DAY 1 — The Knights Have Arrived

lifestyleNico Zacek & Nicky Keefer, photo: David Malacrida

The first day of the Suzuki Nine Knights was full of stoke as the riders arrived in a steady flow to sunny Livigno in the Italian Alps. Those who made it to resort this morning wasted no time and headed up to “Il Castello”  on Mottolino Fun Moutain to test out one of the most crazy Suzuki Nine Knights courses ever built. With snowboarders full-on representing this year, there was some serious excitement in the air, with everyone getting the feel for the many features – including a skate ramp!

Suzuki Nine Knights – Day 1 Warm-up SessionRoy Kittler & Nico Zacek, photo: Klaus Plozer
Made up of 150,000 m3 of snow, this year’s course is set to inspire even more creative riding than in the years past with its four distinct features: the main kicker table of 25m, the Blue Tomato Canon Rail, the O’Neill #unreasonable feature, and the massive 9m hip and mini-ramp combo.

skiFabian Bösch, photo: David Malacrida

Though the strong winds this afternoon made testing the biggest kicker impossible, the riders got to hit the small and middle sized kickers on the right side, using the table as a step up. Meanwhile, Swiss skier Fabian Bösch was killing it getting massive air off the side of the feature in order to reach the kicker landing. Choosing to make use of the rail rather than fly above it, Suzuki Nine Knights newcomer Keita Inamura (JPN) repeatedly stomped solid 3s and 5s off the rail. On the hip, skier Roy Kittler (GER) and snowboarder Sebbe de Buck (BEL) were already going huge, a great sign of things to come later this week.

snbKeita Inamura, photo: David Malacrida

According to Sebbe, the set-up truly promotes creative riding: “There’s just so many features, and on every feature there’s side hits. It’s great because you can pretty much hit something new during every run, all day long. We’re going to see a lot of creative lines and cool tricks. It’s going to be a very interesting week.”

snbSebbe de Buck, Photo: David Malacrida

Suzuki Nine Knights – Day 1 Warm-up SessionJossi Wells, Photo: Klaus Polzer

We agree. With the multiple sunset shoots, night shoots, and heli-sessions, it’s going to be a very interesting week indeed, so be sure to stay tuned!

Thanks to our partners Four Seasons Travel in Innsbruck the rest of the riders arrived later on in the afternoon, just in time for the welcome dinner in downtown Livigno.

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Top photo: Christof Schenk, photo: Klaus Polzer