U.S. Athletes Honored at Newschoolers and SNOWBOARDER Awards
In the midst of world-class freeski and snowboard competition at the 2020 Dew Tour, there were more than just podiums on the line. The best skiers and riders from all corners of their respective sports came together to celebrate each other’s accomplishments, both in competition and film. What many people don’t understand about U.S. Freeski and Snowboard athletes is that they excel far beyond slopestyle, halfpipe, and big air competition. Many extend their motivation and expertise into the world of film. Their hard work and the endless pursuit of their craft paid off at last week’s Newschoolers and SNOWBOARDER Awards.
On Thursday, Feb. 5, the first annual SNOWBOARDER Awards took place in Copper Mountain’s East Village where winners received Shark Snowsurf rideable trophies. SNOWBOARDER’s Mary Walsh described the developing scene the best, “Snow was dumping, stacking up for a powder day of epic proportions. Vail Pass was closed. I-70 was, too. For a few hours, Copper was an island as the snow just kept coming down.” Copper Island was the stage for a celebration of sliding sideways, and U.S. Snowboard Team members Jamie Anderson, Red Gerard, Hailey Langland, and Luke Winkelmann were all recognized for their accomplishments.
On top of collecting her third consecutive contest victory in three weeks, Jamie was named "Women’s Rider of The Year," but not for the reason’s you make think.
“I feel so honored to win rider of the year,” said Jamie. “I worked super hard last season and I felt so grateful to feel the love and support of the snowboard community in the room. Filming for Unconditional was the best thing I’ve done in a while and I’m really excited to ride more backcountry!”
Jamie put her heart and soul into Unconditional and it paid dividends. She still has plenty of runway ahead of her in professional snowboarding, but when she does decide to hang it up, she will leave a legacy far beyond contest riding.
Another film highlighted was JOY, starring Olympic gold medalist Red Gerard and U.S Snowboard Team alumni Sage Kotsenburg and Ben Ferguson. Appearances included U.S. Snowboard Team member Hailey Langland and team alumni Danny Davis, Brock Crouch, Nik Baden, and Gabe Ferguson. JOY was named "Movie of the Year."
Like Anderson’s film, JOY highlights Gerard and company’s pursuit of bigger mountains, creative lines, and powder conditions. It may have been competition that brought these riders together, but it was the journey to find deep snow that banded them together for the film.
U.S. Snowboard Team member Luke Winkelmann was crowned "Men’s Fan Favorite." The snowboard phenom from North Carolina has been making a name for himself, collecting multiple top-ten World Cup finishes as well invites to prestigious events like X Games and Dew Tour. Luke has only brushed the surface of what should be a stellar and well-rounded snowboarding career.
It’s safe to say the first annual SNOWBOARDER Awards were a success. See a full list of winners here.
The following day on Friday, Feb. 6, it was the freeskiers' time to shine at the 20th annual Newschoolers Awards. The ceremony followed a next-level powder day. It’s safe to say there were some jelly legs in the crowd, but that didn’t seem to affect the energy level in the room.
The night kicked off as U.S. Freeski Pro Team member and Olympian Caroline Claire earned the "Breakthrough Award."
“I want to say thank you to Newschoolers,” said Caroline. “I didn’t know this was an awards show, but maybe my name would just be posted on the internet,” Caroline said jokingly. “I want to thank my mom and dad, Faction skis for releasing a sick women’s segment in their movie The Collective. Special shout out to D-LO (Devin Logan), my hero.”
Later that evening, the all-female segment in The Collective was named the "Ladies Choice Best Female Edit," in which Caroline had a significant part.
The night continued with U.S. Freeski Pro Team member Hunter Hess earning the fan-voted "Trick of The Year" Award. Hunter landed a mind-melting triple Lincoln Loop on a natural quarter pipe as part of his short film Magma.
“I would like to say thank you to everyone here,” said Hunter. “This is surreal. Landing that trick was probably one of the best moments of my life. I was psyched to share it with all my best friends and now the whole Newschoolers community.”
Hunter went on to find more success alongside his friend and teammate Alex Hall as well as their filmer/editor Owen Dahlberg. Together, they not only won the "Highest Rated Video" Award, but also the "Best Short Film" Award. Hunter took the mic to offer up even more gratitude.
“This project was a bit of a dream for A-Hall and I, he said. “We talked about doing it for a long time and it took a while to get it together, but this year we decided to lock it down. Owen was super into it, and I think he made the whole thing happen for us. We couldn’t have had someone better on our team.”
Finally, Alex was also presented with the "Male Skier of the Year" Award. This came as no surprise as Alex has been on an absolute tear over the past two seasons. In 2019, Alex collected two X Games gold medals in both Aspen and Norway, won the Visa Big Air presented by Land Rover, and managed to put together two film parts in both Magma and Faction’s feature-length film The Collective, where he undoubtedly shined. In 2020, Alex continued is reign winning the 2020 Dew Tour streetstyle competition and earning second place in slopestyle.
Immediately following Dew Tour, Alex joined the Spyder Freeski Team, who also is the official apparel provider for the U.S. Freeski Team. His dedication to freeskiing and his overwhelming modesty makes him hard not to root for and he will surely be a great ambassador for Spyder Freeski.
It was a great night at the 20th annual Newschoolers Awards. See a full list of winners here.