The first annual Volcom Kitzsteinhorn Banked Slalom is a wrap up and what a blast it was.. Unfortunately we had to postpone race day from Saturday May 3rd to Sunday May 4th, due to heavy snowfall and fog on the Saturday but the big crew of riders, cotton dealers and media that defied the tropical-intensity rainfall in the valley and still went up on the glacier were not complaining, as they were greeted with up to knee-deep blower pow from 2500m altitude and higher.. Then, come nighttime, as is always the case at Volcom events, our preparation for game day is not exactly Olympic. We rented a 12th century castle and invited our metal Friends in Liquid Steel from Innsbruck to come play for us.. With free beer flowing all night and classic rock tunes blaring until late wee hours it was a given that certain racers would be hurting the following morning.
According to local folklore, a participant of the corrupt 5-Ring Sochi-Circus and his entourage shut down the local adult-entertainment establishment at 4am as part of their pre-race stretch and warm up routine.
Sunday, we awoke to cloudy skies and fog but up on the glacier, the sun was slowly but surely burning away the fog. Registration was done by 9:00am and we got more than 130 racers up on the hill. Those with early start numbers were cursing their fate, but soon enough, it was bluebird and as good as it gets. For those not in the race, they were ripping February-quality pow just next to the course. Local hero Björn Hartweger held on to the lead for ages, until some guy with a backpack asked to get an earlier start number so he wouldn't miss his flight. Mr Backpack held the lead all up until the 3rd to last person to drop in for the day.. Who that was you'll find out by reading this until the end.
Can you go as big on a hip (Going big at Hips nightclub does NOT count) on your snowboard as Terje does on his snowskate? PS! No bindings.
Liquid Steel at Kaprun Castle - Volcom parties you don't want to miss.
Clearly the crowd liked what they heard, so when the Liquid Steel singer said he needed a beer, the fans were quick to accommodate his wish"
Rookie thinking he can teach an old dog new tricks. Yes it is ok to stare at girls in bars, especially those that serve beer
Here's a view of the final third of the course.. Our course was gnarly and technical and claiming many victims, particularly the "Mausefalle" section that was fenced off.
Wearing a racesuit makes you ride so fast that even seasoned paparazzi like Vernon Deck can't catch you sharply on film
Here's our good friend and chief Arlberg cotton pusher Max Alber caught on film merely a split hundreth of a second before lacerating the final bank of the course
Amazing grinds all day, served by the Kitz Snowboard club volunteers.. Thank you very much guys
Volcom rider Levi Luggen from Wallis goes for the almost compulsory pre drop-in schnaps shot.
Tonton Holland needed more than just one shot
Representing the Basque's country's finest, Iker confidently slid into 4th place.. Here he is shown doing a textbook toe-edge turn.. All base & no edge.
This bank, or berm if you prefer claimed a lot of victims too
Here's our Gargellen organizer friend, working his way through the Mausefall.. Thanks for all your help Sveti, Michael and Enol
Classic tunes, free beer and food AND snowboarding with your best friends… It doesn't get much better than that
Here's the Man, the Myth & the legend making the hard look oh-so easy. Where others fall over and eat shit due to bumps, holes, ice and cracks, it is as if a choppy ocean turns glassy just as Terje drops in. Perfect posture and gliding into 1st place WITH his backpack on, until nearly the very end of the race.. Bio food WORKS kids.
Here's Arthur Longo a few banks away from victory.. Note the high line skiers.. 2 banked event entries & 2 victories?!? Maybe you should put this Olympic thing to rest and just do Banked events from now on?
Champ flying the flag: Not only did he win, he also helped with rigging down.. True champ
Congrats to our female winners, 2 of them from Montafon, wow.
The fastest men of the day, Arthur (Terje missing, had to catch a flight) local hero Björn Hartweger and Iker Fernandez
Top 3 Junior division, they may be young but they sure were fast
Big thanks to these 2 guys for making the 1st Kitz Banked slalom what it is. One day you'll be the Mayor of Kaprun Christian
This is only one of at least 101 reasons WHY you have to stay at Active Hotel Leitner if in Kaprun
Thanks to the Montafon Banked crew for coming over and giving pointers construction and shaping and Nitro Snowboards for co-sponsoring the event as well as all volunteers, media, helpers and last but not least riders for coming to the race, in spite of a highly dubious weather forecast.
Big ups to Kitzsteinhorn mountain aka Christian Hörl, Lippi, Ali Z and the Kitz shaping team.. None of this would have been possible without you. Let's make it even better next year.
And a very special thanks to Rosmarie, Andreas and the entire team at our partner Hotel Active by Leitner.
Thanks also to Nitro Snowboards for the support!
See you all next year.
Enol Barrigon Montes
Josef Christian Huemer
Christian Gigi Scheidl