SNOWBOARDER Magazine Rider of the Year 2017: Webisode

Nitro in North Korea

Nitro in North Korea

Nils Arvidsson, Markus Keller and Austin Smith

Men's Rider Of The Year #9 Mikkel Bang. P: Aaron Blatt

DOB: 1/8/90 || Stance: Regular || Home Mountain: Hemsedal, NO
Sponsors: Burton, Oakley, Nixon.


When Mikkel Bang emerged onto the international scene in 2002 as a twelve-year old Scandinavian shred prodigy it was as if some Norse scientist had conjured him in a lab to be the composite manifestation of Norwegian snowboarding greatness. Mikkel’s riding DNA is telegraphed each time he drops in as the finesse of Terje, physical talent of Andreas Wiig and go for broke, balls-to-the-wall abandon of Johan Olofsson are on display with every straight line AK descent, multi-rotation maneuver into an untracked landing and cover worthy tweak. Ok...we realize Johan is actually Swedish but the influence is undeniable.
An argument could be made that Mikey Rencz is the Canadian equivalent of Mikkel both in terms of pedigree, presence and what he brings to the piste. For the past few seasons, the two have crewed up, allowing Mikey the ability to render an intimate assessment of Mikkel like few others can. According to Rencz, “Mikkel is probably the most adaptable snowboarder I have ever witnessed firsthand,” adding “He is absolutely psycho to watch ride in person.” These traits and more are why Mikkel was hand picked by Travis Rice to help fill out his Fourth Phase roster. This invitation led to plenty of hi-res Japanese pow porn and Bang producing the most banger freestyle shot of the whole four-year project, a backside alley-oop corkscrew 720 tree bonk! In addition to joining The Fourth Phase juggernaut, Mikkel lent some backcountry depth to SNOWBOARDER’s Resolution marquee stacking a six-minute segment rife with tree transfers, flat spin senders, Haines hellrides, multiple multi-feature lines and one of the most legit front ten double corks ever done outside of the slopestyle arena, earning Mikkel the penultimate position on our Top Ten Riders Of 2017 tally. - Pat Bridges

Nils Arvidsson, Markus Keller and Austin Smith

P: Mike Yoshida

He's got the X factor or whatever you want to call it and the best jump style in snowboarding! I look forward to seeing his riding more than anyone else. -Bode Merrill

 

Nitro in North Korea

P: Mike Yoshida

 

This fool has the most insane steeze while hitting the biggest and baddest stuff. So epic watching him have the year of his life! - Sage Kotsenberg

 

Nitro in North Korea

P: Oli Gagnon


Nitro in North Korea

P: Oli Gagnon

 

His front ten nose grab is the most stylish double cork ever done! - Eric Jackson

Nitro in North Korea

P: Oli Gagnon


 

Nitro in North Korea