photos: Peter Cirilli

Saturday, December 19, 2015, the flats of Dresser, Wisconsin finally saw their first cold temperatures of the season. This long anticipated weather was welcomed with open arms as Burton Snowboards kicked off the first stop of the 2016 Burton Qualifiers Series at Trollhaugen Resort.

Challenging snow conditions over the past month didn't stop the Trollhaugen Park Staff from building one of the most unique contest setups the sport has ever seen. Fast paced pump bump style rainbow rails transitioned riders straight into pole jams creating an optical whale back theme never before seen in snowboarding competition. To end the line, a kicker boosted riders over a make-shift anchor draped in chain link fence, that landed riders directly on top of a classic 30ft single barrel down rail.

Vindictive of classic Troll style, the level of riding was off the nautical charts. Ryan Paul, Jesse Paul, and Luke Zajac cleaned the deck of the Open Division as Nick Belbas effortlessly took 1st place in the 15 and Under category with a the trick of the day, cab 270 on 270 off over the anchor feature.

In the end, as the sea grew calm, the trophy fish separated themselves from the rest of the pack.


15 & Under
First – Nick Belbas
Second – Keegan Tank
Third – Jay Hollan
Fourth – Nick Stotz
Fifth – Blake Harris

Open Division
First – Ryan Paul
Second – Jesse Paul
Third – Luke Zajac
Fourth – Sam Klein
Fifth – Rob Roethler
Sixth – Benny Milam

Big thanks goes out to anon, SNOWBOARDER Magazine and Trollhaugen for all of their support. Make sure you visit for a full list of tour stops coming to a resort near you. Next event takes place Saturday, January 1, 2016 at Loon Mountain, NH.

Watch the Burton Qualifiers: Whales & Rails at Trollhaugen video.