The X Games all-video "Real" contest series just crossed boundary lines into a whole new world. With the addition of Real Snow Backcountry presented by Burn, set to debut in conjunction with March's Winter X Games Tignes 2012, the series ventures into big-mountain snowboarding territory for the first time.
Just as Real Snow took snowboarding out of the parks and into the streets, Real Snow Backcountry takes the sport out of resorts and into natural terrain.
"I don't do many contests, but this format fits my style," says 2010 TransWorld Snowboarding and Snowboarder Magazine Rider of the Year, and 2012 Real Snow Backcountry competitor John Jackson. "It is a big motivational factor that we get to show this side of snowboarding, because riding with friends in the backcountry is a way of life for many of us."
In February, Jackson and seven other big-mountain freestyle snowboarders, including Devun Walsh, Iikka Backstrom, Nicolas Müller, Gigi Rüf, Jussi Oksanen, Mark Sollors and Mathieu Crépel, will be submitting 90-second video parts comprised of original footage for Winter X Games medal and Fan Favorite consideration.
On Feb. 21, all eight video-edits will be released on XGames.com, kicking off the beginning of the Fan Favorite online-voting window. Medal winners will be chosen by a panel of snowboard industry experts. Fan Favorite -- the winner of which takes home $10,000 -- will be chosen by fans. All contest winners will be announced during the live telecast of Winter X Games Tignes 2012 in France.
"I look at Real Snow like a piece of art rather than a contest," says Müller. "It's not just one stressful day being judged on the 'hardest' tricks. It's something totally different, with all this space to be creative, so even if you don't win, it's still something to be proud of."