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Laax Banked Slalom

The 9th Banked Slalom LAAX is history. This snowboard contest is a testament to the spirit of the times: sustainably designed, fun on the board for everyone, no matter your hailing, how good or how young. Almost 300 riders from 6-60 years of age mastered the banked course, shoveled entirely by hand. The fastest were 18-year-old local Siria Poltera and US pro rider Harry Kearney.

Reto Poltera from the management in Laax and himself a participant in the race was delighted: “I’m absolutely happy! I feel the happiness and satisfaction of the riders here. The family feeling of snow surfers is something you only get with snowboarders. It’s really cool.”

Peter Bauer, expert on the scene as well as multiple winner in Laax, third this time, sums up the uniqueness of the course: “You come to Laax and don’t know where the Banked will take place this year. It’s somewhere different each time. Surprise, surprise. The terrain is always changed and the shapers really adapt the course to the terrain. The natural topography has a huge influence on the course, which makes it super interesting. This year it was mega intelligently built. Because it’s rather steep, there are little tricks built in that regulate the speed in a natural way. So you can always go on the attack and don’t have to check your speed. That’s great. And a big shout out to the shapers, because the course is organic.”

Naturally and in the spirit of Greenstyle LAAX, the snowpark LAAX team built the 19 banked turns with up to 12 shapers. Poltera is delighted with his team: “The entire course is handmade. That’s fantastic! Not a single machine hour was invested in the construction.” Neither was a single drop of diesel used to transport the materials; rescue sledges were utilized, and a power unit charged with renewable energy was used for the timekeeping.

 

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