K2 Snowboarding was out and about in 12 countries across Europe with the PopThis! Tour – the
Highest Ollie Tournament came to town. A unique, “snow free” ramp made with drymats provided
competitors the run up needed to show how much pop they had in their thighs.
After 5 months and nearly 100 tour stops, the K2 Highest
Ollie Tournament reached its climax on April 2, 2011. The 9
national finalists (Germany, Finland, Holland, Italy, Austria,
Sweden, Switzerland, Spain and the Czech Republic) battled
it out at the Pop This! Grande Finale in Flauchauwinkl,
Salzburger Land, Austria. This was to be no run-of-the mill
talent show and there were neither grudges nor excessive
competitiveness. Once the finalists had been shown to their
luxury apartment, the welcome packs were handed over and
the party started.
The Absolut Park Spring Battles in Flachauwinkel were also on at the same time as the Pop This!
Grande Finale, which made for wild mix of crazy snowboarders and party people. It also meant that the
K2 Highest Ollie tour stop winners got a perfectly shaped park to ride on the Friday.
For the finals on Saturday, the weather turned out just perfect with sunshine and mountain bluebirds.
The Pop-This! set-up was ready to go and the rules were explained. Each rider got one attempt to clear
the bar in a clean Ollie, together with their board. They were also given a single joker, which they could
play if they messed up. The bar was first set at 50cm, which the riders easily popped with switch and
180 Ollies. It was then raised at 10cm intervals to 70cm, where the first jokers were used and the field
started to slowly thin out. By 95cm, there were only two riders left, Sebi Mueller (GER) and Puntus
Kjaellstroem (SWE), who went on to contest the exciting finale at 100cm between them.
Puntus failed at his first attempt and had already played his joker in the previous round. Sebi, who had
managed to keep his joker, cleared the amazing height of 100cm on his second attempt – by a whisker.
For his extraordinary Ollie, Sebi Mueller from Germany received
not just the first ever K2 Pop This! Highest Ollie Tournament
trophy, but also won a trip to the High Cascade Snowboard
Camp on Mount Hood, Oregon, United States. Puntus, who came
second and Petr who took fourth place were both awarded a K2
Fastplant Set-Up (third-placed K2 Teamrider Alex Walch passed
his prize on to Petr).
After the finale, the boys were able to rest and chill on their sunny
balcony, before the end-of-competition free-beer party which rounded off the first ever K2 Pop This! tour
in fitting style.
Big thanks to One Big Park, Urban Ears, Absolut Park and Oefi from Pleasure Mag!
Be sure to check out the video