Watch the third and final stop of the 2022 Natural Selection Tour, YETI Natural Selection Alaska, this Wednesday, April 13 at 11 a.m. PST.
From the Natural Selection Tour desk:
Watch to see who is crowned the 2022 Natural Selection Tour champion.
Girdwood, AK (April 12, 2022)—This Wednesday, the world’s top snowboarders drop into the third and final stop of the 2022 Natural Selection Tour, the YETI Natural Selection Alaska. Deep in the Alaskan backcountry, 12 riders set up at a glacial basecamp for head-to-head competition. Points from here in Alaska combined with the Tour’s first stops in Jackson Hole and Baldface Lodge will decide who is crowned the best all-around snowboarders in the world and overall 2022 Natural Selection Tour champions.
The three-and-a-half hour broadcast, featuring Natural Selection’s EMMY-nominated FPV drone follow cam and production, will run “as live” on NaturalSelectionTour.com and YouTube starting Wednesday, April 13, 2022 at 11AM PT/2PM ET/7PM CET. Winners of pro snowboarder Travis Rice’s manifestation of a next generation, big mountain freestyle tour will be revealed at the end of the broadcast.
“Conditions in AK are all-time this season, with some of the best snow we’ve seen in years! Blower pow, stable snowpack, killer terrain, everything aligned to provide riders with an incredible venue for the final stop of the tour,” said Liam Griffin, COO of Natural Selection Tour. “After a long season with some epic battles it will be amazing to watch what goes down now that Mother Nature has provided us all with this perfect setup.”
Eight men and four women qualified out of the TAE Natural Selection at Baldface to compete in Alaska, representing all disciplines of elite snowboarding – halfpipe, slopestyle, big mountain freeride, and backcountry freestyle. On the women’s side Hana Beaman (USA), Elena Hight (USA), Marion Haerty (FRA), and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (NZL) start with the semi-finals in Alaska. Jared Elston (USA), Dustin Craven (CAN), Torstein Horgmo (NOR), Sage Kotsenburg (USA), Ben Ferguson (USA), Mikkel Bang (NOR), Mark McMorris (CAN) and Travis Rice (USA) meet first in the qualifiers, before dropping into a two heat semi-finals.
In the quarters for men and semis for both men and women, riders have their pick of lines in an untouched zone called Montrachet that tops out at 3800’ elevation with a roughly 1300’ vertical drop and average pitch of 35 degrees. It is on a Northwest aspect that gives beautiful afternoon light. Then for the finals, the last two men and two women will drop into a venue called Spinal Tap with the highest scores taking the YETI Natural Selection Alaska. And those with the best overall rankings from throughout the Tour winning the 2022 title.
For three nights during the YETI Natural Selection Alaska contest window, riders and crew set up at a remote camp on a glacier at the base of arguably one of the best venues on the planet for riders to push the boundaries of big-mountain, freestyle riding. In order to be crowned a Natural Selection champion, riders must survive in the natural elements while camping on the glacier, AND thrive in some of the most storied match-ups in snowboarding history.
A Triple Crown-style format determines the overall 2022 Natural Selection Tour Champion. In this format, each stop of the Tour has equal weighting and a stand-alone winner. The points will be tallied by finish at each stop: first place = 1 point; second place = 2 points; third place = 3 points; fourth place = 4 points, etc. The rider with the lowest score at the conclusion of the three stops will be the overall Natural Selection Tour Champion. If a competitor places third in Jackson, first in British Columbia, and fifth in Alaska, that rider’s final combined score would be nine (3+1+5). If there is a tie following stop three, the Championship tie-breaker is based on which rider has the best finish at the Alaska finale.
While Elena Hight comes into AK with only three points and a fairly comfortable position, if Hight finishes in fourth in Alaska and either Marion Haerty or Zoi Sadowski-Synnott take first, they could claim the crown. Mikkel Bang, the 2021 Natural Selection Tour Champion and winner of the 2021 Alaska event, leads with two podiums and only five points. Behind Bang, it is anyone’s game with Sage Kotsenburg, Dustin Craven, Jared Elston, Torstein Horgmo and Travis Rice all in contention.
Like-minded partners are coming together to help develop and support the Natural Selection Tour. YETI, title partner of the first stop Jackson Hole and the YETI Natural Selection Alaska, as well as the Sustainability Partner for the Tour. Backcountry returns as the Tour’s Official Outerwear and retail partner. Other Tour partners include TAE Technologies, Pacifico, Ski-Doo, Burton, GoPro, Fuel Off-Road, Thule, Conservation International, Oakley, Dakine and Big Agnes along with host venues Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Baldface Lodge and Alyeska Resort.
Through the Industry Alliance marketing platform, endemic brands are able to directlysupport the events and their team riders competing on the Natural Selection Tour. Alliance members, including 30+ of the biggest names in snowboard, boot, binding, outerwear and eyewear, will receive brand presence on streaming, broadcast and at the events, along with access to content and social assets from the Tour for marketing their team riders.