If you’re into snow sports, and especially snowboarding, NBC will air the Red Bull Supernatural tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET. This is not your typical snowboarding event; it’s a backcountry-style, mile-long run with a smorgasbord of tree-line features, jumps and drops.
“A crew of British Columbia’s most bad-ass arborists and lumberjacks helped us build over 100 features on this mile-long run. We were able to make it so the conditions were perfect and 18 of the world’s top backcountry and competitive shredders got to ride what I consider the best run in the world for snowboarding. It’s a beautiful representation of what we love to do,” says Travis Rice, snowboarding icon and the brainchild behind Supernatural. “The snowboarding field is broken up into two groups, more or less: An incredibly talented crew of up and coming riders who are winning at the X Games, the Olympics and contests all over the world, and the legends of the sport who have graduated to a place where they’re primarily doing backcountry riding; more of the adventure side of things. Bringing those two worlds and these two incredible groups of people together was the goal of this event.”
Not only that, but viewers of the competition tomorrow can use the Shazam App to tag the show for exclusive Contour point-of-view footage from the eyes of the world’s most progressive riders.
By Shazam-enabling Red Bull Supernatural, you will have the ability to unlock and share dream runs, jaw-dropping landings and buttery transitions from the best mountain shredders in the world. Viewers activate the Shazam App with a single touch of a button on their mobile or tablet devices to automatically identify the in-show sounds and instantly unlock the exploits of the riders.
Once the Shazam App identifies the audio of Red Bull Supernatural on NBC, fans can also connect to related social media to enhance the overall experience of watching the best snowboarders in the world.
Watch a preview of how the Shazam App will come to life on the show and Shazam a Red Bull Supernatural trailer now to gain access to a never-before-seen Contour point-of-view clip.
There will be both verbal and visual prompts during NBC’s Red Bull Supernatural broadcast to encourage people to use Shazam and get access to exclusive Contour point-of-view footage from select competitors, including Rice and John Jackson, who will also be encouraging their fans to use Shazam during the show via their social networks. You can follow the Red Bull Signature Series onFacebookandTwitter (hash tag:#SigSeries); and Red Bull Supernatural at #supernatural.
“Come Saturday morning everyone will get to see this thing in its entirety. I really think it represents a paradigm shift in competitive snowboarding. It’s been years since we’ve taken what we do a step farther at the top level,” adds Rice.
So how does Rice do it? That is, ride the world’s most challenging backcountry terrain without breaking up, so to speak. Rice says the key for him is visualization; it’s what separates the confident boarder who can do just about anything from a more timid rider, and allows easier progression from one level of riding to the next.
“If you go into something and you don’t think it will work, it rarely works, but when you focus on it, visualize and tell yourself that you’re capable of it, that’s when things click,” says Rice. “I break things down as I ride. If you look at a problem as a whole bunch of moving parts and elements, that’s intimidating and it’s hard to see them all working simultaneously. But when you break it down from one element to the next and focus on what you need to do at that element to make it happen with the right speed, body position and so forth, it makes it easier to tackle the entire run.”
Rice admits it wasn’t always that easy. When he first transitioned from skiing to snowboarding at his home turf, Jackson Hole, it was rather awkward, he says.
“The beauty of snowboarding is that it has an incredibly sharp learning curve, but it can be a painful learning curve that first couple of days. As soon as you’re able to link one turn to another, it gets awesome really fast,” says Rice.
When I asked Rice about his favorite places to ski, he rattled off some areas in Europe and North America, but he said the best place for almost guaranteed fresh powder is Niseko, Japan.
“If you want to go on a purely pow trip, go to the northern island of Japan. They have hot springs, beer vending machines, night riding and these crazy Japanese trees. If you go for five days, you’re almost guaranteed to have a powder day at night, and there’s nothing like a powder night underneath the lights because there is so much definition with crazy shadows, sidelights and features that you can’t see during the day,” says Rice.
Thanks for tip! And, I’ll see y’all in Japan. In the meantime, don’t forget to tune into NBC on Saturday to see the future of snowboarding competition. And, by the way, make sure to check out Rice’s fine art and photography collection that you can own a piece of at his fine art shop in Jackson, Asymbol Gallery, and on the Web at www.asymbolgallery.com.