The beginnings of a new contest series conceptualized by Travis Rice has all the elements snowboarding has been craving. We can't wait to see the serries roll out next year.

An expression session for the ages in Jackson Hole was the first step toward bringing snowboard icon Travis Rice’s vision to life: A world class big mountain competition series that combines freestyle tricks with freeriding artistry in Wyoming, British Columbia and Alaska. On January 27th, 2020, Travis Rice unveiled plans for a new freeride competition tour at three landmark North American sites that aims to begin in January 2021. To tease what’s to come, this announcement was paired with a test event on Rice’s home mountain of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort that included twelve of the world’s top backcountry riders. The test event, which worked to capture rider feedback and express the true potential of competitive snowboarding, was a product of extensive planning between Travis and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. “Jackson Hole and I have worked closely for years,” said Travis, “It is such a fun mountain to ride and I am really proud that after we pulled off (Natural Selection) over a decade ago, we now stand together, ready to bring such a paradigm-shifting event to life here that emulates the uniqueness of the local community that has had my back through it all.” By removing rocks and stumps during the summer while building wooden domes, takeoffs and landings across an entire mountain face, the course has proved to be the most arduous, yet fruitful endeavors that Travis has ever set out on. It offers opportunity to create the most rideable natural run the world has ever seen. The test event course was approximately 1/16th the size of what Rice and the team hope will be rideable in a future The Natural Selection Tour kickoff at the same location. “The event was a small version if what we’re building. We wanted to run this event so people have a better understanding of what we’re doing”, said Rice. “It’s a sliver of the bigger picture, and when we open it up, it’s going to be a lot different.” Riders from a myriad of generations of backcountry snowboarding got a chance to test their mettle on the downsized course. The illustrious group of elites included Austen Sweetin, David-Carrier Porcheron, Bode Merrill, Leanne Pelosi, Sage Kotsenburg, Pat Moore, Elena Hight, Werni Stock, Blake Paul, Nicolas Müller, Robin Van Gyn, Travis Rice and Hana Beaman. “To be able to see some of the best in the world come out and bring it under incredibly perfect Jackson Hole conditions… It was beautiful”, said Rice. “In 2008, when we ran the first Natural Selection here with Jackson Hole, that sparked this bigger idea. We’re now bringing it to its full expression as the Natural Selection Tour. The Natural Selection Tour is the culmination of over 20 years of experience, riding at the world’s top destinations, experimenting with several individual freeride competitions, and listening to the wishes of professional snowboarders, industry leaders and fans.” The Natural Selection Tour aims to begin in January 2021 at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, which was host to the original Natural Selection event in 2008. Stop two would take place at Baldface Lodge in Nelson, British Columbia, the same location that hosted Red Bull Supernatural in 2012 and Red Bull UltraNatural in 2013. The final stop plans to take place in Alaska at the Tordrillo Mountain Lodge tenure. “This is such a group effort," Rice said. "And I have to thank our whole production team, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort park and pipe crew, ski patrol for running safety, and on top of that, the riders and the entire snowboarding community for continuing to back us. It takes a village and we can’t do this alone.”

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