Well folks, the Active Team just returned from yet another adventure around the globe tracking the latest trends in performance apparel and gear. This time around we jumped on a plane and headed to the annual Burton European Open Snowboarding Championships in Laax, Switzerland for a few days of watching halfpipe and slopestyle riding.
Once we came to grips with our jet lag, we headed up Laax’s massive tramcar to the top of the mountain where the contest took place. Immediately, we were met by a slew of friendly faces from the snowboarding community – pro athletes like Gretchen Bleiler, Cilka Sadar, Kjersti Buass, Jamie Anderson and the Frends crew, to those working on the Burton team and our European buddies we only get to see a handful of times throughout the year. And of course the Method Magazine guys, Thomaz Garcia and Alexis De Tarade – always the most stylish men on the hill.
It’s always exciting to catch a glimpse of what riders in the European scene are wearing. Surprisingly enough, there were a ton of similar looks that we first spotted at Winter X Games in Aspen earlier this season. Tight, skate influenced snowboarding pants reign supreme, along with oversized outerwear and hoodies that drop past the hip. Equally strong for both men and women, it’s interesting to see how these trends translate to either gender, following an identical silhouette.
In terms of the contest, it was no surprise that Burton team rider Kelly Clark, won first place in the halfpipe competition, along with Swiss local, Iouri Podladtchikov for the men, respectfully. Not to mention the comeback of Danny Davis, as he placed second…words can’t describe how awesome it was to see him soar in the pipe and make the podium!
For the contest’s final celebration party, Burton tapped one of its former riders, Trevor Andrew, aka, Trouble Andrew and his gang to perform at The Rider’s Place – a triplex space where festivities went well into the wee hours of the night. Trevor didn’t disappoint fans, who sang along to each of his songs. Always great to see one of his shows!
We’ll have a complete recap and report on the contest next week, so hang tight for more info to come…and a big thanks goes out to Birgit Gruber for helping the Active Team with anything and everything during our trip!
- Jessica Kaplan