Real Snow class of 2014
Real Snow Class of 2014
Real Snow, the X Games all-video, all-urban snowboarding contest is back for another year. Eight snowboarders. Eight videos. No mountains. No parks. No holds barred. Right at this very moment, this season's competitors are out in the streets in cities around the world looking for the craziest features to do next-level tricks on for your viewing pleasure. Contest video entries will debut on Tuesday, Jan. 7 here on XGames.com. Winners of the judged portion of the event will be announced during the live broadcast of X Games Aspen. The Fan Favorite will be decided in a three-round voting bracket contest that starts when the videos go live. Are you ready? Time to meet this year's contestants.
Dylan Thompson, Rookie
Dylan Thompson hails from Hood River, Ore., but winters in Salt Lake City, Utah. You may have seen him win a bronze medal in Aspen last year during the X Games Real Street contest. Or perhaps you watched his standout part in the new TransWorld movie, "NATION." Then there was that cover photo he showed up in on the October 2013 issue of Snowboarder Magazine. And if you missed all of that, fret not. You won't miss him in this year's Real Snow contest.
Dan Brisse, 2013 silver
What more do you need to know about Dan Brisse than can be said by this photo? No, really. Look at this photo. Does it give you butterflies in your stomach from wondering where he's going to land, and what he possibly could be thinking? Now, if you didn't know it before, you understand what Brisse brings to a Real Snow contest. Brisse has medaled in every Real Snow event so far, starting with back-to-back gold in 2011-12, and finishing with silver in 2013. To call him "the man to beat" would be an understatement.
Louis-Felix Paradis, 2013 gold
"I grew up just outside of downtown Quebec City. Every year, the whole town gets covered with snow," explains Paradis. "As soon as I was done with homework, I would walk to the parks and spend hours learning tricks on picnic tables, benches and little jumps. This is how the urban environment became my element." Brisse is not the only champion returning to this year's contest. Paradis has also medaled in every Real Snow event so far, taking home silver in 2011, silver and "fan favorite" honors in 2012, and gold in 2013. Is he a top contender for 2014? Oh yes.
Bode Merrill, 2013 bronze
Bode Merrill is another Real Snow veteran, blowing minds in 2012 and coming away with the bronze in 2013. Outside of the X Games Merrill is known as the guy who can ride any kind of terrain, and whose snowboarding footage almost guaranteed claim the coveted ending segment of any snowboard movie he is a part of. His big-mountain riding skills are as impressive as his urban-focused trickery. Look out for this multiple-trick pony.
Jaeger Bailey, Rookie
Last season Jaeger Bailey was Snowboarder Magazine's pick for the prestigious "Rookie of the Year" title. At 20, Bailey is the youngest rider in the field. His tactic to go up against seasoned vets like Paradis and Brisse? "I hope to bring a new sort of style and unorthodox riding to the table," says Bailey. "I love it when the stakes are reconsidered and new tricks are invented -- tricks that not only push the limits of the sport but also push the limits of what is physically possible" Look for tricks you've never seen before to factor heavily in Bailey's contest entry when it drops on Jan. 7.
Eiki Helgason, Rookie
Eiki Helgason hails from northern Iceland, where he grew up riding backyard kickers and handrails in the streets with his brother, Halldor, (who was a RS Fan Favorite finalist in 2012). Honing his skills far from anything that could be called a perfect snowboard park led to the development of a riding style that earned him Snowboarder Magazine's "Rookie of the Year" title in 2009. No stranger to the X Games (he competed in Slopestyle in 2010), Helgason is back to go "all in" for this year's Real Snow.
Forest Bailey, Rookie
Twenty-two-year-old Forest Bailey (no relation to Jaeger) is a Vermont native and grew up riding at Stratton. His exposure to the big mountains of the West Coast has recently opened his eyes to the possibilities of the backcountry, and turned his passion from urban riding to becoming the "most versatile snowboarder I can be," says Bailey. But make no mistake: Wandering eye aside, he'll be a force to be reckoned with in this contest. If you don't believe us, check out his ender part in TransWorld's movie "NATION."
Frank April, 2013 Fan Favorite
Louif Paradis' French-Canadian cohort Frank April entered Real Snow in 2013 as a rookie and came away with Fan Favorite honors in a fierce voting battle that came down to the wire. Quebec, Canada, is a veritable breeding ground for street-focused snowboarders, and April continues to do his home-province crew proud. He nabbed TransWorld's "Rookie of the Year" title last year, as well as "Best Jib Segment" at The Reels for his part in Videograss' movie "Enlighten." This year he's gunning for Real Snow gold.