They Came, They Saw, They Shredded
After four days of nonstop riding sessions on an innovative playground of finely sculpted snow features, the 2021 edition of the Audi Nines presented by Falken has concluded with a bang in Crans-Montana, Valais, Switzerland.
The elegance of an effortless carve, the beauty of a cleanly landed trick: Skiing and snowboarding are often described as arts rather than sports. At perhaps no other time and place does this observation ring more true than at the Audi Nines, where progressive snowpark design meets athletic performance in a display unmatched in the world of snow sports.
At its new location on the Plaine Morte glacier above the Swiss resort town of Crans-Montana, the Audi Nines found plenty of space to create its latest vision in radical snowpark design. With jumps in seemingly every possible direction and endless potential for innovation, the setup played host to a select crew of top athletes from the 7th to the 10th of April, 2021 for a session focused on fun, progression and good vibes at the close of a challenging winter season.
Rapid-Fire Trains, Death-Defying Gaps and a Gathering
When the feature was completed, it was time for a hand-picked crew of top invited skiers and snowboarders to take the stage as the cameras of the media team captured every move. In a welcome break from their hectic competition schedules, the invited riders were given free rein to try new tricks and allow their creativity to shine on this groundbreaking venue, while creating video clips and photos for action-sports fans around the globe to enjoy.
Renowned snow sports legends such as Candide Thovex (FRA, SKI) and Terje Haakonsen (NOR, SNB) joined in the action alongside top international stars like Halldór Helgason (ISL, SNB), Anna Gasser (AUT, SNB) and Henrik Harlaut (SWE, SKI). Meanwhile, rising young talents like Matěj Švancer (CZE, SKI) and Patrick Hofmann (SUI, SNB) added fuel to the fire with huge tricks and massive airtime. The week concluded in fitting fashion with a huge rapid-fire train, as all 44 of the invited riders dropped into the feature at once in a flurry of simultaneous action that must be seen to be believed.
Best Tricks, Most Creative And Rulers Of The Week
The Audi Nines isn’t a contest, but riders cast votes at the end of the event to recognize the session’s most impressive performers (men and women, skiers and snowboarders) in three different categories. The honors for Best Trick went to Boris Mouton (SUI, SNB), Coline Ballet-Baz (FRA, SKI), Nico Porteous (NZL, SKI) and Tess Coady (AUS, SNB). Mouton took a unique approach to the course’s “snow globe,” bouncing off the side before backflipping out. Ballet-Baz landed a clean cork 900 stale grab, Porteous launched a flair over the setup’s daunting quarterpipe gap, and Coady put down a switch backside 900 to earn the nod from their peers.
ennie-Lee Burmansson (SWE, SKI), Jesper Tjäder (SWE, SKI), Tess Coady and Patrick Hofmann claimed the award for the Most Creative riders. Burmansson and Coady impressed with their smooth style throughout the session, while Tjäder and Hofmann turned the venue into their own personal playground with unconventional approaches and innovative lines.
The riders who made the best overall impression were dubbed the Rulers of the Week: Sarah Hoefflin (SUI, SKI), Sebbe De Buck (BEL, SNB), Matěj Švancer and Tess Coady. All four riders left an indelible mark on the session with consistent and impressive performances on every feature.
Though the session has come to an end, the fun’s just beginning with many more clips and highlights in the pipeline. Follow the Audi Nines on YouTube, Instagram and at audinines.com to catch all of the action.
Audi Nines presented by Falken 2021: Rider Awards
Best Trick: Coline Ballet-Baz (FRA), Cork 900 Stale
Most Creative Rider: Jennie-Lee Burmansson (SWE)
Ruler of the Week: Sarah Hoefflin (SUI)
Best Trick: Nico Porteous (NZL), Flair Quarterpipe Transfer Gap
Most Creative Rider: Jesper Tjäder (SWE)
Ruler of the Week: Matěj Švancer (CZE)
Best Trick: Tess Coady (AUS), Switch Backside 900
Most Creative Rider: Tess Coady (AUS)
Ruler of the Week: Tess Coady (AUS)
Best Trick: Boris Mouton (SUI), Thin Inrun to Ball to Backflip
Most Creative Rider: Patrick Hofmann (SUI)
Ruler of the Week: Sebbe De Buck (BEL)
Rider & Organizer Statements
“The 2021 Audi Nines was different in a beautiful way. Instead of pushing the riders to do crazier and higher tricks, we saw progression in other fields — in how snow features can be built and in the creativity of the athletes. It felt like the most joy that they had all season long.” – Nico Zacek, Audi Nines founder
“I’m so happy. I honestly had the funnest week. When I was riding down the mountain today, I was just so stoked that the week went really well and I had a great time. To walk away with a few trophies is the cherry on top. I would have been stoked if I had won one, but three is pretty crazy.” – Tess Coady
“I feel great. It was funny that everyone had to vote. I did this trick completely out of my mind. I was just up there and everyone started cheering for me. I had the idea but I never thought I would do it, and then I just went for it because everyone up there was getting me pumped for it. So I just went for it and landed it first try.” – Boris Mouton
“The Audi Nines setup this year was absolutely mind-blowing. It was created by a designer from Audi along with some of the riders, so that made this amazing piece of art that you can ski on. It’s really cool to shred with all your friends and end the season on a high note.” – Nico Porteous
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