VOLCOM BANKED SLALOM KITZSTEINHORN

If you assume snowboard celebration in its purest form is like a breath of fresh air, we could describe the Volcom Banked Slalom of Kitzsteinhorn a real Tzunami.

Words by: Matteo Rossato
Photos by: Vernon Deck, Martin Hermann

Even the heavy dumps became a welcomed gift, bringing some late season pow on the High Tauern Range. The event opened the gates on friday morning, with Open category qualifiers and training. The Banked Slalom was built next to the Gletscherjet 3 slope and featured narrow banked turns and sweet speed bumps: a good board control was needed to keep the speed through the whole course, even if it was easily rideable from the most of the riders with a minimum of skills. The starting list featured a wide range of riders, from the former pro to the weekend warrior, with current pro and Volcom crew members in between.

The basecamp in town was the beautiful Active Hotel by Leitner in Kaprun, something like the Laax Rider Hotel with a further Luxury touch: you could have easily found yourself chatting with Terje Haakonsen or talking about the day on the hill with Torgeir Bergrem, in a total chilled out atmosphere.

On saturday morning it was time for the Open category finals, followed by the Pro race: of course under heavy snow storm, that almost never missed a minute through the whole weekend.

The starting list featured a wide range of riders, from the former pro to the weekend warrior, with current pro and Volcom crew members in between.

The not so good weather didn’t stop the riders, which tore down every corner of the course even when the visibility turned real bad. As the finals were approaching, the sun slowly peeped out, till turning into a temporary bluebird sky holding on till the end of the prizegiving happening at the bottom station Kitz 900. The winners of each category were awarded with a custom guitar hand painted by Volcom riders and a wild card for the legendary Mt.Baker Banked Slalom 2020.

Murielle Imhof and Terje Haakonsen earned the top spots for the pro category. Svenja Schallner and Reto Neiger earned the top spots for the Open Category.  A well deserved mention goes to the young and talented Italian youngster Nico Bondi, younger rider and mascotte of Volcom Europe team.

“As an organizer, it’s an absolute highlight to see so many happy faces coming back year after year. When riders and people you admire say they love the course, the event and that this weekend is the pinnacle of their winter, I find it very touching. That means we’re doing something right.
Then a personal highlight for me is when the race is over. Decompressing at the Castle with beers and old friends while rocking out to amazing live gigs. What more can you ask for?”

 

Jan Prokes, Volcom European Team Manager.

Volcom knows how to party and the final night highlight was the Castle Rock Out Party, with the ancient Kaprun manor pimped with Volcom Stones all over the walls and the bands Church of Mental Enlightment from Leipzig and The Shrine from Venice Beach literally setting the place on fire till late. The morning after a collective Chinese Downhill was in the program, but weather turned bad again so we all packed up. A great thank you goes to Volcom for having us and keeping the purest spirit of snowboarding alive: reallly true to this.

“Coming over from the States, this has been my 3rd consecutive Volcom Banked Slalom and it has quickly moved up the list as a MUST attend event. The Volcom Europe Squad does an absolute incredible job in organizing the event in making it a special high note to end the winter season on. For me the highlight is enjoying Snowboarding with all generations of Snowboarders from around the world and then Rocking out to incredible bands in a Medieval Castle. It Truly doesn’t get any better when it comes to Volcom events!”

 

Seth Huot, Volcom US Team manager.

Pro women

1st Imhof Murielle (starting spot at legendary mt baker banked slalom)
2nd Ettel Leilani
3rd Filzmoser Lisa
4th Baumschlager Lea
5th Merkhoffer Melina

Oro men

1st Haakonsen Terje (gave his spot to mt baker to second fastest men)
2nd Valentan Tadej
3rd Stahkloo Pontus
4th Luggen Levi
5th Bergrem Torgeir

Open women

1st Schallner Svenja
2nd Steiner Maria
3rd Bacher Sarah
4th Wollein Lisa
5th Steiner Isabella

Open men

1st Neiger Reto (starting spot at legendary mt baker banked slalom)
2nd Tourmeau Bertrand
3rd Brunner Rene
4th Mermillod James
5th Kaspar Dan

special prizes:

best trick on the hip, day 1 slowest men, day 1 slowest women, generations podium (20-, 30-,40-,50-), oldest competitor, youngest competitor, top 3 under 15 years old

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