The Inertia

Hot damn, The Natural Selection Duels just went live today and, I gotta say, they’re a real treat to watch. Six battles in total, spread across an international sampling of tasty freeride zones, The Duels really showcase the finer aspects of snowboarding. Not only that, they are a de facto “Spot Check” for six different freeride Meccas, with cool little insights into the communities that call those places home. 

Japan, Switzerland, Canada and a few spots in Colorado round out the list of venues. All the Duels were executed, filmed and edited in the last two months, so major props to the NST crew for throwing six successful mini comps during one of the weirdest winters ever. It’s insanely lucky that they were able to get decent-(ish) snow at each location. But to mobilize the riders, the film crews, the event crews and the safety teams during each respective weather window is a massive accomplishment.

Maybe that’s why the common sentiment throughout each of The Duels is that they felt more like a day out boardin’ with buddies than they did a contest. But with that being said, the winners were all added to the list of riders who drop on Day One in Revelstoke, and there were a few standouts who looked hungrier than the rest.

I’ll spare you the victors of each Duel, because they’re way more fun to watch if you don’t know who comes out on top (watch here).

Natural Selection Duels are Live and the Revelstoke List of Riders is Locked In

Crested Butte DUELS between Jamie Anderson and Emma Crosby. Scout Day. Photo: Tom Monterosso

Match-ups and locations are as follows:

 – Sebbe De Buck versus Kevin Backstrom in Andermatt, Switzerland

 – Jamie Anderson versus Emma Crosby in Crested Butte, Colo.

– Nils Mindnich versus Victor Daviet in Durango Colo., at Purgatory Snowcat Adventures

– Spencer O’Brien versus Mary Rand at RED Mountain Resort in Rossland, B.C.

– Red Gerard versus Austen Sweetin in Irwin, Colo. at Eleven’s Terrain on Scarp Ridge

– Raibu Katayama versus Torgier Bergrem in Myoko, Japan

Again, you can watch them all here. (They’re not on YouTube, just Redbull TV).

It’s also worth noting that there’s an “Extra Selection” rider from the duels, where you can vote online for one more rider out of the men’s competitors who didn’t make it through.

The winners will be joining: Mikkel Bang, Mikey Ciccarelli, Dustin Craven, Jared Elston, Ben Ferguson, Hailey Langland, Elena Hight, Torstein Horgmo, Blake Paul, Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, Robin Van Gyn, Mark McMorris, Marion Haerty, Hana Beaman, Sage Kostenberg, Chris Rasman and Travis Rice in Revelstoke.

That’s 24 riders who will drop on Day One on a pre-enhanced venue off of Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Twelve riders will go on to Day Two on a venue deep in Selkirk Tangiers Heli Skiing’s terrain, where the 2024 NST tour champions will be crowned.

The event window opens on March 10 and I’ll be covering it all for you. Stay tuned. 


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