Swatch Nines “The Perfect Hip 2.0” session summed up into one word – Tremendous.  Everything about this event was superb.  The location, the features, the athletes, and the shredding were all well planned out and executed exquisitely. Even the weather cooperated perfectly. The spectacular sunny blue skies were the cherry on top of this fully loaded hot fudge banana sundae that was the 2024 Swatch Nines.

Hunter Hess Boosting the Perfect Hip at the Swatch Nines 2024. By Chris Dane German.

“The mission of Swatch Nines is to provide a platform for athletes to express their creativity and push their limits in a safe and non-competitive environment. The fact that we’re able to break records like these shows that we’re doing something right. I can’t believe what the athletes were able to achieve on this setup. It’s the most gratifying thing to see something that you’ve been planning for so long finally come to fruition and exceed all your expectations.” – Nico Zacek

The Location of Swatch Nines 2024

For the second year in a row, Nines was located in the Bernese Alps, in the quaint town of Mürren, Switzerland. Switzerland is a country steeped in ski culture and blessed with many spectacular peaks including Schilthorn – the resort that played host to Nines. In classic European fashion, there is a large 360-degree rotating chalet at the tip top of the mountain. It was built in 1963, tops out at 2970 meters, and is featured in the James Bond film “On Her Majesties Secret Service” – a fact that they are VERY proud of.

The Streets of Mürren by Chris Dane German

“What I like most about skiing in Switzerland is just how big the mountains are you feel like you’re surrounded by these huge mountains everywhere you are and just riding and feeling like you’re just in the midst of it is really cool.” Megan Oldham

The course was situated in a non-lift accessible spot so the organizers set up a temporary electric rope tow to get athletes and media to the top of the line. The scenery in this area is truly something special, with views of the world-renowned Eiger, massive cliffs, and hanging glaciers all around.

Swatch Nines 2024

The Features of the Swatch Nines 2024

Fin Melville Ives by Chris Dane German at Swatch Nines 2024

The 20-meter-tall hip was absolutely enormous and required two weeks of snow farming. The build team pushed over 24,000 cubic meters of snow into a giant pile to construct the hip alone. Take a look at this photo of Swatch team rider Max Moffat standing atop the landing of the hip. The proportions of this feature are difficult to wrap one’s head around, but this photo will help.

Swatch team rider – Max Moffatt standing atop the landing of the largest hip ever constructed. By Chris Dane German at Swatch Nines 2024

The Top Section

Starting from the top of the course was a snow bar serving Aperol Spritzs, European Beers, and of course Red Bull. In true Nines fashion, the snow bar doubled as a jib for riders. Just below the snow bar was a small but visually pleasing rail section. The top section also featured a round wooden floor that served as the flat ground BMX dance floor. Of course, it also had a kicker built to send riders over top of the BMXer creating some cool cross-pollination between sports that are often not seen together.

Matthias Dandois and Nicolas Huber by Edwin Poulston

The Portal

Jesper Tjader sliding over the death gap on the portal feature. By Chris Dane German at Swatch Nines 2024
  • Straight gap
  • Deadly rail/wall ride spanning the 20-meter-tall gap
  • Somewhat conventional 40ish foot jump
  • It also served as a tunnel, or Portal, that anyone hitting the hip would have to pass through.

The Perfect Hip

The 20-meter tall (66 feet) hip was much more than just the largest hip ever constructed. It was a symmetrical feature that incorporated seven classic park features into one.

Fin Melville Ives by Chris Dane German at Swatch Nines 2024
  • Two large Quarter pipes on both the right and left side of the landings
  • Kickers on the right and left that were more of a conventional style jump, except for the fact that you could land into the hip or launch about 100 feet to the conventional style landing
  • Moving inside again were the two MEGA Hips, right and left. These things were 20 meters tall (66 feet) and were launching riders into orbit!
  • In the center of everything was one of the largest knuckles ever constructed, rising a daunting 25+ meters high

At the bottom of the course was a skate-park style set up.  This park had unlimited lines and options for people to take.  This was truly a show of creativity and was a tranny snipper clinic the likes of which I have never seen.

Alex Hackel by Ethan Stone

A fascinating detail about this course is that the hip alone was built out of 24,000 cubic meters of snow, yet no manmade snow was blown to construct it. It consisted of all-natural snow.  The build team took over two weeks of pushing snow and shaping to construct this temporary masterpiece. The athletes took full advantage of the impeccable course combined with perfect spring skiing conditions.  

Gala Night

At the end of the event was an awards show where the athletes voted for the winners in each category.

Jesper Tjader, the winner of MVP, doing a shoey while getting hoisted by his competitors and friends, Max Moffatt and Nico Porteous

Record Setters

  • Swiss Skier Kim Gruber – Highest air at 14.6 meters or 47.9 Feet
  • Australian boarder Valentino Guseli – Highest air on a snowboard at 11.2 Meters or 37.7 feet
  • Canadian boarder and Swatch team rider Brooke D’Hondt – Highest Female air on a snowboard at 7.3 meters or 23.9 feet
Kim Gruber Sending it at Swatch Nines 2024 by Chris Dane German

Categories and Big Winners

  • Creative edge – Winner Patrick Hoffman, a neck and neck battle between Patrick Jesper Tjader
  • GoPro High Vibes winner Juho Laine – accepted his award in a Borat bikini.
  • Best trick male snowboard – Patric Hoffman (Back dub 1080)
  • Best trick female snowboard – Brooke Dhondt (Back 360)
  • Best trick Male ski – Juho Saastamoine  – (Double front flip – nuckle to front flip)
  • Best trick Female Ski – Megan oldham (flat 3)
  • MVP Snowboard – Chaeun Lee
  • MVP Ski – Jesper Tjader (hilarious antics ensued on stage upon Jesper accepting his MVP award)

The after-party after this awards show was a wild one. It was a melting pot of skiers, boarders, organizers, media, and locals.  I cannot tell you how many shoeys (drinking a beer out of ones shoe) I witnessed, but I can tell you how many I drank – One, and that was MORE than enough! The free drinks were a nice touch too.  Thank you Swatch! 

YOLO. Swatch Nines 2024 gala night