Revolutionary snowpark design and world-class athleticism converged last week at the unconventional action-sports happening known as The Nines presented by Falken, where a week of freestyle ski and snowboard action in Crans-Montana, Switzerland culminated in the stunning moment when 16-year-old Japanese snowboarder Hiroto Ogiwara landed the world’s first backside 2160. Ogiwara’s groundbreaking trick and other standout ski & snowboard performances at The Nines were honored at last night’s Riders Awards ceremony.
On Wednesday, April 6, Ogiwara headed to the mountain planning to try a backside 1800, a trick he’d struggled to land the day before. “After my first hit, I thought the jump was perfect and I could go for the 1800,” said the young snowboarder from Ushiku, Japan. “When I landed the 18, I realized I still had some time left over, so I thought, ‘Maybe I can go for it [the 2160].”
After five attempts, Ogiwara landed snowboarding’s first-ever backside 2160. “On the last try, the takeoff felt so good and everything in the air was right, so I knew I had it,” said Ogiwara. “The instant I landed it, I was kind of shocked and wasn’t sure if I’d actually done it. I watched the video and was stoked and surprised to see that I had actually spun six full rotations!”
Ogiwara’s groundbreaking trick was one of many memorable moments from the 2022 edition of The Nines, a biannual “progression session” that alternates between winter and summer events with the goal of fostering creativity and achievement in action sports. The event concluded on Friday, April 8 with a Gala Night where the week’s top performers—men and women, skiers and snowboarders—were honored by their peers in the categories of Best Trick, Best Style, and Ruler Of The Week.
Not Your Average Snowpark Session
The action at The Nines centers around the event venue, a meticulously planned private snowpark including a wide variety of features designed to challenge and inspire the invited riders. This year’s edition included a massive big-air jump with additional bowl features, a mushroom-shaped obstacle called “The Sphere” and an innovative “Downward Spiral” inspired by skateboarding. It’s unique and eye-catching creations like these that attract a diverse roster of international talent in skiing and snowboarding to the event each year. During bad-weather days, riders took advantage of local facilities like the Alaïa Bay surf pool in nearby Sion, making for a nonstop program of activities throughout the week.
Big Spins & Bigger Style: Snowboarding Takes Over
From top international stars like Marcus Kleveland (NOR) and Laurie Blouin (CAN) to beloved scene favorites like Fridtjof “Fridge” Tischendorf (NOR) and Annika Morgan (GER), snowboarders made an indelible mark on the 2022 Nines. Japanese rider Reira Iwabuchi joined her countryman Hiroto Ogiwara in the “world’s first” club with her own never-been-done trick, a frontside triple 1260, while other established and up-and-coming riders like Valentino Guseli (AUS), Judd Henkes (USA), Luke Winkelmann (USA) and 15-year-old Mia Brookes (GBR) strengthened their claims to stardom with standout performances. Even skiers got on the action, with Olympic Big Air gold medalist Birk Ruud (NOR) swapping his skis for a snowboard to land a backside triple 1440.
Freeskiing at The Nines: Stylish Women and Go-Big Men
On the ski side, a motivated pack of stylish female riders led by Lara Wolf (AUT) and Kirsty Muir (GBR) set the tone for the week, spurred on by veteran Nines attendees like Sarah Hoefflin (SUI), Coline Ballet-Baz (FRA) and Maggie Voisin (USA). Meanwhile, a new generation of outstanding ski men including Max Moffatt (CAN), Mac Forehand (USA) and Finn Bilous (NZL) soared to new heights over The Nines features alongside a strong crew of Nines regulars like Fabian Bösch (SUI), Kim Gubser (SUI) and Andri Ragettli (SUI).
“Each year I think that we can’t possibly push things any further, and each year the riders prove me wrong. I’m continually in awe of what these athletes bring to the table, and glad that our event is able to help them push the sport to new levels.”
– event founder Nico Zacek
Ski and snowboard highlights as well as Hiroto Ogiwara’s world’s-first video are now available on The Nines YouTube, where fans can absorb all the action from the latest edition of this one-of-a-kind snow sports happening.
Riders Awards – The Nines 2022
- Best Trick: Reira Iwabuchi (JPN), Front Triple 1260
- Best Style: Mia Brookes (GBR)
- Ruler Of The Week: Mia Brookes (GBR)
- Best Trick: Hiroto Ogiwara (JPN), Backside 2160 Indy Tailbone
- Best Style: Luke Winkelmann (USA)
- Ruler Of The Week: Valentino Guseli (AUS)
- Best Trick: Lara Wolf (AUT), Misty 540 mute
- Best Style: Lara Wolf (AUT)
- Ruler Of The Week: Megan Oldham (CAN)
- Best Trick: Jesper Tjäder (SWE), Cork 540 to transition to switch backflip
- Best Style: Max Moffatt (CAN) & Finn Bilous (NZL)
- Ruler Of The Week: Max Moffatt