Oakley Artic Challenge 2008

18-23 February 08

The Oakley Arctic Challenge, set to hit Oslo, Norway with an onslaught of insane riding from February 18th to 23rd 2008, is sure to be an event of legendary status

Terje world record Quarterpipe
Terje world record Quarterpipe
Photo: Silva

The Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour is coming to the final stretch of the 07/08 Tour with the fifth of only six competitions at the SIX(6)STAR level on the horizon. The Oakley Arctic Challenge, set to hit Oslo, Norway with an onslaught of insane riding from February 18th to 23rd 2008, is sure to be an event of legendary status. The best Quarterpipe riders in the business will be competing for 1000 TTR Ranking points, a piece of the $100 000 USD prize purse and a sparkling new $25 000 Oakley gold watch.

But this competition isnt just about awarding the greats with cash and prizes. Established by the man himself, Terje Haakonsen (NOR), The SIX(6)STAR Arctic Challenge has become an undisputed pillar in the history of snowboard progression, alongside the TTR Tour that Terje also helped to establish. Resulting from Terjes dedication to the sport is a week long, rider driven competition devoted entirely to riders, with a clear-cut focus on progression and genuine snowboard values. Terje proved this at last years event, breaking the world record and soaring to 9.8 m.

Now, in 2008, eyes are again set on Oslo, where a new world record could be set and big ranking changes could occur, setting up a climactic and nail-biting end to the Tour at the SIX(6)STAR Burton US Open in March.

Last years Arctic Challenge champ and recent winner of the Billabong Air & Style Quarterpipe, Kevin Pearce has set himself up as the rider to beat in Oslo. Impressive results during the season thus far have put Pearce in a position to move into Swatch TTR World No. 1 if he finishes in the Top 10 at the Arctic Challenge.

The only other rider that can challenge Pearce for Tour Lead is Peetu Piiroinen from Finland. Piiroinen came third in Quarterpipe at both the SIX(6)STAR ONeill Evolution in December and the recent Billabong Air & Style and could capture the TTR World No. 1 spot if he wins in Oslo and Pearce finishes 11th or lower. It will be incredible to see how this one plays out.

Piiroinen however, will also be hoping to hold on to his World No. 3 spot, as Halfpipe Title winner at the ONeill Evolution Andy Finch (USA), looks to close the gap and move into the TTR Top 3. Markus Keller (SUI), Scotty Lago (USA) and Nicolas Mueller (SUI) will all be fighting for a spot in the TTR Top 10 as well.

French rider Arthur Longo will look to keep his place in the Top 15 while Kim Rune Hansen, Quarterpipe Title winner of the SIX(6)STAR ONeill Evolution, attempts to move from 19th into the TTR Top 15. Manuel Pietropoli (ITA), who received the Swatch highest air award for his 8 m air at the ONeill Evolution Quarterpipe, will also be one to look out for as he sets his sights on the TTR Top 20.

The SIX(6)STAR Oakley Arctic Challenge marks a crucial point on the Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour, as riders attempt to post their best six results for a chance at the Word Tour Title. The Top 10 men and Top 5 women will also be receiving a portion of the $250 000 USD prize purse. The last chance to enter the Oakley Arctic Challenge is to qualify through the THREE(3)STAR Arctic Open taking place just a few days prior. The winner and the highest air go straight from The Arctic Open to the SIX(6)STAR Oakley Arctic Challenge. Now is as important a time as ever for riders to throw down their best tricks to get a piece of the action.

Confirmed Riders List for The Oakley Arctic Challenge:

  1. Kevin Pearce                               USA    Burton
  1. Kim Rune Hansen                         NOR    Burton
  1. Terje Haakonsen                          NOR    Burton
  1. Jake Blauvelt                               USA    Forum
  1. Arthur Longo                               FRA    APO
  1. Fumyuki Murakami                       JPN     Forum
  1. Takota Taniguchi                          JPN     Allian
  1. Manuel Pietropoli                          ITA     Burton
  1. Andy Finch                                  USA    Rip Curl
  1. Colin Frei                                    SUI     K2
  1. Markus Keller                              SUI     Dragon
  1. Scotty Lago                                USA    Flow
  1. Nicolas Muelller                            SUI     Burton
  1. Takaharu Nakai                           JPN     Burton
  1. Peetu Piiroinen                             FIN     Burton
  1. Shayne Pospisil                            USA    Drake
  1. Chad Otterstrom                          USA    Rossignol