This winter the 19-year old (K2 Snowboarding) rookie from Finland, Enni Rukajärvi took the snowboarding world by storm by appearing almost out of thin air and dominating the top slopestyle events. Fresh from finishing high school, she begun competing a few years prior at her home mountain and it became clear that she had a talent. With her textbook style and fearless mind Rukajärvi cleaned up almost every slopestyle title she tried for this winter, slowly climbing the TTR ranks and growing stronger also in the halfpipe. At the nail biting tour ending 6Star event, the Roxy Chicken Jam US, her efforts were rewarded and she was crowned Swatch TTR World Snowboard Champion 2009/2010, earning herself $50,000 USD and automatic invites to all major TTR events for the 2010/2011 season.
In the fall of 2009/2010, Rukajärvi began to stir up the noise outside her home country making international headlines with her win at the 4Star Horsefeathers Pleasure Jam 2009 in Austria, beating the likes of former TTR World Champion Cheryl Maas (NED). Carrying over an end-of-season bonus, from a World No. 46 position in the 08/09 TTR season, she jumped into World No.43 with her first result and caught up with the pack who had got a head start at the southern hemisphere TTR events.
The big bang on her career came along with her slopestyle victories at the 6Star Roxy Chicken Jam in Saalbach, Austria and the 6Star Burton European Open in Laax, Switzerland. By this point it was clear that she was no one hit wonder, but a serious contender for the Swatch TTR top spot. After the two 6Star events, she had climbed into World No. 6 and spoke about her experience at the BEO explaining; “I was really nervous in the semis because I wanted to get to the finals, but once I got in I was able to just ride”. Her determination showed in the finals where she reached top scores with her second run consisting of a 50-50 Boardslide to Fakie, Cab 360 Slide, Cab 270 Boardslide, 50-50 on Downbox, Stalefish Frontside 360 Indy, Backside mute 540 and a stylish Cab 720.
After her success in January, Rukajärvi made quick calculations and came to the conclusion to include a 5Star event in her schedule to allow her a few more crucial results for her Swatch TTR ranking total. She accepted an invitation to compete at the 5Star Burton Canadian Open, despite her original plans to only do a few events this year. Her efforts paid off and once more she shone on the top spot of the slopestyle podium, and also showed that she could stomp a solid run in the halfpipe.
Sitting in World No. 4 prior to the 6Star Burton US Open allowed Rukajärvi to relax a bit and she returned to her home mountain to regain her focus. At Stratton she walked away with another nice result, barely missing the podium with 4th place in slopestyle and 15th in the halfpipe and was awarded the Burton Global Open Series title. Now in the Swatch TTR ranking lead Rukajärvi was in a great position for the Roxy Chicken Jam USA, however, with seven other contenders able to overtake her rank she was still in for a tight battle. She managed to hold her own and place 6th in slopestyle and 21st in halfpipe. “I feel awesome. I am so happy and stoked and also surprised. I did not expect to be Tour Champion at all at the beginning of the season.” Rukajärvi has certainly showed that one can make her way through the various Star rated events on the TTR Tour and participate in the open events to make a success story and we can expect to see a lot more of her in the future.
The Swatch TTR Top 3 of season 2009/2010 were rounded up with Sina Candrian (SUI) in World No.2 and Sarka Pancochova (CZE) in World No. 3. The men’s Swatch TTR Tour Champion, Peetu Piiroinen (FIN), was crowned at the Burton US Open. More information and videos of Enni Rukajärvi’s 09/10 World Champion Title are available on www.ttrworldtour.com.
ABOUT SWATCH TTR:
Founded by Terje Haakonsen and industry innovators in 2002, the Swatch Ticket To Ride (TTR) World Snowboard Tour is a non-profit, rider-driven organization with the mission “to create the highest quality competitive snowboard environment in the world, using authenticity, accessibility, innovation as guiding principles”. Since its foundation, the Swatch TTR Tour has been developing into the most exposed snowboard tour worldwide featuring global grass root and key independent freestyle snowboarding events over a ten-month period from Southern to Northern Hemisphere locations. Events are rated via a 1-through-6Star system, with points allocated accordingly, a 6Star event holds the highest (1000 points). Any rider participating in these events, from up-and-coming to professional talent, earns ranking points and a position on the Swatch TTR World Ranking List. The top male and female rider based on an average of their best six results of the season (5+1 system) is crowned Swatch TTR World Snowboard Champion. For more information visit www.ttrworldtour.com
A few More Links:
Congratulations to the newest K2 Team Rider, Matts Kulisek for taking home the win for the 2010 Ride Shakedown!
L-R: Manuel Diaz, Hana Beaman, Matts Kulisek, Megan Ginter, Megan Whiteside, E-Man
2010 Ride Shakedown Finals
1: Matts Kulisek
2: Manuel Diaz
3: E-Man Anderson
1: Megan Ginter
2: Hana Beaman
3: Megan Whiteside
For more information about the event check out Transworld Snowboarding HERE!
Check out a short video recap of the Seattle stop of the 2010 Ride Shakedown from SixEleven Productions.
Also check out the Ashbury Eyewear blog for some fun photos HERE!
by CONOR CHRISTOFFERSON
A mob of snowboarders and various industry folk invaded Western Washington late last week for the inaugural U.S edition of the Ride Shakedown. The contest, which has been a Canadian mainstay for nearly a decade, planted its flag at the Summit at Snoqualmie on Friday for a two day snowboarding extravaganza.
The event brought in dozens of the world’s top pro and amateur shredders, all of whom were eager to huck themselves off a mega booter and down a kinked handrail for a chance to get their grubby mitts on a $35,000 prize purse. I won’t get into a blow-by-blow of who did what on which obstacle because, frankly, it was snowing and foggy and I spent a good portion of the weekend at the beer garden.
Here are the highlights:
• Given the roughly 6,000 miles that separate Snoqualmie Pass from his home in Santiago, Chile, Manuel Diaz had a disproportionately large rooting section at the contest. The Diaz delegation, which seemed to number in the dozens, carried Chilean flags and generally went apeshit whenever their boy dropped in. The 27-year-old shredder rewarded their enthusiasm with a couple of solid runs and a multitude of double backside rodeo attempts. He ended up in second place and will fly home $3,000 richer. That’s 1,544,999 Chilean Pesos, in case you were curious
• All three of the top spots in the men’s main event went to non-Americans. In addition to Diaz’s strong second place showing, first and third place awards were given to Canadians K2 rider Matt Kulisek and E-Man Anderson, respectively. Bottom line: Step your game up Americans!
• Diaz was the sentimental favorite, but Washington’s own Austin Hironaka was also getting love from the crowd. Hironaka took the top spot at Friday night’s Rail Jam contest, and the win was doubly impressive considering he didn’t bother hitting the rail. Instead, the University Palace native got creative on a section of the course that sent riders up and over a ten-foot tall spool/totem pole. While most riders were content to throw a nose bonk or straight air over the spool, Hironaka upped the ante with a Miller flip tail grab. The trick earned young Austin five grand, most of which was undoubtedly spent celebrating at the after party at the Hard Rock in Seattle.
• Speaking of the Hard Rock, the mega company can justifiably lay claim to being the real winner of the weekend. The newly-built restaurant and bar played host to Friday and Saturday night after parties, and the booze was flowing freely. Of the 35 grand handed out to winners, I’d bet at least 60 percent of that money is now resting comfortably inside the Hard Rock’s cash registers.
• I hope the good people behind the Ride Shakedown decide to make the Snoqualmie contest an annual event, but if they do I would suggest they consider dropping Muscle Milk as a sponsor. Besides having an unfortunate name that sounds like a euphemism for a certain male bodily fluid, Muscle Milk has the consistency of runny pancake batter and tastes like medicine. I did catch K2 team manager Kevin Winkel chugging a bottle of the stuff, so maybe it’s not all bad.
1. Matts Kulisek (K2 Snowboarding)
2. Manuel Diaz
3. E-Man Anderson
1. Megan Ginter
2. Hana Beaman
3. Megan Whiteside
Hey everyone….just a quick day in the life here in Utah as we film for the new Think Thank video Right Brain, Left Brain…
Click the link below to see some photos and read about our recent trip to SIA Denver!
Sorry if the link isn’t working, if not, good old fashion copy and paste is just going to have to do. Or if you haven’t set houseof1817.blogspot.com as your homepage yet, it’s probably about time to consider it.
If you haven’t heard, K2 rider Nick Dirks just broke his femur during the holidays. “I ran into a boulder,” Nick said. “Focused my leg, I looked like Gumby.” He’s been laid up after two surgeries which put a dent in his pocket book (despite his insurance).
YoBeat is helping Nick out by selling some benefit shirts with artwork by Nick himself! Hope you have a speedy recovery and get well soon!
Get yours here!
This past weekend Snoqualmie hosted one of the most excellent events to ever hit the slopes. The event was called Boxes For Days…and it was just that. It was one heck of a monstrosity! I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ll let the photos do the talking for the obstacle course. The turn out was sweet there were just under 100 competitors all fighting to slay the beast of a box. Airblaster, Snowboarder Magazine, and Think Thank supplied the prizes and the Summit park crew supplied the obstacles. And a huge thanks to Krush@Snoqualmie for putting on such an awesome event! Enjoy the photos-Tim Eddy