A couple of weeks ago the Slopestyle World Cup for snowboarders and freeskiers took place at the Bokwang Phoenix Park in Korea. The Schneestern park veterans had the challenging task to build both an innovative and creative slopestyle course, which not only matches international regulations but sets new standards when it comes to park design. The crew turned 150.000m3 of snow into a shredders paradise. In addition, the FIS Slopestyle World Cup was the dress rehearsal for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games 2018. The feedback from all riders involved was phenomenal!
From the 18th to the 21st of February 2016 the FIS Slopestyle World Cup took place in Pyeonchang. It was preceded a multi-level selection process between ten international and handpicked snowpark companies and in the end, Schneestern got chosen to plan and build the slopestyle course. One of the biggest challenges Schneestern had to face was to convince the core scene – despite all prejudices regarding a FIS event of this magnitude – with a slopestyle, that keeps all haters in silence. With this additional incentive in mind, the crew around chief designer Dirk Scheumann showed anew what’s possible, when attributes like creativity and professionalism meet. It was about time, more then ever when you think about the upcoming winter Olympics, to make official competitions more authentic by still keeping them within the international regulations.
The goal was a progressive contest course, which neutralized the antiquated view of Olympic freestyle competitions in a radical way, a so-called “game changer” and just like Schneestern was made for this task, Dirk Scheumann, CEO of Schneestern and course designer of the World Cup, was able to perfectly play the strengths of his company. Years of experience and the close collaboration with world-class athletes mattered the most.
The slopestyle that was finally built was both a classical and yet innovative course, which consisted of three jib- and three kickers sections. The absolute highlight was definitely the final hit and “money booter” with its asymmetric and novel „Corkskew Kickers“. The most important tool for measuring the success or failure of the course were the voices of the riders and their coaches.
Freeski superstars like Jesper Tjäder, Nicholas Goepper, Oystein Braten, Henrik Harlaut, Lisa Zimmermann and snowboarders like Seppe Smits, Silje Norendal, Billy Morgan or Jamie Anderson decided over the fate of the whole concept. Not only freeskiers like Oystein Braten: “This course is dope” and Swiss superstar Andri Ragettli: “Course is sick” loved Schneestern’s work, but also the usually more critical snowboarders. Jamie Nicholls for example said: “This course is mad” and Billy Morgan had a hard time deciding, which of the “dope” lines he should take next.
Jamie Anderson found her judgment pretty quickly by simply saying: “Insane”. Schneestern has set a clear sign for professional freestyle contests in Korea: They have shown that it’s possible to combine creative and innovative slopestyle courses, which stoke riders and fans likewise with a FIS contest this size. This should make clear once again that either-or attitudes respectively black and white thinking have nothing to do with snowboarding or freeskiing. With this in mind, Schneestern can be confident about saying: Pyeongchang 2018 here we come.