The Best of 2019: Athletes, Gear, News, and Entertainment

Lucy Ferneyhough | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Cody Townsend's "The Fifty" is a incredible feat that represents a new level of freeskiing achievement.
Cody Townsend is currently on a mission to ski all of the “Fifty Classic Descents of North America” before anyone else. — Credit: Weston Shirey, Free Skier

2019 has held no shortage of incredible moments and accomplishments, from new tech revolutionizing the industry to new heights being reached by some of our favorite athletes. Let’s take a look back at some of the biggest stars, gear, and moments of the year!

Male Athletes:

  1. Cody Townsend: It’s been a big year for Townsend as he launched a monumental new project, “The Fifty“, the first attempt of any skier to ski all of the Fifty Classic Descents of North America, and if that wasn’t enough of a feat in itself, he is hiking all of the lines without any assistance from helicopters or snowmobiles.
  2. Travis Rice: Rice had a great year as he embarked on a fully man-powered expedition through the Teton Wilderness for the new TGR release, Roadless, on top of filming and producing a new film with Quiksilver called Dark Matter.
  3. Jeremy Jones: 2019 was a huge year for Jones as he snowboarded for three new films, Roadless (TGR), Out of Bounds (Roxy), and Shelter (Almo Film).
Mikaela Shiffrin showed her unbeatable technique all through 2019.
Mikaela Shiffrin at the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup in March. — Credit: Team USA

Female Athletes:

  1. Mikaela Shiffrin: There is no athlete who dominated as much as Shiffrin this year, taking home a new record of 17 World Cup titles in one season and winning almost every race she entered.
  2. Angel Collinson: Collinson remains one of the most admired freeskiers in the world, providing some of the most breathtaking lines of the year in TGR’s Winterland and landing first place in the Women’s Powder Poll 2019 in Powder Magazine.
  3. Anna Gasser: Gasser has had many great achievements this year, pulling off the first Cab Triple Underflip 1260 and Cab Double Cork 1260 by a woman, and taking first place in last season’s Air & Style Beijing and second place this season.
Burton's new Step On bindings are a great new advancement for snowboarders.
Burton’s new Step On bindings are a great step forward for beginner and advanced snowboarders alike. — Credit: Burton


  1. Burton Step On Bindings: Burton’s new Step On bindings allow riders to easily step in and out of their snowboard bindings without manually strapping in, providing a great new experience and ease for both amateur and pro riders.
  2. Snowcookie Sensors: Providing a revolutionary new way to get feedback on your skiing, Snowcookie sensors, attaching to each ski and your torso, analyze every movement and aspect of your skiing, and then use this data to suggest tips and advice to improve your technique and position.
  3. Shift MNC 13 bindings: Atomic’s new Shift MNC 13 bindings have a full touring and freeriding capability, allowing skiers to easily switch between modes on the binding, providing a whole new level of ease for backcountry riders to have a comfortable hiking and freeriding experience.


After over 400 races, decorated skier Lindsey Vonn has retired at 35 after sustaining many injuries over her career.
Lindsey Vonn has chosen to retire early, partly due to the injuries she has endured over her unmatched career. — Credit: Marco Trovati, The Associated Press


  1. Lindsey Vonn Retirement: After an incredibly successful career as a three-time Olympic medalist with over 80 World Cup titles, Vonn decided in February to retire from her ski racing career at 35, earlier than she had planned, due to the many injuries she has sustained in previous races.
  2. Jake Burton Death: At the age of 65, Burton passed away due to cancer on November 20, 2019. His death shook the snow industry as he is considered the father of snowboarding, introducing Burton Snowboards to the world in 1977 and raising snowboarding from its infancy to a major Olympic sport and world-wide community.
  3. David Wise Sets New Quarter-Halfpipe Height Record: Wise set a new height record of 11.7 m, almost 1 m over the previous record, in the ski quarter-halfpipe in April 2019 at the Audi Nines in Austria, stunning fans all across the world.
Teton Gravity Research's new film, Winterland, is a great addition to the TGR collection, bringing even more great shots and huge air.
Teton Gravity Research’s latest installment, Winterland, features an incredible cast of athletes, highlighting all the stars of the TGR team. — Credit: Teton Gravity Research


  1. Winterland: Teton Gravity Research’s biggest release of the year, Winterland, is starstudded beyond belief with over twenty athletes featured, including legends like Angel Collinson, Cody Townsend, Ian McIntosh, Jeremy Jones, and Tim Durtschi.
  2. Return to Send’er: Starring Mark Abma, Karl Fostvedt, Sam Kuch, and Logan Pehota, Return to Send’er highlights the deeply personal nature of skiing with individual segments based on the home turf of each of the stars before bringing them all together for an epic heli-skiing trip at the end.
  3. The 7 Stages of Blank: Attempting to capture all of the stages of a great ski season, The 7 Stages of Blank follows some of the biggest ski names today, bringing together shot after shot of incredible, jaw-dropping skiing action.

2019 has been a great year for the snow industry with some of the biggest athletes pulling out all the stops to bring us amazing achievements, new records, and stunning cinematography. After such a fantastic season, we can’t wait to see what 2020 brings!

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