To say Japan delivered the goods on the first stop of the Freeride World Tour 2019 would be putting it lightly...
Competition day could not have brought more sublime conditions as athletes faced a day of wall to wall sunshine and a fresh dump of JAPOW! Despite the high winds, athletes reveled in the near perfect conditions, throwing down some daring yet playful runs as they slashed through the fresh and drool worthy snow.
Although we were sad not see SunGod Pro Athlete Thomas Feurstein riding this stop due to illness, it was hard not to be impressed by the almighty Travis Rice who clinched the top spot in the Snowboard men. The snowboarding genius positively floated down the face, throwing a massive 720 high up on the course and a backflip further down. There was no doubt that the heat is on for the male snowboarders on the Tour this year!
In the women’s snowboarding, we were stoked to see SunGod ambassador, Niki Kelly drop in for the first time on her first FWT. An incredibly solid run saw her choosing some big hits that would have sent weaker riders tomahawking. A great debut for Niki and we can’t wait to see what she brings in the next stop! Siberian, Anna Orlova took the win with a smooth, clean run, stomping hits in the most technical areas which saw many riders before her come unstuck.
The female skiers really brought the goods with Italian, Arianna Tricomi staying true to form, throwing her trademark 360 high up on her run (a move which sealed her win on the Tour last year). Exuding confidence and fluidity, her run topped the podium. It was fantastic to see Verbier based riders Maude Besse and Elisabeth Gerritzen in second and third respectively.
Leaving nothing to chance in the ski men was Markus Eider who absolutely sent it - Stomping a lightening fast run which made the most of the features, catapulting him into first position. Freesking founding father, Tanner Hall showed us his true versatility as he skied a super creative line, packed full of tricks as expected and he certainly did not disappoint to earn second place. Canadian rookie Tom Peiffer took a well deserved third spot after a daring and creative run which fended off the remainder of the competition.
With Hakuba done and dusted, riders will set their sights on the second stage which will take place on the 2nd-8th of February at Kicking Horse in B.C. Check out the FWT website to catch the live feed of these legendary riders continuing to battle it out, Canada style.
Here at SunGod, we work tirelessly to revolutionise the optics industry, developing products designed for every adventure, and guaranteed to last a lifetime. We're stoked to partner with the Freeride World Tour for another year and to celebrate the best that freeriding has to offer!
Check out our new Limited Edition SunGod x FWT19 Goggle, limited to just 500 pairs...