewhat of a backcountry freestyle specialist in his early years. None the less he’s also a potent Big Air rider, as proven by his second place at Big Air Stuttgart in 2011 and his third place at the Pony Session in France. If you want to see Victor in action, watch Rip Curl’s new movie “Alive and Kicking” or you could just watch the Oakley & Shaun White present Air & Style Beijing!
Eric what? Eric who? Eric Beauchemin is one of the newest rising stars on the snowboard horizon. Eric is a graduate of the Stratton Mountain School, one of the most esteemed snowboarding schools in the United States. Just like the Mitrani brothers, Louie Vito and Danny Davis, Eric was one of the star pupils of his class. His contest results are backing up the reputation of his school’s alumni, as he recently won the Pleasure Jam in Schladming. Eric feeds off of competition, and destroys kickers and rails alike. Though he has only made it onto the big stage as of late, he should be considered a dark horse for a surprise podium in China!
Chas Guldemond established himself a few years ago on the progressive snowboard scene. Some of his more notable achievements are landing on the X Games podium, taking the win at one of the Dew Tour events, winning the Oakley Artic Challenge, the Freestyle.ch and the Toyota Big Air. On top of all of this, we should mention that he is the reigning World Snowboard Slopestyle Champion. Clearly Chas has won or stood on the podium at nearly every major event around the globe, but there is still one mountain left for him to climb. He has yet to reach the podium at an Air & Style event, but many snowboarding industry insiders believe that is about to change!
Norway’s contingent at the Air & Style Beijing is the largest of any nation in the world. Impressive fact since the population of Norway is 5 million, roughly the same as some of the smaller neighborhoods around Beijing. In the tradition of his fellow countrymen, Emil busts mad tricks and does it with a smooth Norwegian style. Last season Emil bested some of the world’s best riders such as Ulrik Badertscher, Roope Tonteri and Stale Sandbech in slopestyle at the Burn River Jump in Livigno. We know he has the chops, but are curious to see how Emil will handle his first ever appearance on the grand stage at Air & Style.
When Grilc does something, he does it right. In his first international performance, the junior world championships in 1998, he won the title. In 2009 he just made it into the Air & Style in Innsbruck as a backup rider and went with a perfect Switch Backside 1080 Doublecork all the way to the Ring of Glory. Since then the Slovenian womanizer and party boy has been a solid fixture on the Air & Style riders’ line-up
Sven is one of the young and aspiring Swedish riders. Like Niklas Mattson, Halldor Helgason and Hampus Mosesson his talents were honed at one of the best snowboard academies in the world, “Snowboard RIKS,” in Malung. The first time international attention was paid to Sven was when he won the World Rookie Finals in Chile. In 2012 he won the World Rookie Fest (U18) and ever since, Sven has been rocking every contest. We are more than confident that this isn’t the end of the list of events this young Swedish snowboarder is taking home trophies from…