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Natural Selection Alaska to premiere tomorrow

The Natural Selection Tour lands in Alaska a month and a half after Revelstoke
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Dustin Craven in the ‘Coliseum’. (Tom Monterosso/2023 Natural Selection Alaska)

It’s been a month and a half since the YETI Natural Selection Revelstoke competition brought in the best snowboarders in the world to compete in Revelstoke, but tomorrow the riders are back in action in Valdez, Alaska.

Changing the format once again, the Valdez competition will switch up the competition from how it happened in Revelstoke. In Revelstoke, the competition happened over the course of just one day, with all the riders taking on the same course. Valdez differed as the whole event still happened on one day, but the riders had three different venues to contend with.

When Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and Travis Rice won their respective competitions in the YETI Natural Selection Revelstoke, they –and the rest of the riders– rode the same face the entire day. With a multitude of lines within the same space, the riders could familiarize themselves with the terrain as the day went on.

In Valdez, the riders weren’t afforded that luxury at the venue that they called the ‘Coliseum’ within Chugach Mountains.

The plan was always to have the three events for the final stage happen on different faces. So, the quarter finals would happen in one area, the semi-finals in another, and the finals in a third place.

At the core of all Natural Selection competitions, since its inception, is a principle of allowing mother nature to have final say. The Valdez stage of the competition –like the Revelstoke stage– was given a window of time within which the competition would take place, depending on the weather. In Revelstoke, the tour was lucky, and the weather window opened up on the first Monday (March 6).

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In Alaska, the competition was less fortunate, and the riders had to postpone it. By the time they had the event, they were left with no more time in the weather window and had to have all three stages (quarter finals, semi-finals, and finals) on separate locations in just one day.

Local, Dustin Craven, will be hunting for a better result than in Revelstoke. Craven cracked the semi-final in Revelstoke before clashing against Rice who went on to win the event. Craven’s runs against Rice in Revelstoke were strong, and the rider took home a win in the competition last year at Baldface.

To watch the competition tomorrow, the video will be available on YouTube and on the Natural Selection Website.

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@ZacharyDelaney
zach.delaney@revelstokereview.com

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