The Red Bull Nanshan Open must rank as one of the most enticing contests open to snowboarders, or any extreme athletes for that matter. The all-expenses paid, week-long event from Jan. 16 – 22 features fancy dinners, karaoke, sightseeing and the chance to win a whole lot of prize money. The venue? Nanshan Mellow Park, just outside China’s capital, Beijing.
The Nanshan Open first kicked off in 2002 as a humble backyard get together. It was the first snowboard contest ever held on Chinese soil. In 2007, it won recognition as a 3-Star stop on the World Snowboard Tour. Now in its 11th year, the organizers claim the Nanshan Open ranks as world-class. In 2013, the once thoroughly male-dominated event will feature the addition of a women’s division for the first time ever.
Entrants will be judged on a variety of skills. Think take off, maneuver control, landing, style, difficulty and variety, among other things. The range of criteria underlines just how much there is to snowboarding, in case anyone thought it was easy.
According to the organizers, the event has lured a who’s-who of promising riders, including Transworld’s “Rookie of the Year” Austin Smith and young stars Nils Arvidsson and Anton Bilare.
We’ll see who steps up to rule the slopes — and claim the prize.
Cover Photo Credit: A. Strakey – flickr.com