"Man, his part in The SNOWBOARDER movie was dope. He’s got sick style and a lot of creativity with grabs and tricks and whatnot. Great first banger part homie! Hans is the man!" - DCP
"Such a sick part! He should almost be up for rider of the year." - Eric Jackson
Rookie of the Year is a subjective category. To some, Hans Mindnich having first appeared as a pre-teen ice coast prodigy from Burton’s backyard puts him well beyond "rookie" status, despite only having turned 21 this year. Meanwhile, others feel that Hans’s solid fourth place finish in the US Open slopestyle in 2012 cemented his arrival long ago. Yet when asked how SNOWBOARDER defines a rookie, we are pretty succinct in our assessment by stating that anyone who has never filmed a major video part or appeared on a major contest podium is still a rookie. Therefore, by our own logic and the logic of a majority of our Rider of the Year award voters, Hans is still a rookie, albeit a more veteran rookie than most.
When SNOWBOARDER assembled our roster of next generation standouts for "The SNOWBOARDER Movie: Foreword", there was never any doubt that Hans would get the nod. After seeing him slaughter every man-made park obstacle we put in his path in the last three years with mind boggling grabs and uncanny consistency, we were certain that he could produce. What we didn’t know was how well his bag of tricks would translate to the backcountry. With the title to his first sled in hand, we sent Hans to Jackson last January and the one-time Stowe local stomped a double cork on his first day out! That was just the beginning and once it was time for the "Foreword" timeline to start rendering, Hans was sitting on a stack that was seemingly a roshambo away from getting opener or ender. Having landed himself a sender ender for the umpteenth time in Absinthe’s "Heavy Mental", Bode Merrill has been known to be one of the harshest critics of video parts out there, yet the loose-limbed Pyramid Gap cover model holds Hans in high regard. "His first video part ever left everyone in awe of where he can grab his snowboard while spinning and flipping through the air," explains Merrill. "He gets my nod with the back nine bloody Dracula alone." "Mr. Plant" protagonist Pat Moore agrees with Bode, adding, "Hans has more talent in his pinky than most pros do in their whole careers." In "Foreword", Hans not only stomps the aforementioned backside 900 bloody Dracula, but also a bevy of other body-bending spins, including seatbelt back fives, roast beef Miller transfers and both a Taipan underflip and the elusive Taipan backside rodeo three! Even Eddie Wall, overall nice guy, Pennsylvania native, and one of the most successful riders to ever put p-tex to metal, found Hans’s "Foreword" offering a standout performance. Eddie explains, "Impressive backcountry skills with some heavy street tricks. I had never heard of Hans before this video part and it blew me away, hence he should be Rookie of the Year." Considering that Eddie has been tapped to pass judgment for ESPN as an X Games judge we suppose that makes it official. Expect to see more of Hans in "The SNOWBOARDER Movie: SFD", due out next fall.