The Red Bull Nanshan Open continues its hot streak as one of the most talked about contests on the tour as it enters its 13th year. With snowboarding hitting the spotlight recently at the Sochi Winter Olympics, the sport is rapidly expanding it’s already huge fan base in China and the Nanshan Open is where the majority of locals will be getting their taste for the sport in person – many for the first time!
There’s little wonder why many riders request to come back to this event – the Red Bull Nanshan Open provides a perfect blend of contest riding, cultural immersion and local hospitality, of course ‘mixed’ in with some serious party-time. For once it’s not about the triple corks and spin-to-wins, but for riders to embrace the local culture and represent snowboarding as a fun, accessible sport to the local spectators.
The local Mellowparks.cn park and event crew put together one of Asia’s top slopestyle terrain parks, combining a perfectly shaped double kicker line with creative jib features, all located in the Nanshan Mellow Park just outside of Beijing. As a true ‘by-riders-for-riders’ event, the organizers are no desk-jockeys, seen testing the kickers themselves on training day and welcoming the visiting pros with large family-style dinners. It’s clear this team shares a strong passion, surrounding the event with a truly friendly and enjoyable atmosphere!
Preceding the main competition is the World Snowboarding Tour National Level event 13th Red Bull Nanshan Open National Qualifier on January 10th. As the largest event of the year in the region, the qualifier offers locals an opportunity to get World Snowboard Tour points on the board, and with the top riders progressing through to the International Level main event it also allows them to compete alongside international pros for even more points and prize money – an honor often met with both excitement and nervousness!
Schedule for the Red Bull Nanshan Open 2015
Saturday, January 10th 2015 – National Qualifier
Friday, January 16th 2015 – Open Training
Saturday, January 17th 2015 – Qualifying
Sunday, January 18th 2015 – Finals
A little history…
The Nanshan Open began over a decade ago when a small group of friends threw the first snowboard competition ever held on Chinese soil, featuring just a handful of riders and a case of beer as the top prize. As the contest evolved and grew the following years, it earned global recognition in 2007 as a 3Star stop on the World Snowboard Tour. The Nanshan Open has ‘leveled up’ since then to International Level status, and is now the largest slopestyle competition in Asia on the World Snowboard Tour.
The event has hosted a who’s-who of up-and-coming riders, including numerous Olympians, Transworld’s ‘Rookie of the Year’ Austin Smith, female superstars Hana Beaman and Leanne Pelosi, along with the Isenseven, Nitro RoadWarriors and Pirate Movie Productions film crews. Past winners of the event include Mathias Weissenbacher (2014), Jeremy Thompson (2013), Juuso Laivisto (2012 and 2010), Janne Korpi (2011) Freddy Austbo (2009), Jakob Wilhelmson (2008) and Hampus Mosesson (2007), with a ‘guest judge’ line-up equally impressive with Travis Parker, Michi Albin, Ingemar Backman and Scotty Wittlake.
2015 will be the Open’s ninth year with Red Bull as the title sponsor – this long-term partnership has allowed both organizer and sponsor alike to focus on improving the event and raise the bar year after year. The Red Bull Nanshan Open has undoubtedly put China on the snowboarding map, and anticipation is high for number 13!
What the riders say…
“The Nanshan Open in China was amazing. From the moment we arrived in Beijing we were taken care of so well. Amazing dinners every night, nice hotels and we got to do lots of touristy stuff… The comp was fun too, definitely one of my better snowboarding experiences” – Nick Brown, 2010
“It was for me the best competition of the season, really good time – whole week, good crowd, crazy parties.. and I won!” – Mathias Weissenbacher, 2014
“Absolute best time of my life! I hope I can come to this competition every year for the rest of my life…” – Ian Thorley, 2013, 2014
“Going to China was awesome. I broke my nose, split it open, jacked my ankle up, but I had a great time. It was a super rad experience.” – Hana Beaman, 2013
Aleksi Partanen (FIN) Ride, Billabong
Aljosa Krivec (SLO) Apo, Deeluxe, JBMC
Asher Humphreys (USA) Burton, Analog
Brandon Davis (USA) Neff, Rockstar, Giro
Charles Reid (CAN) Oakley, Monster, Fadedunderwear
Eric Beauchemin (CAN) Glorify, US snowboarding, Bataleon
Gjermund Braaten (NOR) Nitro, Oakley, Nike
Ian Thorley (USA) Neff, Signal, Beijing Tube Station
Jordan Phillips (CAN) Rome, Dye Snow, Vans
Kaito Hamada (JAP) Salomon, Bonfire, Murasaki Sports
Marcus Kleveland (NOR) RedBull, Nitro, Volcom
Matts Kulisek (CAN) K2, Axis, Billabong
Max Eberhardt (CAN) Yonex, Oneill
Michael Ciccarelli (CAN) Burton, Anon, Monster
Michael Schaerer (SUI) Nitro, Quiksilver, Backdoor
Mons Roisland (NOR) DC, Oakley, Sweet protection
Petr Horak (CSZ) DC, GoPro, Union
Rowan Coultas (GBR) Vans, Apo, Oakley
Sam Hulbert (USA) Smith, LibTech, Beijing Tube Station
Sean Ryan (USA) JBMC, Capitahl, Stonp
Seungyun Nam (KOR) Burton, Anon
Spencer Whiting (USA) Volcom, Giro, Ride
Taihwan An (KOR) Salomon, Lazybee, Smith
Tim Humphreys (USA) Flow, Neff, GoPro
Tuomas Pohjonen (FIN) Nitro, Volcom, Blue Tomato
photo credit: Tobias “Ludschi” Ludescher
For more information on the World Snowboard Tour and the new WST Pro Series visit www.worldsnowboardtour.com