Hyperbole And The Supernatural T.Rice Show

by The Editors on February 8, 2012

The one bar that the Supernatural event at Baldface February 4, 2012 set higher than any other was for hyperbole. What looked like an insanely cool freeride snowboarding contest became the greatest snowboarding event ever and a “game-changer” that completely rearranges everything we know about snowboarding competition when left in the hands of a squadron of energy drink promoters. Have “the last 30 years of snowboarding . . . inevitably led to this place?”

As everyone knows, Travis “Yeah, I won my own event” Rice won on a course he designed, at a mountain he choose, in front of judges he selected, at a made-for-TV event that he endlessly hyped. And what a storybook finish it was for his major sponsor to see him destroy the best snowboarders in the world (thanks for coming, guys) in front of the Brain Farm Cinema cameras.

The fact that Rice is arguably the best all mountain snowboarder in the world (and a good guy) who earned his contest win hardly even matters when it gets weighed down by all this. But hey, this is snowboarding designed to sell more caffeinated sugar water drinks, and that’s the way they do it, apparently.

On a not entirely unrelated note: the next time you invite all your friends to a party it would probably be in good form to leave at least one slice of pie for them.

Follow the jump for the complete results and official word from that drink sponsor.

by redbullusa.com, Feb 5, 2012

Under bright, bluebird skies, 18 of the world’s best snowboarders — the most notable up-and-comers alongside the icons of snowboarding — progressed the sport to a new level, as Red Bull Supernatural ran on February 4th at Baldface Lodge outside of Nelson, B.C., Canada. From the first rider to drop, Scotty Lago, through Travis Rice’s final run, the never-before-ridden Red Bull Supernatural course challenged every aspect of the competitors’ talents, bringing the most progressive riding of our time together in a single run.

“We’re walking away with a different state of mind. This was an experiment and it’s the beginning of a new, possible future for snowboarding,” says Rice. “These guys ride like this all the time. It’s just a really tough thing to capture, even in a video part. No breaks, riding first tracks and on all-natural terrain. Here we are able to showcase the talent in snowboarding today.”

Rice came out hot from the very start, putting down a nearly flawless run, hitting as many features as possible, stomping landings and adding inversions to multiple maneuvers. His first score of 91 held the top spot throughout the day. Gigi Rüf scored 84 points on his first run, which held the second spot throughout the day. Nicolas Müller topped John Jackson’s score of 80.6, with an 82.6 in the final run with buttery transitions and the solid, stylish riding he is known for. But Jackson didn’t walk away empty handed; he won ‘Best Trick’ by stomping a double cork 1080 off the big kicker on his final run.


“We had no idea that people would tee off that big without having ever seen anyone hit the features before,” says Tom Burt, Head Judge for Red Bull Supernatural. “This contest puts together where snowboarding is headed, riding the mountains, but adding freestyle riding into the mix really ups the level. Nature alone can’t fully provide a course like this.”

Travis Rice’s dream run for Red Bull Supernatural is built across 2,200 vertical feet on the slope nicknamed “Scary Cherry.” The run is now host to over 80 man-made features including pillow lines, enormous platforms and goal posts in the over-40-degree top section. Most riders had hit five or more features over varying size before heading into the super-kickers where fresh powder landings allowed riders to open up with speed and style. The final slope style section had pillow platforms to tap and log rides that took riders straight into the finish line.

“Today was a great example of where our sport is going and what we can do to get it to the next level,” says Jeff Pensiero, Owner of Baldface Lodge. “I was surprised at how much these guys really stepped up their game to ride this course. I thought a lot of it was not rideable, but these guys proved that they earn their livings exceeding expectations.”

Standouts of the day include Terje’s fast turns punctuated by massive methods off the hip transfers, Eric Jackson’s butter into a huge 540 off an upper platform and Lucas Debari’s enormous air launched off a platform initially built as an evacuation heli platform. Burt says, “Everyone had standout moments. The talent on course today was mind boggling.” Burt also points to Devun Walsh’s 360 pillow platform tap on the final hit and Nicolas Müller’s switch 720 off the kicker as some of the day’s most notable moments.

Red Bull Supernatural Results
1. Travis Rice 91.00
2. Gigi Rüf 84.00
3. Nicolas Müller 82.60
4. John Jackson 80.60
5. Lucas Debari 77.00
6. Kazuhiro Kokubo 75.50
7. Jake Blauvelt 73.10
8. David Carrier-Porcheron 69.20
9. Eero Niemela 68.90
10. Devun Walsh 68.80
11. Mark Sollors 68.30
12. Terje Haakonsen 68.20
13. Eric Jackson 65.80
14. Mark Carter 64.70
15. Mark McMorris 63.00
16. Sage Kotsenburg 62.00
17. Scotty Lago 59.40
18. Mark Landvik 55.50

Red Bull Supernatural is set to air on Red Bull Signature Series on NBC at 1 p.m. ET on March 31. The event was filmed and produced by Curt Morgan and the Brain Farm crew — the same people who brought you “The Art of Flight.”

Tate February 8, 2012 at 9:28 am

Who shit in your coconut water?

Agree with Tate February 8, 2012 at 10:23 am

I was surprised to read this take on the whole thing here. This is the most negative review I have read. All of the riders seemed really stoked on the event. If Travis did not compete, everyone would have been disappointed. If he did the best run and didn’t win, people would think it was rigged so that it looked like it didn’t favor him. Sure he designed it (for the most part), but how those features actually turned out was sort of a crapshoot. Everyone got to thoroughly review it in the snow beforehand. Anyway, without Rice, the event would not have happened and it looks pretty damn cool.

Tate February 8, 2012 at 11:09 am

Yeah, seeing as you haven’t seen any of the footage or everyone’s runs your Anti-Rice sentiments seem a little unwarranted. Hate on energy drinks all you want, but hating on someone that’s doing amazing things to push backcountry snowboarding and showcasing an under appreciated group of snowboarders is a little unnecessary. And your comments about the judges being his friends? Really, Travis is friends with the guys that Judge the North Face masters and some of the best snowboarders in the world? shocking…

Dave February 8, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Good call Boardistan – I love what T.Rice has done but this is a bit of a circus.

Tim February 8, 2012 at 1:33 pm

This just in, Boardistan talks shit on Supernatural to bring in mad web hitz.

KR February 8, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Red Bull is the only company out there with marketing capable of breaking this into the mainstream. Otherwise who would pay Baldface for the use of their land, pay the crews to build the course, pitch and manage a prime time television agreement, and pay to advertise and market it? I’m thankful Red Bull has taken an approach that actively pushes their athletes, the boundaries of the sport and keeps the industry relevant in the public eye. You won’t catch me dead drinking Red Bull, but I’m happy they’re spending their money by making cool things happen in the sport as opposed to just making flashy ads and paying pro’s to wear their logo’s.

Case in point: Red Bull payed for Travis Pastrana to jump a car over 270ft of water onto a boat , Monster payed to have a fancy video of Ken Block driving around a parking lot. Both media stunts, but which contributes to the sport in the long run?

My point is, they’re gonna advertise and do their marketing and maybe you don’t agree with their product, but they’re not going anywhere and people probably wont stop drinking it. So is this really that much worse than the alternative?

Ed February 8, 2012 at 9:41 pm

I need to see more footage before I make a call. It seems like they’re promoting the bejesus out of it, but that’s what you have to do. If you’re going to spend all that effort in brining a competition like this to life, then you need to make some money and get exposure off it.

I’ll hold judgement until I see the final product. As long as red bull doesn’t scream in my face the whole way through it I’ll probably be ok 😛

NigHeist February 9, 2012 at 7:46 am

Best Boardistan post this year!

J February 9, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. There’s no doubt that T. Rice is one of the best riders out there and probably deserved to walk away with this win. And I couldn’t be more stoked to see a contest like this take place. Good on Red Bull, Rice and everyone else involved for putting this together.

However, it would be even cooler if they didn’t take themselves so seriously. As the author points out, statements like “the last 30 years of snowboarding . . . inevitably led to this place” only make them sound pompous and self congratulatory.

It’s amazing what progression has brought to our sport. But don’t kid yourselves, we’re in the same place we were 30 years ago. We don’t have more fun that they did back then. We haven’t found more meaning.

The stoke remains the same … but there’s no need to turn it into a Hallmark card.

Over T. Rice February 10, 2012 at 2:18 am

J, you nailed it!
Great event idea, amazing rider list, terrain is unreal (Baldface is epic, good for Jeff)…the potential for this event is so sick!
BUT, Redbull and Rice made this a pompous, hey look at me, over budgeted Art of Flight spectical and that’s exactly what it shouldn’t have been! Take a great idea and make it primetime for tv!
The last 30 years of snowboarding has lead us to one place….Nascar!

Over T. Rice February 10, 2012 at 2:21 am

Come on dude, someone pay him to stop talking!

“We’re walking away with a different state of mind. This was an experiment and it’s the beginning of a new, possible future for snowboarding,” says Rice. “These guys ride like this all the time. It’s just a really tough thing to capture, even in a video part. No breaks, riding first tracks and on all-natural terrain. Here we are able to showcase the talent in snowboarding today.”

Paul Watt February 10, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Wow, way off base on the editorial, I think. Everyone I talked to who was there said it was the coolest, best event they had ever been to. Yeah, Redbull has it’s logo everywhere, but how else are you going to pull off something like this. This event brings a very different vision of snowboarding to the masses than say, the X-Games or the Olympics, which are sponsored by the US Army and Coca-Cola, McDonalds, etc. A way better vision, I’d say. And thank f-ing science that redhead isn’t getting endless hours of crappy coverage for once.

Really? February 12, 2012 at 6:32 am

“Everyone i talked to who was there said it was the coolest…”

No kidding? They were put up at Baldface and they were pumped? Come on brother, of course it was rad to be there. Great place, surrounded by great riders – but you can’t hinge on that. Even the saltiest hater will soften when they get their’s, so to speak. These are the same folk excited about the RedBull branded axe they got as a parting gift. The event was a great concept and likely executed very well, but when people start postulating about the sport it gets tired. It’s no different when video parts include the rider’s thoughts on what snowboarding is to them.

Just do the jump money boy.

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