Quiksnow 2010 Concludes With Epic Riding at Afriski

Quiksnow 2010 presented by Resolution has come to the end of the three day snowboarding festival in what has been called by organisers and competitors the best edition in the event's five year history. "We're ecstatic with how things have gone this year," said organiser Oliver Schwankhart. "We've done everything we can to outdo ourselves year after year and 2010 has really raised the bar. We've had an amazing turnout, the weather was pristine and the slope couldn't have been better." Quiksnow crowned Men's and Women's champions in the Slopestyle and Giant Slalom divisions. Alex Heath and Vicki Mayes took top honours in Giant Slalom while the Slopestyle title went to Jojo Krivec and Marta Jekot, who is a five time defending champion.

"It's great that there are more women competing every year," Marta, a software systems developer, said. "I think there are a lot of girls out there who would be surprised by how easy and fun it is to snowboard if they only gave it a try."

Visiting Slovenian judge and instructor Istok Sumatic was impressed by the talent he witnessed on his first trip to Afriski, South Africa's premier snowboard destination. "I love what I've seen of South Africa and Lesotho and really impressed with both the dedication and talent of the local riders. With the right support I think things can really take off here, and this event is a great foundation to build off of."

The new venue and setup has certainly raised the bar, with a number of never before seen tricks being landed in competition. Jojo Krivec landed the first 900 ever completed in an SA contest and the course was nearly double the size of the last event. The presence of the Bag Jump for the first time, a facility to help riders practice their more difficult tricks, has resulted in a huge boost in local rider ability.

A new addition to the event was the DC Rail Jam held on Tuesday night under starry skies and very difficult sub-zero conditions. Prizes went to Errol Krauss for a backside 270 onto the flat bar and Kat Maponyane for a 270 on, 270 off on the rainbow.

Although Quiksnow has traditionally been held at Tiffindell, Quiksilver marketing manager Dane Patterson is pleased with the results this year's new venue. "There are always hiccups when you move to a new location but this has been a real pleasure. Afriski is closer to Durban and Johannesburg and more accessible, which means the event is easier to grow and easier to support. This is a really positive change for snowboarding in general and Quiksnow in particular."

The Resolution Biggest Slam award and R1000 went to Luke Dutton, who despite a horrendous crash in practice resulting in him being stretchered off the slopes managed to compete and place second in the Junior division.

The highlight of the local season has come to a close and as the domestic season winds down riders will begin making preparations to train for next year's event.

Photos: Iztok Sumatic
Words: Dane Patterson