The world’s top snowboarders headed north for the HempFusion Natural Selection at Tordrillo Mountain Lodge, the final stop and championships of the inaugural Natural Selection Tour. Riders selected lines lending to their style of riding in some of Alaska’s most diverse terrain. Premiering on April 16th exclusively on Red Bull TV, the show features all the contest action leading into the finals, where the Tour champions—the best all-mountain male and female riders on the planet—will ultimately be crowned.
“This is it. Alaska provides the most optionality and room for creative expression for big mountain freestyle riding,” Travis Rice explains. “The scale up there is just on another level. It’s been a dream to bring an event like this to AK. The support for this from the amazing winter sports community in Anchorage, Girdwood and beyond has been crucial in making this possible.”
On the men’s side, the top three finishers from the YETI Natural Selection at Jackson Hole, Mark McMorris, Ben Ferguson and Mikkel Bang, squared up with the top finisher from the Bronco Natural Selection at Baldface-Valhalla, Chris Rasman. For the women, Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, who won at Jackson Hole and Robin Van Gyn, the winner at Baldface-Valhalla, went up against Hana Beaman in a three rider semifinal. Beaman, who finished in third place in Jackson, was invited in place of Marion Haerty, the second place finisher, who could not make it into Alaska due to new U.S. pandemic travel restrictions.
“Alaska is really anybody’s game,” said Beaman. There are so many factors at play, like scale of the features, snow conditions, steepness, route finding, line selection, and experience/confidence. It can be a real mental trip in Alaska. You never really know how your line is going to ride until it’s go time and you are literally riding down some gnarly face for the first time.”
The Tour returned to a head-to-head format in Alaska for both the men’s and women’s semifinals and finals. Run across two days, each rider selected three massive runs from the peaks of Tordrillo Mountains for each match-up. Judges scored each run in real time on location keeping the top score from each rider. They applied the same criteria as in Jackson Hole and Baldface-Valhalla to score based on overall impression focused on the difficulty of a rider’s chosen line, the size of the features they hit, combined with the variety and execution of tricks in the line.
“Competing in Alaska for Natural Selection was amazing. Riding an AK venue in a head-to-head format was insane,” said Ferguson, who finished in second at the Jackson Hole stop. “Just like the terrain, the intensity was on another level. Unlike anything I’ve done before.”
Viewers will be in for the ride of their life as they follow along while the riders unleash on this big mountain playground complete with natural spines, chutes, pillows and more. The Red Bull TV broadcast utilizes the custom-built racing drones seen on the first two stops of the tour and cutting edge camera systems to capture a big mountain contest in a whole new light. The finals will be hosted by Tom Monterosso, Travis Rice, Selema Masekela and Mary Walsh.
The best all-mountain freestyle male and female riders on the planet from the HempFusion Natural Selection at Tordrillo Mountain Lodge will be crowned during the Red Bull TV broadcast. Each will receive the all-new, adventure-ready, 2021 Bronco Sport.
“We’re so proud to work alongside such an amazing team and support these iconic athletes, showcasing their exceptional skill and bravery among the world’s most breathtaking natural terrain,” commented Ian deQueiroz, Co-founder and Chief of Brand Strategy for HempFusion Wellness Inc. “Just as the Natural Selection Tour was designed to showcase the power and beauty of Mother Nature as a central element, that same power and beauty is a hallmark of the HempFusion brand. Our CBD products are formulated with pure, DNA-verified hemp, grown in sunshine and organic soil and our products are free of pesticides, herbicides, GMOs and other items that may be harmful to humans and the environment.”