Nike’s Snakes & Hammers

Speaking of sick original contest ideas, how about that recent Nike Snakes & Hammers bash in Montafon?!

A banked slalom intertwined with sick-arsed park features & some of the raddest snowboarders known to man. That’s basically it, and it looks like the best fookin fun you can have on a mountain.

Our boy Jamie Nicholls was in the mix, getting reunited with his film maker pal David Benedik, but it was Christian Haller who took the win, with Nicholls taking Best Hammer. Nice.


It was four unforgettable days from March 24-27, 2013 at Silvretta Montafon, Austria where 36 ams and 23 legends and pros competed in the third stop of Nike Snowboarding’s “Snake & Hammers.” The Montafon park crew stepped up to the challenge and concocted a course to challenge even the most seasoned pros. In addition to the turns and banks of a traditional banked slalom, the course also included a stairset, side-by-side kicker setup, half-bowl mega berm, a London gap through a snow tunnel to a straight rail, a halfpipe and a small hip. The aim of each rider was to snake down course as fast as possible while dropping their best “hammers“ along the way.

The set up in Montafon attracted Nike riders Peetu Piiroinen, Jamie Nicholls, Kevin Backstrom and Spencer O’Brien, who were joined by world class snowboarders Peter König, Thomas Feurstein, David Bertschinger Karg, Marco Smolla, Enzo Nilo, Stephan Maurer and Tor Lundstrom and esteemed legends David Benedek, Christoph Weber, Nico Droz, Nicola Thost, Bobby Meeks, Darius Heristchian and Steve Gruber.

On Monday, ten ams qualified for the finals, and after one weather day, the sun came out for the finals, where the best of the best rode for a share of the $10,000 prize purse. When the judging was complete Christian Haller of Switzerland showed he had the best mix of balance, speed and tricks. With a race time of 01:25,10, frontside lipslide on the gap downrail, frontside 720 tailgrab off the kicker and many other tricks he claimed a deserved win. Spencer O’Brien won the women’s contest by snaking down the course with her well documented power and style and the best hammer award went to Jamie Nicholls who threw a perfectly stomped backside 1080 off the kicker.

Christian Haller / SUI
Stephan Maurer / SUI
Peetu Piiroinen / FIN

Spencer O’Brien / CAN
Nicola Thost / GER
Aline Bock / GER

Jamie Nicholls / ENG

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