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Sudden Rush Banked Slalom

After two long years without any event - we won't mention the name of the cause - here we are on the road to Switzerland for the first Banked Slalom of the season! 🎉

This year, the event will be special, since for the first time, we are taking Louisa (9 years old) and Stéphanie (her mother and Mick's sister) with us. Because, as you know, for us, Banked Slalom rhymes with community, discovery, and above all, sharing. After all, isn't that snowboarding? Share a day with a community that is driven by the same passion? Well, for us, it is. So we weren't going to miss this opportunity!

To make things a little easier, and so that everyone can understand our snowboarding language, here is a little pre-article glossary.

  • Banked Slalom: you often hear about it, but what is it? To put it simply, let's go back a few years, to the time when the snowcats were only used to groom the slopes, and certainly not to create Snowparks or Boardercross. Then let's take a bunch of Snowboarders who have been given shovels, and some giant slalom gates. Mix it all up a bit, and you'll get the start of Banked Slalom.

  • How does a Banked take place?

It's very simple: you just have to be the fastest in the course. As in competitions, the banked is divided into several categories, so that the kids are not in competition with adults for example. Here is a recap of the categories that we find (in general):

  • Pro

  • Open

  • Master (+40 ans)

  • Super Master (+50 ans)

  • Grand Master (+60 ans)

  • Kid’s (-10 ans)

  • Juniors (-18 ans)

In each category, we redivide into Women and Men, and here we are, ready for the Banked! Each rider has two runs, the best of the two counts. All you have to do is be the fastest.

Let's now return to our sheep, direction Laax, resort top of the European Snowboard scene. On the program for this weekend:

  • Thursday - training in the banked

  • Friday - Men & Women Pro Categories + Masters

  • Saturday - Categories Open Men & Women + "Fastest race*"

  • Sunday - Kid's day

To simplify your task, the categories in bold are those concerning (respectively) Mick, Chloé, Stéphanie, and Louisa. During the Sudden Rush, a Fastest Race is organized, bringing together all the winners of each category. It's a bit like a super final that brings together the whole community for an unprecedented sharing of the Banked. To add a little spice to this final, the riders will then only have one run - instead of two during the competitions by category, you follow?


Here we go for the first day of this event. Today on the menu: discovery of Banked and training. During the Sudden Rush, the location of the Banked changes every year, which makes it unique and unexpected. We discover the 23 banked that will certainly burn our legs - and yes, two years without any Banked is a long time!


Change of mood, we are now going into warrior mode since the competition begins today. And yes, we may be Snowboarders, but the competitive spirit is still there, somewhere deep inside us. If you have a good memory, you will know that it is Mick and I -Chloé- who enter the track first.

Another detail specific to the Sudden Rush - and to some other Banked Slalom, like Mt Baker or the Kontum - the results are only announced in the evening during the prize giving. The suspense is therefore at its height!!

Pro Women : Pro Men :

  1. Sina Candrian 1. Josh Dirksen

  2. Chloé David 2. Reto Neiger

  3. Simona Meiler 3. Elias Elhardt

Unfortunately, no podium for your favorite guide, but a very nice 5th place behind some big names in International Snowboarding. And after all, when one of us wins, it's kind of like the other wins too, isn't it?

For my part, I am happy to be on the second step of the podium, and qualified for the Fastest Race. I'm obviously sad not to be able to share it with Mick, since only the first 3 of each category are selected.


New day at the Sudden Rush, the pros and masters give way to the Open women and men category.

Stéphanie gives us an incredible show with two magnificent runs and finishes in 9th place. It is therefore alone that I will ride during the Fastest Race to represent our beautiful family one last time.

I love this final because you absolutely have to give everything and be very precise on a single run. The adrenaline is at its peak, my legs are shaking, my heart is beating hard - very hard. One last check with "the coach" - or the husband, it's up to you - and off I go for my last run in those 23 banked.

Once again, the suspense remains until the awards ceremony and the announcement of the results.

Pro Women : Pro Men :

  1. Chloé David 1. Elias Elhardt

  2. Simona Meiler 2. Thomas Wolf

  3. Svenja Schallner 3. Josh Dirksen

This time it's the right one! I bring home a win in the Fastest Race. Very happy to share the podium with my sidekick Louisa. Now, its turn to make us dream!


Kid's day is THE day not to be missed. It's true that seeing adults riding a Banked Slalom is great... But seeing little 4-year-olds - sometimes less - tearing up this Banked, there's bound to be something more!

In addition, this year Kid's Day has a special flavor since Louisa is participating in her very first Banked Slalom, and I can assure you that her godfather is very proud and that he will coach her damn well. In the starting gates, she confides:

  I have a very, very big lump in my stomach. I want to win, but at the same time, I'm afraid to start!!

I personally find this kids day very special, because it reminds me that just like these little children, Mick, me, or other Snowboarders have been there. We all ended up with this desire, this common passion, which, 20 years later for me, much more for others, is still present. I am proud to be able to say that today I am living the life of my dreams, the life I dreamed of when I was like them, a kid on a snowboard.

Just like her mother, Louisa gave us two very nice runs, and finished in 8th place. In the end, she may not leave with a medal, but she returns home with a new Austrian friend, snowboarding stories to tell, and butterflies in her eyes...



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