When LAAX calls … it’s all about Freestyle! LAAX OPEN 2016 – ‘the’ snowboard event of the winter

LAAX, Switzerland – For one week LAAX, one of the world's prime winter sport locations, attracts snowboarders from all over the world to its resort. The LAAX Open takes place between 18 and 24 January 2016. It's a happening for everyone, a snowboard event with the best of the best, a contest with snowboard icons, heroes and newcomers. Above all though, it's a logical consequence of the LAAX roots. World class riders like Iouri Podladtchikov, Stale Sandbech, Tyler Nicholson, Anna Gasser, Christy Prior and Enni Rukajärvi have confirmed their participation at this contest with its $500.000 prize money, guaranteeing a top-class sports event. The experience culminates with daily music events, art and gourmet treats.

For three decades LAAX has played a crucial role in the development of snowboarding, and today LAAX is one of the top freestyle spots in the world. In the valley there is Europe's first freestyle centre, the Freestyle Academy. On the Crap Sogn Gion the world's biggest halfpipe looms. The LAAX OPEN 2016 will award $500.000 prize money to the world's best riders in the halfpipe and slopestyle contests. This is all due to its history and also thanks to the partners LAAX cooperates with.

Many of today's snowboarders weren't even born when the first riders were exploring the LAAX area with their snowboards several decades ago; when the first pipe was being built in LAAX over 30 years ago; and even when the first international contests were being held here at the end of the 80s! What a revolution snowboarding has initiated! What a history it has created. And what spirit and joy of life it has given. It's what we love: surfing on snow and everything else that comes with it. It's a cult(ure)! It's LAAX roots.

"The LAAX roots are where we came from, it's what we rose and developed from. The LAAX roots are the roots that express our lifestyle, the freedom of our sport, our feelings and everything that freestyle stands for. The LAAX OPEN are a real highlight, that's made possible by our roots", says Reto Gurtner, CEO and president of the Weisse Arena Gruppe in Laax, about the history of LAAX and the event, with which he and his team want to ring in a new era of snowboard contests.

Snowboarders, freestylers, free spirits, visionaries – in LAAX you find them within the 'Weisse Arena' company and in the snow parks, super pipe and powder. They come for their winter holidays, for long weekends and for cool concerts after a one-of a kind run. They follow their passion so they can enjoy themselves in the nature and in the snow. And they come to do their jobs, to compete, and to earn a share of the $ 500.000 prize money.

For three decades LAAX has played a crucial role in the development of snowboarding, and today LAAX is one of the top freestyle spots in the world. In the valley there is Europe’s first freestyle centre, the Freestyle Academy. On the Crap Sogn Gion the world’s biggest halfpipe looms. The LAAX OPEN 2016 will award $500.000 prize money to the world’s best riders in the halfpipe and slopestyle contests. This is all due to its history and also thanks to the partners LAAX cooperates with. www.youtube.com/LAAX_rootsMany of today’s snowboarders weren’t even born when the first riders were exploring the LAAX area with their snowboards several decades ago; when the first pipe was being built in LAAX over 30 years ago; and even when the first international contests were being held here at the end of the 80s! What a revolution snowboarding has initiated! What a history it has created. And what spirit and joy of life it has given. It’s what we love: surfing on snow and everything else that comes with it. It’s a cult(ure)! It’s LAAX roots.

”The LAAX roots are where we came from, it’s what we rose and developed from. The LAAX roots are the roots that express our lifestyle, the freedom of our sport, our feelings and everything that freestyle stands for. The LAAX OPEN are a real highlight, that’s made possible by our roots”, says Reto Gurtner, CEO and president of the Weisse Arena Gruppe in Laax, about the history of LAAX and the event, with which he and his team want to ring in a new era of snowboard contests.

Snowboarders, freestylers, free spirits, visionaries – in LAAX you find them within the ‘Weisse Arena’ company and in the snow parks, super pipe and powder. They come for their winter holidays, for long weekends and for cool concerts after a one-of a kind run. They follow their passion so they can enjoy themselves in the nature and in the snow. And they come to do their jobs, to compete, and to earn a share of the $ 500.000 prize money.

But it’s not just anyone, as a host of international top riders have confirmed their participation at the LAAX OPEN: Olympic champions and medallists, World Champions, Burton European Open and US Open winners.. what a line up it is! Amongst the snow artists, who will tackle the 200 meter long superpipe with its 6,9 meter high walls, are Taylor Gold (USA), Taki Hiraoka (JPN), Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI), Ayumu Hirano (JPN) and Scotty James (AUS). Just those top 5 riders in the world rankings represent four continents, and the ladies field is equally international: Arielle Gold (USA), Hikaru Oe (JPN) and Queralt Castellet (SPA) in the halfpipe and Anna Gasser (AUT), Cheryl Maas (NED), Christy Prior (NZL), Enni Rukajärvi (FIN) and Elena Könz (SUI) in the slopestyle. Last but not least and equally excited about the new LAAX slopestyle course are the slopestyle men: Tyler Nicholson (CAN), Stale Sandbech (NOR), Yuki Kadono (JPN), Sebastien Toutant (CAN) and Sven Thorgren (SWE) to name a few..

..because there are many other confirmed male and female riders, who are already seeded for the semi finals due to their rankings in the World Snowboarding Points list (http://open.laax.com/en/riders/). And all riders that want to take part in the open qualification can still register on laax.com/open until 30 November 2015.
The big sporting highlights at the LAAX OPEN are the halfpipe finals on Friday, 22 January 2016 and the slopestyle finals on Saturday, 23 January 2016.
But the real beauty at the LAAX OPEN is the fact that there is always enough time to go riding yourself. Whether you are young or old, beginner or expert it’s all about getting on your snowboard. 3 to 6 year olds can learn at the Burton Riglet Park in the rockresort, everyone else can go to the Burton test center at the Crap Sogn Gion and sample the free boards from Burton’s latest winter collection. You can take them on the pistes, into the parks and the mini pipe or to work shops with the pros. It’s all about experiencing the joy and spirit of freestyle. It’s all about LAAX roots, whether it’s on the mountain or in the valley.And it’s in the valley’s rockresort where snowboard fans can enjoy a creative festival for the whole week. Here a mixture of wonderfully weird, interactive and well-known art forms will connect the roots of the 30-year old LAAX freestyle history with the now. Living snow balls, light installations and live music – from Swiss newcomers to hip international acts – are as much part of it as food trucks and a travelling restaurant, that will pop up for a whole month in the LAAX gondola hall. For the real party animals there will be all-night long entertainment in the Riders Palace club, where trendy DJs & Acts from all over the world spin the ultimate party tunes. To put it simple: the LAAX OPEN 2016 are the dawning of a new age, a snowboard contest that will revolutionize whatever has been there before and a festival that will be unforgettable for whoever has the privilege to experience it first hand.

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