The skies prepare for the O'Neill Evolution 2010

Under the concept Running with Gravity, the O’Neill Evolution 2010 will see some of the most progressive snowboarders in the world pushing the limits and putting on a display like no other as they take to the skies.

Gian Simmen in Davos 2009.  Copyright: Gian-Paul Lozza The weightlessness and floating sensation normally associated with a lack of gravitational force in Space will be taking place on Planet Earth at the base of Jakobshorn in Davos, Switzerland from January fourth to January ninth, 2010. A new improvement to the six-Star Halfpipe, as well as new shapers in the five-Star Slopestyle course, will provide two perfect launching pads for the 170 dedicated and determined men and women at the six-Star Swatch TTR World Tour event.

The halfpipe will be built by the Davos crew led by Paul Reusch and will be guided by the renowned Mellow Crew from Innsbruck, including Tommi ‘Mellow’ Marsh. Davos have already embarked upon the groundwork and improving the terrain to create the ideal conditions for a longer more challenging world-class halfpipe.

As this is the O’Neill Evolution, it will of course be no ordinary halfpipe. In addition to snow sculptures in the ‘running with gravity’ theme adorning the pipe, it will also have a few special features to later be revealed. It is the Mellow Crew who will also shape the challenging compact slopestyle course and are currently looking into new lines and options to help the riders soar closer to Space than ever before.

Back and ready to defend his slopestyle title from 2009 is the Finnish snowboarder Janne Korpi. After winning the O’Neill Evolution slopestyle last year, Janne was then flying in the quarterpipe and heading to number two in the World rankings, but ended his season with a nasty landing that broke his shin. “I would love to go back and win the Slopestyle again,” said Janne. “But I am just taking this season step by step as I had nine months off snowboarding with my injury so I just have to see how it goes.”

Also at the O’Neill Evolution 2010 will be the current world number one on the Swatch TTR World Tour, Seb Toots. The 16-year-old Canadian has taken the season by storm so far and shows no sign of letting up as the countdown to Davos begins. “Last year the event was so fun and the perfect setup I can’t wait to get back there,” said Seb. Currently sitting at the top of the world rankings, Seb feels no pressure ahead of the O’Neill Evolution 2010. “I think the pressure is more on the other riders because I really want to stay up at the top and I’ll work hard for it,” he said. “I’m always trying to push for the top step on the podium, but the level of riding at Evolution is always incredible,” he said.

It is the voice of the riders that has influenced the O’Neill Evolution for 2010. The quarterpipe has for the first time in Evolution history been replaced as the snowboarders look to focus their skills on the halfpipe and slopestyle course. “I can’t wait to do the slopestyle this year,” says Seb Toots. “It’s going to be even better than last year I hear.” I will miss the quarterpipe for sure, but at the same time they are a bit scary and dangerous!”

Daytime heats, providing better light conditions for the riders to both launch - and land in style, have replaced the evening competition format. And the women are back. O’Neill Evolution 2010 will see the return of 50 women to the competitive stage for a six-star halfpipe competition for the first time in three years.

“These changes are all part of what the event is about – ‘Evolution’,” says O’Neill Global Event manager, Bernhard Ritzer. “We wanted to take any steps in evolving this competition in conjunction with the rider’s thoughts and requests. In doing this we expect that 2010 is going to be one of the most spectacular years for the O’Neill Evolution.”

 

Stefan Gimpl.  Copyright: FIS - Oliver Kraus
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Enni Rukajarvi.  Copyright: Rudi Wyhlidal
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