Words by Isami Kiyooka
Featured image – Mikey Ciccarelli dropping [o] Edwin Poulston
Revelstoke, BC – The brainchild of Travis Rice, the Natural Selection Tour (NST) is on its third year, having the Canadian stop be Revelstoke, BC.
This year, NST featured a brand new “DUELS ” portion to the event to start things in North America. With riders facing off 1v1 style against each other and trying to figure out the best line possible. This had Canadian riders such as Darrah Reid-Mclean face off against Kimmy Fasani in Mammoth lakes CA, Dustin Craven against Werni Stock in Revelstoke BC, Leanne Polosi vs. Hailey Langland in Whistler BC, and Mark Mcmorris against Mikey Ciccarelli in Trout lake, BC.
“Duels was something that came about in a very authentic way, we tried a duels event in baldface last year, everyone was psyched as it gave opportunities to have amazing sessions on killer terrain with great riders.” – Travis Rice
This portion of the event led to the brackets for the second stop in Revelstoke, where riders would face off in a bracket style competition against one another with three heats including a finals round. With an ankle injury by Mcmorris a week prior to the event, Ciccarelli stepped in his place in Revelstoke, “I feel honoured Mark chose me to take his spot- I feel as if I am riding for the both of us, that’s what I am thinking, that we’re out here doing it together.” – Mikey Ciccarelli
The brackets had Ciccarelli against Blake Paul in the first heat. Ciccarelli put down a 57.8 and Paul with a 75.8 in their first run. The second run had Ciccarelli with a higher score than Paul with a 69.6 vs a 68.4, but in a single best score contest, Paul moved onto the second heat against Jared Elston and then eventually finals against Rice.
Craven came in heavy on his first run against Mikkel Bang, scoring a 83.8 sending him to heat 2 against Rice. The closest battle of the contest, Rice and Craven were neck and neck. During the first heat, Rice started off with a 78.2 and Craven followed with a 79.2 to bump him up. A one point difference decided by the judges, they moved onto the second run. Both riders displayed excellent riding with Craven having one of the craziest lines of the contest, featured below.
After tough consideration by the judges and viewing side by side, Rice ultimately ended up scoring a 81.6, scoring higher by 1.4 with Cravens score of a 80.2, moving him to finals against Paul. Rice put down arguably the best runs of the contest during the finals, lacing a giant double line with snow chasing after him. This led to a score of 90.8 by the judges, the best score of the overall event and leading to his victory followed by Blake Paul for second place and Dustin Craven for third.
NST – Revelstoke was an absolutely incredible event to witness, displaying the back country side of snowboarding to a more general audience. Some amazing performances by the best riders in the world, the Natural selection tour will continue its journey to Valdez, Alaska for its final stop of the season. View more details and full rider runs at naturalselectiontour.com
NST photo gallery by Edwin Poulston