Nokia Air & Style went down as THE most progressive contest in snowboard history as Travis Rice (USA) romped his way to victory with a double back-flip backside 180 to an ecstatic audience of 27,500 snowboard fans, and claimed the first 1000 TTR points of the season.
The mass crowd roared in awe as the world’s legends went all-out in a three-round best trick head-to-head battle, culminating in a final that pushed freestyle snowboarding to a level never seen before, cut from 16 to 8 to a four-rider Super-Final. Deserving their finalist positions, in the previous rounds Travis Rice (USA) delivered extraordinary technicality landing a frontside double-cork 1080-to-backside Rodeo; Risto Mattila (FIN) entering via a Cab 1080 nose-to-switch backside 540 and Antti Autti (FIN) stomped a frontside 1260 tail-to-switch backside 720. Local hero David Benedek (GER) landed an epic double-corked 1260 but couldn’t manage to repeat the same in the Super-Final.
Shaun White’s (USA) invincibility was blown away by the technical wizardry of Antti Autti, as White took fifth place. "What the hell do you need to do to win this contest! I’m stoked on my riding but it’s out of control!" quoted White. In any other normal contest White would have been assured pole position the Nokia Air & Style 06 panned out to cause a sensation. TTR CEO Drew Stevenson stated, "In all my years of snowboarding this was the sickest contest I have ever been to."
Constantly coloured by outstanding tricks, the night included Nicolas Müller’s (SUI) attempt at a one-footed Misty 720, which nearly came off as one of the hardest tricks of all time, earning huge respect from all riders. Finland’s Eero Ettala constructed a sweet switch double-back flip. Mikkel Bang (NOR) cleaned up with a backside 900 to earn the title of Rookie Challenge winner and secure a position in next year’s Nokia Air & Style at the Olympic Stadium, Munich.
Following Müller’s slopestyle and halfpipe results at the Abominable Snowjam in Mt Hood earlier in July, Müller’s 7th position meant his first TTR Ranking List Top Ten entry of the season: "I’m looking forward to the challenge to stay in the Top Ten – it feels good to be back there again. I’m trying my best at Nissan X-Trail to make that happen and hoping all the young guns won’t kick me out!"
Straight into the TTR Ranking List at Rank 30 with his first result of the season, Travis Rice looks set to be a hot contender in the fight to be TTR World Snowboard Champion 0607. "TTR is one of the best things to happen in snowboarding for a long time, and will help propel snowboarding in a credible and respectable way."
The suspense continues with the next 6 Star event Nissan X-Trail Jam at the Tokyo Dome 9th-10th December, 2006 as Rice competes again against White, Müller, Finch, Crepel amongst yet another board of legends and a further 1000 prestigious TTR Ranking points to grab.
Top Placing Oakley Riders at Nokia Air & Style 06:
Rookie Winner: Mikkel Bang (NOR)
Big Thank You To Markus Fischer of Pleasure Magazine For The Photos of Travis Rice.