Snowboarders Henna Ikola (FIN), Leon Gütl (GER) & Pat Fava (USA) win Rock A Rail
Olivia Asselin (CAN) & Jesper Tjäder (SWE) take home DownTown StreetSki titles
Perfectly in time for the SnowFest Innsbruck, winter arrives in Tirol and snowflakes provide the appropriate, sometimes almost mystical backdrop. The 2nd edition of SnowFest Innsbruck (November 24th – 26th) in the center of Innsbruck is successfully in the books and entertained a large audience. Olivia Asselin (CAN) and Jesper Tjäder (SWE) win the DownTown StreetSki titles, while in snowboarding Henna Ikola (FIN), Pat Fava (USA) and Leon Gütl take home the 2023 Rock A Rail Innsbruck wins. The Winter Sports Village, which offers easy access to a variety of sports, is well received. In short: a successful winter sports weekend in the heart of Innsbruck.
ROCK A RAIL // SNOWBOARD – The snowboarders kick off the SnowFest weekend on Friday with the renowned Rock A Rail contest on the 37 m long, 17 m wide and 10 m high scaffolding. Known for progressive rails and features, the revised setup ensures, as usual, creative riding in a class of its own.
In the women’s category, Henna Ikola (FIN) truly does ride in a class of her own. She uses almost every rail and finally lands an incredible gap to frontside lipslide on the a-frame gap. Paula Benito (SPA) impresses with solid tricks with lots of style and takes home the Blue Tomato Stairmaster award for the Best Trick. The men show an incredible level across the board and step it up trick by trick. In the end there are two winners: Pat Fava (USA) – “that was the craziest final I have ever been a part of” – and Leon Gütl (GER) – “so many good riders, such a good vibe” share 1st place together. In third place, the Norwegian UFO Øyvind Kirkhus completes the podium and deservedly earns the GoPro Creative award for his insane backflip to boardslide on the a-frame gap.
DOWNTOWN STREETSKI // FREESKI – On Saturday the spotlight was on the freeskiers at the DownTown StreetSki session. Among them renowned names such as Max Moffatt (CAN) and Olympic medalist Jeser Tjäder (SWE). The mix of international riders and local jibbers ensured a high level of riding and a great atmosphere among the many spectators.
The Swedish veteran and World Cup winner Jesper Tjäder lands in first place with an outstanding performance all day long: “It was the most fun in a long time. It’s crazy. I love it” Olivia Asselin from Canada wins the women’s event. Austria’s Freeski figurehead Matej Svancer grabs the Best Trick award, while Norway’s Ferdinand Dahls impresses with the most creative riding.
In general, no rail line of the setup gets spared. The riders not only compete against each other but also ride together and show several “Rapid Fires” – one rider immediately follows the next. What a show for the large audience. SnowFest co-organizer and former Freeski pro Martin Misof says: „With sessions like this, the spirit of the sport comes back. The riders love it, you see in their riding. You can do on the setup whatever you want – without any rules. That really influenced the whole vibe and in combination with the snowfall it was almost kitschy. An absolute success!“
WINTER SPORTS VILLAGE – The SnowFest centerpiece is the Winter Sports Village, which offers easy access to a variety of winter sports. Whether it’s tobogganing on the simulator, learning virtually about alpine dangers, trying out (ice)stick shooting, conquering a downhill run on the simulator, or taking your first steps on a snowboard or ski jumping. The Winter Sports Village combines the colorful diversity of winter sports. With all this an offer, it was correspondingly well attended the whole weekend.
Coming up shortly is the final SnowFest event of the year in The Hague (NED) from Dec. 8th – 10th with the 10th anniversary edition of Rock A Rail at Grote Markt where it all started.
Results Rock A Rail Innsbruck 2023
1.Henna Ikola, FIN
2.Paula Benito, SPA
3.Selin Lakatha, AUT
1.Leon Gütl, GER/Pat Fava, USA
3.Oyvind Kirkhus, NOR
Best Trick – Blue Tomato Stairmaster: Paula Benito, SPA
GoPro Creative Award: Oyvind Kirkhus, NOR
Results DownTown StreetSki Innsbruck 2023
1.Olivia Asselin, CAN
2.Laura Wallner, AUT
3.Alia Delia Eichinger, GER
1.Jeser Tjäder, SWE
2.Ralph Welponer, ITA
3.Matej Svancer, AUT
Best Trick – Blue Tomato Stairmaster: Matej Svancer, AUT
GoPro Creative Award: Ferdinand Dahl, NOR
Further information: www.snowfest.eu, @snowfest.official, @rockarail