PBRJ EURO CHAMPS IN SWITZERLANDFinally Europe had the chance to host the first ever Euro PBRJ Champs. After a long time of preparations, make it fit it in with the US schedule and other details, the small & stunning resort of Hoch Ybrig in Switzerland was chosen as the venue for our grand finale… Only 50 kilometers south of Zürich, but with a reputable snow fall record, amazing terrain and a beyond positive attitude towards snowboarding, our choice was easy.
With kids arriving from all over Europe (Estonia, Scandinavia, Italy, and even the US, we had people coming from everywhere) we figured we had to offer riders some sort of cheap accommodation. And the great thing with Switzerland is that even the tiniest village has something called a “Civil Protection Facility”, also known as a bunker in case of emergencies such as flooding, avalanches, war, etc… Remember we’re in Switzerland here, so even bunkers hold a nice standard… Long story short, we put nearly a hundred kids in bunk beds in the bunker, divided into a girls and a boys section, with military style showers and a guarantee for a good time included. On the arrival night of Friday, pasta, salad, drinks and firewater was served for everyone over 16, then yours truly did the military style wake up at 0800 hundred hours, before the soldiers were shipped off to the battlefield on the western front in buses
The “Battlefield” consisted of a flat to down rail (with a little gap in between) a down rail and scary as hell double-kink rail.
With a blaring sun and temperatures reaching the “Oben Ohne levels” (That’s German for when it’s warm enough for girls to start taking their tops off, remember, we’re in Europe here, and if the theme is Hippy era, we don’t play around) Right off the bat, the level was thru the roof, definitely the highest I’ve ever seen at rail contest in Europe (Forum Euro TM Jon Weaver is backing my statement), dunno what the reason behind it was, but we figure the combo of heat, hippie girls “Oben Ohne” and unlimited supply of Red Bull, and countless other sugar-high temptations…
The girls hit the rails in rapid fire mode, pulling nollie bs lips slides, boardslides on the kink rail, fs 180’ on to sw bs 50-50 to regular 50-50 tp fs 180 off . Whaat? Judge Cheryl Maas was blown away by the girls level and claimed she hasn’t seen a girls heat of that caliber ever before. And she knows what she’s talking about, being a rail killer herself.
junior champ from Germany
Then juniors followed closed behind with tricks such as Cab 180’s to 50-50 to bs 180 off on the doublekink…Our youngest competitor was no more than 11 years old. Props Lucas Baume! Then the seniors hit the battlefield, not making life any easier for our judges Cheryl Maas, Iouri “Sugar Overload ” Podlatchikov and Gary Greenshields, with an amazing display of tech rail riding wizardry, including combo’s such as switch bs tails to bs 270 out on the down rail. Or how about a halfcab nosepress to bs 180 switch nosepress fakie out courtesy of Swedish Headbanger Niky Wieveg?
Pat Kägi gap it switch to bs lip
Ex- Pat Pat Kägi (Indiana pride!) stomped a switch bs lip thru the doublekink and Austrian master Marc Swoboda styled a clean fs board thru the doublekink. Recpect! Mike Knoebl rode all day “easy style” and made the hardest tricks look easy, while Team Finland gapped every rail from every direction possible…
Burgers and Raclette (epic melted Swiss cheese- on bread), peanut butter and rail jam sandwiches, as well as tons of drinks and snacks.. In the end though, somebody had to walk home as a winner (It has to be noted that there was only a 2,5 point margin between 1st and 4th place in the Senior Men category)
A big “Danke Schön” to our hilarious MC, Jon Weaver,the Euro TM for Forum Snowboards, who kept riders and audience alike laughing all day.
1sst: Anais Cettou, Switzerland(Wins a flight to the US Champs in Mammoth) 2nd: Nora Hodel, Switzerland 3rd: Maya Gehrmann, Germany (Charging… Take note of her name) 4th: Stephanie Hamann, Germany 5th: Helen Nadig, Switzerland
1st: Mattias Nordby, Norway (Wins a flight to the Mammoth and Santa Cruz Snowboard) 2nd: Daniel Rajcsanyi, Germany 3rd: Philip Schuster, Germany 4th: Wille Cees, Holland 5th: Aurel Anthamatten, Switzerland
1st; Niky Wieveg, Sweden (Wins a flight to Mammoth and a Santa Cruz surfboard) 2nd: Mikko Hakulinen, Finland 3rd: Marc Swoboda, Austria 4th: “Ex Pat” Pat Kägi, Indiana 5th: Anssi Paatero, Finland 6th: Niklaus Huber, Switzerland
Big ups to our product sponsors: Santa Cruz, Suzuki, Electric, Union Bindings, Red Bull, Nixon and Globe and of course the resort of Hoch Ybrig. And a very special thanks to the NBC crew for the park and shaping (Luca and Matthias) Sig Sag Sug (Leandro), Volcom Family riders, everyone at Volcom Switzerland (Billy, Fredo, Jeff, Arlette, Miki and Severin),Vernon Deck, and all the media dudes from Method Mag, Pleasure, Whiteout and Free Magazine. And finally thanks also to everyone else that helped, rode and contributed to make this an epic day.