The Ultra Natural, Travis Rice’s snowboard contest within a dreamscape that took place this past February at Baldface Lodge can now be seen in all of it’s Cineflex glory on Saturday March 30, 1:30 pm ET / 10:30 am PT on NBC. Watch a group of 16 highly respected riders huck themselves off super-enhanced features within a freeride powder run!
Mervin’s own Temple Cummins and Jamie Lynn, legends that set the bar for freestyle, freeride snowboarding, were at Baldface as judges for the Ultra Natural – they put some math on the melee (scored the runs). They rode the epic terrain that Baldface is known for, and hung out with an Ultra crew for five days. We asked Jamie for his ultra-judge insights on the event:
Did you get to ride the course?
The judges this year did not get the chance to ride the course, we were rushed out of there to get all the placings done. We were whisked away to the lodge. They didn’t want us ride it…they didn’t want us to show what dazzling display of talent we had to put down of the course this year! (laughs) I’m bummed one, but then I’m not so bummed because this year’s course was a little bit more challenging than it was last year. The little amount of snowfall compared to last year’s total made the steepness of the course that much more, and abruptness of transitions to the jumps that much more challenging. So that combination on that top section made this year’s course super gnarly.
What effect do you think the Ultra Natural has on the future of snowboarding?
It’s a unique contest that brings together the world’s top 16 riders, and puts them in a completely somewhat natural environment to snowboard on, outside of the arena of an X-Games or an Olympic venue that’s what makes this contest so unique. To have this as a flagship contest to bring snowboarding in it’s true environment, I think that’s the beauty of the Ultra Natural contest. It’s such special opportunity not only for snowboarding, but for Travis to put that out there and share that environment with all of his friends and the world, makes it a really unique opportunity and something that’s going to change the dynamics of contest snowboarding in the future.
Who threw down the best Method in the contest?
I think it was Haakon on that first run. There were so many riding that week, there were methods being thrown out all over the place. But as far as the contest goes, I think Haakon on his first run had it in the bag. Temple got the shot, he threw down the sickest method of the week as far as outside the contest.
Anything to add?
I can’t say enough to Travis for making it happen in the first place, Jeff at Baldface for allowing the facility and giving Travis free reign to make that contest a possibility, the staff and guys up there for making it hospitable and safe, and then thanking Red Bull for making it all financially possible, without their dollars we wouldn’t be able to see snowboarding for what it truly is up in the mountains.