A rider’s perspective: The Nanshan Open, everything that’s right with snowboard contests [Gallery]

nanshan-open-03 Brage Richtenberg, double backflip with an epic city backdrop

Words & photos by Seth Hill

When it comes to snowboard contests, what the world sees is often a far cry from what’s really going on. Not to say that it’s all bad, but there is definitely a side to competing that most observers don’t see.

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When it comes to the Nanshan Open, a Red Bull event held in China, even the hidden aspects of the contest are nothing short of amazing. Any riders who’ve experienced the Nanshan Open will agree, and hate me for sharing the secret— this event has all the right elements; fun snowboarding at a unique little resort, next level riders and a stunning environment, capped off by plenty of sightseeing and adventures.

Honestly, so many contests these days are at awesome resorts, in incredible countries, but riders aren’t actually given the time to really check them out. That’s not the case with Nanshan; The Great Wall, downtown Beijing, and a full practice day provides riders plenty of time to actually adventure and experience the country.

China is a whole different world... China is a whole different world…

It’s hard to fully describe how great the Nanshan Open in China was; it’s hard to really compare it to other contests, mainly because it doesn’t even feel like a contest. Simply put, it’s just an amazing time, with awesome friends, in a crazy country.


Austria’s Mathias Weissenbacher took 1st for the men, with Tim Humphreys in 2nd & Ian Thorley in 3rd. For the women, Finnish rider Merikia Enne topped the podium, with fellow Fin Kristiina Nisula standing in second. America’s own Michelle Zeller rounded out the group in third.


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