The brainchild of snowboarding icon Travis Rice, Red Bull Supernatural is a first-of-its-kind backcountry competition designed to challenge, then crown the best all-around snowboarder on the planet. The event brings together today’s best video part stars alongside the kings of the contest circuit for a one-day freestyle competition. With three distinct sections of the course designed to show off each athlete’s strength as well as the various disciplines of the sport, Red Bull Supernatural aims to serve up a run beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.
This ultimate snowboarding run is located within the 32,000-acre tenure of Baldface Lodge, one of Canada’s preeminent backcountry snowcat operations. Deep in the Kootenay Mountains of British Columbia, the 45+ degree slope nicknamed “Scary Cherry” is host to over 80 man-made features which took a crew of loggers five months to construct.
"We’re hoping to see riding that in one contest run contends with and challenges video part segments that come out every year.”
Once snow accumulates on the features, a series of tree-line jumps, pillow lines, and more will emerge in the upper section of the course, challenging even the most seasoned backcountry riders. The middle section will be host to an extra-wide super-kicker where fresh powder landings will be kept intact so all the riders can throw huge, progressive tricks. In the lower section of the course, a jib and rail garden will provide the final on-hill playground.
“An event like Red Bull Supernatural calls upon all necessary skills; the ability to ride natural terrain, to navigate down big mountain lines, to ride powder, pillows and adverse, crazy obstacles. Most importantly, the course will call on one’s freestyle knowledge and experience, forcing riders to integrate that into one’s all-mountain riding,” says Rice. “Running an event like this, we’re hoping to see riding that in one contest run contends with and challenges the video part segments that come out every year.”
The single-day competition will run on only one of the six potential waiting period days during the February 3-8 window, ensuring the event takes place under only the best possible conditions: a mix of deep powder, good sunlight, and safe conditions. Judges will base scores on overall impression, and hope to see lines that contend with even the best video parts, which Rice calls, “the control by which the state of snowboarding and progression is compared from year to year.”
“The contestants are basically on a cat-boarding trip," says Jeff Pensiero, Owner of Baldface Lodge. "They’ll be shredding lines, eating good food, hanging out, playing ping-pong and enjoying each other’s company that week. And then they get to have a wicked contest on the nicest day of the week!
“It’s a snowboarding contest that will truly determine the best all-around snowboarder in the world," Pensiero continues. "I'm excited to see the different aspects of snowboarding represented and riders competing on this custom-made stage.”
For fans in the U.S., tune in March 31st to catch the two-hour Red Bull Supernatural special airing nationally on NBC from 1-3 p.m. ET. The event airs as part of a new sports programming block called the Red Bull Signature Series, which features the most progressive snowboarding, mountain biking, freestyle motocross, skiing and BMX events.
- Photos from the Red Bull Supernatural planning and build stages
- More info on the Red Bull Signature Series
- Travis Rice in The Art of FLIGHT action gallery