From March 28-30, 2014, Nike Snowboarding presented the second annual Snake & Hammers at Silvetta Montafon, Austria. On a creative course combining the banks and rollers of a traditional banked slalom with the features of a slopestyle course, riders had to balance speed as well as style. The goal was to race as fast as possible down the “snake” course, without leaving the style behind. Tricks on the slopestyle features, like a step-down kicker, big and small rollers, a cannon rail, stairset and several banked jumps brought points as well as time bonuses for the riders with the best “hammers.”
This unique course, as well as spectacular weather, lured several big names to Montafon. Alongside current pros like Kevin Bäckström, Seppe Smits, Spencer O’Brien, Tor Lundström, Sebbe de Buck, Jesse Augustinus, Nicolas Fuentes, Clemens Schattschneider and Matthias Weissenbacher, several snowboard legends like David Benedek, Iker Fernandez, Steve Gruber, Mini Karpf, Sani Alibabic and Nicola Thost couldn’t let this event pass them by. These legends visibly enjoyed the day, and wondered when the last time was that they all competed together. That’s not something that happens every day.
After training on Friday and amateur qualification on Saturday, the pros and legends got into the action on Sunday, attempting to top the tricks and times of the ten qualified amateurs. This was best achieved by the Belgian Seppe Smits, who with a time of 01:10.60 scored not only the best time, but also with frontside and backside 360s as well as a backflip nosegrab picked up the most time bonuses, a well-earned victory, and $2,400 USD prize money. On the ladies’ side, Spencer O’Brien beat out Nicola Thost to defend her title, posting a time that would have placed well among the men. The “Best Hammers” award went to Kevin Bäckström. The Swede put down the trick of the day on the big kicker, a stylish frontside 720, which alongside his third-place finish gave him two prize checks to take home.
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