Today’s the day. For those following Travis Rice’s latest epic event incarnation, the Natural Selection Tour, it kicks off in the early hours Australia (3.30am) time tomorrow.
You may remember Travis Rice’s original The Natural Selection back in 2008 at Jackson Hole then The Supernatural events at Baldface Lodge in Canada in 2012 and 2013.
Now enter the mammoth Natural Selection three stop tour, guaranteed to change the face of snowboarding, again. The event, across Wyoming, British Columbia and Alaska, launches with Jackson Hole today with equal prize money for both the 16 male and 8 female invited competitors.
Expect big names with a mix of Olympians and big mountain legends including Anna Gasser, Elena Hight, Jamie Anderson and wildcard Zoi Sadowski-Synnott. The male lineup is just as impressive and includes Ben Ferguson, Mark McMorris, Sage Kotsenburg, Victor De Le Rue and Travis Rice himself.
The riders have been hand-picked with selection based on backcountry riding, past event results, film segments and the overall career trajectory of each rider. They will compete in the Natural Selection Tour on varied terrain including big mountain natural drops, kickers and steep spines across the three event locations.
The premise is a huge undertaking for the organisers and their 80 person crew who will produce on ground logistics and film production of three separate big mountain events under The Natural Selection Tour banner.
After this week’s first stop in Jackson Hole athletes will descend upon the famed Baldface Lodge in British Columbia in early March before the top contenders (4 men, 2 women) take on the remote Tordrillo Mountain Lodge in Alaska in the final week of March. The competition will be held on the best two weather days in each week long window.
You can watch the Jackson Hole YETI Natural Selection free and live on Red Bull TV. The Natural Selection at Baldface Lodge and HempFusion Natural Selection at Tordrillo Mountain Lodge events will air as show packages on Red Bull TV.
The production team for the tour won an Emmy for Outstanding Digital Innovation on Red Bull Rampage, so expect phenomenal footage from custom built racing drones.