We picked this story up in The New York Times and as the event happens today had to bring it to your immediate attention. So if you are in the vicinity of the Williamsburg Bridge on the Lower East Side of Manhattan make sure you check out what is sure to be a really spectacular event.
Snowboarding comes to New York city– photo courtesy of Gianni Cipriano for The New York Times
The New York Times continues:
Over the last three weeks, a massive snowboard ramp has risen in East River Park, in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge. Nine stories tall and 150 yards long, it required more than 100 workers to build, and it has lured 16 of the world’s top professional snowboarders to compete in Thursday’s Red Bull Snowscrapers, billed as the largest urban snowboard event in North America.
Thanks to redbull for the video.
Riders, including the 2006 Olympic snowboarding gold medalist Shaun White, Travis Rice, and Terje Haakonsen, will zip down the ramp and soar 50 feet while performing aerial maneuvers before touching down on either side of a 36-foot-long ramp. A panel of judges will rate the best moves and style. The winner will get $50,000 of a $100,000 purse.
Admission is free. The event will also be broadcast live on the MSG Network and replayed on NBC on Feb. 15.
“There is a small percentage of folks that get to go up into the mountains and see snowboarding, and see these guys,” said Snowscraper organisers. “And to bring them into this urban setting where there’s millions of people, and bring the mountains to the people, is super important for us, good for the people of New York and good for the sport of snowboarding.”
“Snowboarding is starting to become a little more prevalent and people are starting to understand it a little more, like what a halfpipe is,” said Rice, 26, who is regarded as the sport’s most versatile rider and a favorite to win Snowscrapers.
All 16 riders will attempt their best tricks during an hourlong jam format. The top eight advance to a final.
With such a huge ramp, there will be a small margin for error. Overshooting the landing area means falling 50 feet; coming up short means striking the spine in the middle.
“It’s going to be challenging and dangerous,” Rice said. Then he added a sentiment that could also apply to the snowboarding economy these days: “But it’s going to separate the men from the boys.”
We will endeavour to bring you some footage and news of the event over the next couple of days.