Team Blog: Erika Vikander at the Subaru Freeride Series at Snowbird 2015

Erika Vikander

As you may or may not have figured out by now, slopestyle contests have been a driving force in my life for the past few years. It’s hard to realize that there are other aspects of snowboarding outside of what I like to call my “comfort bubble.” After blowing my knee last year, I just mentally wasn’t ready to hit big jumps and potentially risk another injury by pushing myself to do the Grand Prix in Mammoth. I opted out of doing the contest, and decided to sign up for the Subaru Freeride Series. It may have been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, snowboarding or not.

The event took place at Snowbird,UT which is an absolutely legendary place to ride. Having grown up in Montana, I felt pretty confident about my ability on a snowboard and being able to handle this terrain.

The day of Semi qualifiers we were greeted with 80+ mile an hour winds, with gusts of up to 120! Needless to say it was pretty low visibility, and harsh conditions. The event coordinators at the Freeride Series did an awesome job holding off until we could see a little better and let us compete about an hour and a half after the designated start time. Having not rode the line I chose due to my lack of knowledge during inspection, I was so happy to just make it down the run in one piece. I ended up qualifying for finals in 6th position out of 7 girls, so I just barely made it!

The finals day we were on a different portion of the mountain called North Baldy, the hike to the start was unbelievably beautiful and serene. I was able to get a good line down in our one run inspection, and felt at ease for the rest of the day. We inspected at 8:30am and didn’t end up riding until 3:45pm, so by that time I was a little antsy to say the least!

The energy of the crowd and people at these events is something I haven’t experience at a contest in a very long time. Huge smiles all around, people drinking beer, grilling in the sunshine, it was my kind of scene indeed. I was able to put down a solid run with a few airs, some technical lines, and a little rock hopping and put myself on the podium in 2nd place! I couldn’t be more pleased with this whole experience and CANNOT wait for the next stops on this series—next one will be at Telluride March 4-8th!

Huge shoutout to the Subaru Freeride Series and all of their sponsors, all of my sponsors and supporters who got me here, and my family that stands behind me every step of the way—including my big brother and his girlfriend who came out to watch! Also a huge thanks to all of the hard working filmers and photographers who provided me with these awesome shots (Jay Dash, Sean Ryan and Amy Jimmerson).

Here is a full preview of the live webcast:    (my run is at 4:50:52)

Photo Gallery:

Posted by Gabby Rainville on 02/18/15

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