The 11th edition of the celebrated Audi Nines event concluded another successful mission of launching the world’s best snowboarders into the stratosphere.
The 2019 edition of the Audi Nines delivered a full payload of stellar snow action. The legendary freestyle progression session wrapped up a week’s worth of next-level action on Saturday in Sölden and Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, Austria, as the invited skiers and snowboarders provided a final spectacle during the Contest Day that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
Check out the full contest day edit above, and read on for more from Audi Nines.
Otherworldly Contest Day Action
After a week of riding the Audi Nines’ one-of-a-kind features for film and photo shoots, the invited riders were more than ready to throw down in Saturday’s Big Air contest. The result was easily the most impressive display of skiing and snowboarding seen yet at the Audi Nines, with an extremely high level and multiple tricks never seen before in competition. In front of a crowd of several thousand at Sölden’s Tiefenbach Glacier, Johanne Killi and Elias Syrjä took the win in the ski category, while Yuka Fujimori and Mons Røisland took top honors in the snowboard category.
Finland’s Syrjä originally won his ticket to Audi Nines through the “Become A Nine” contest. He triumphed in the Big Air with the help of highly technical tricks like a triple cork 1260 safety, a switch triple 1260 screamin’ Seaman and a show-stopping switch double cork 900 nose grab, during which he held onto the grab while landing — a feat few in the world are capable of performing. Norway’s Killi prevailed in the women’s ski contest with the help of a cork 900 tail grab and a switch 540 nose grab.
On the snowboard side, Japan’s Fujimori clinched victory with a frontside double 900 and a backside 900 Indy, taking the top spot of a women’s podium dominated by Japanese riders Norwegian rider Mons Røisland captured the win among the men with a switch backside 1620, frontside triple cork 1440, and a switch backside 540 for his style trick.
Other exciting moments from the contest included Sven Thorgren’s triple backside rodeo, Andri Ragettli’s world-first switch triple misty 1620 and Sebbe de Buck’s heartstopping double front flip off the Launch Pad feature, all bringing roars of approval from the appreciative crowd. Rounding out the list of contest victors were Nico Porteous and Jan Scherrer, who won the “Best Trick” category on the quarterpipe to banked landing—Porteous with an alley-oop double flatspin 1080 japan and Scherrer with a switch McTwist method.
The Week’s Highlights: Epic Airs on Space Age Features
Where the world’s top freestyle skiers and snowboarders meet safe, spectacular snowpark design: at this intersection, you’ll find the Audi Nines. For the first time, this year’s event featured two locations running concurrently: a men’s setup in Sölden, and a second venue in Obergurgl designed specifically for the women. This new constellation provided even more room for progressive freestyle features like the “UFO” jib at Obergurgl and the instantly iconic “Launch Pad” at Sölden.
In addition to the Contest Day victories, rider-judged awards were given to the best performers throughout the week. On the snowboard side, Sebbe de Buck and Laurie Blouin were voted by their peers as the “Rulers of the Week”. de Buck also won the vote for “Best Style” alongside his female counterpart Yuka Fujimori.
Full Contest Results:
Snowboard Big Air – Men + Women
Snowboard Women (Big Air)
1. Mons Røisland (NOR)
1. Yuka Fujimori (JPN)
2. Sven Thorgren (SWE)
2. Miyabi Onitsuka (JPN)
3. Clemens Millauer (AUT)
3. Reira Iwabuchi (JPN)
Rulers of the Week
Sebbe de Buck (Snowboard Men)
Laurie Blouin (Snowboard Women)
Sebbe de Buck (Snowboard Men)
Yuka Fujimori (Snowboard Women)
Snowboard Men, Mons Røisland:
“It feels great to be on the podium. This contest, I’ve never been at it before, but it’s one of the coolest contests there is to me, and ending up on top of that is pretty crazy, So I’m really really hyped.”
“The setup is insane. They build the craziest features I’ve ever seen, like the metal Launch Ramp, which is crazy, two of the best jumps you can ever find, and the quarterpipes to banked landing. People have been killing it all over, so it’s been awesome even as a spectator, just watching everything and not just riding.”
“The highlight of the week has probably been watching Sebbe de Buck going off the Launch Ramp. He’s been doing stuff that you shouldn’t be able to do off of the big Launch Ramp. He’s bee doing 1080s frontside and backside, double front flips… it’s crazy, people don’t even want to hit that thing, and he just killed it as if it were a normal jump.”
Snowboard Women, Yuka Fujimori:
“I’m so happy to be on the podium. It’s wonderful. The highlight for me was the second day. I came for the shoot, the weather was awesome, and we had a really good session.”
Contest Day Judge, Tobi Reindl:
“The level on the contest day was truly incredible. I didn’t recognize the sport anymore.”
Audi Nines Creator, Nico Zacek:
“The Audi Nines is a week of bringing together athletes, filmers and photographers to progress action sports. I think the most special thing about the event is that we try to create the best setup on Planet Earth. It’s big features, safe features and creative features. No one else in the world is putting as much effort into their setups as we are.”
“The best thing about the 2019 Audi Nines was the vibes. It’s just been a week of pure fun. It wasn’t always easy with the weather, but everyone involved gave their best. This week was probably the best skiing and snowboarding I’ve ever seen.”
All photos courtesy of Audi Nines.