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Looking out the window of the Mpora office at the moment, we can't help but be reminded of MC Devvo's "classic" tune. Summer, it seems is well and truly here.

Well, spring at least. We're sure the weather will turn to shit again by the weekend. But either way, the winter that was 2013-2014 is definitely drawing to a close.

The resorts that are still open are busy hosting pond-skim parties, wacky races-style drink-and-ski-athons or weird folk music festivals.

Only a few resorts in Europe and the US remain open, and those that are are busy hosting pond-skim parties, wacky races-style drink-and-ski-athons or one of those weird folk music festivals that seem to be a feature of every ski town's off-season. You know, the ones where the remnants of once-mighty 80s rock bands wash up to plug their solo "comeback" albums.

With nearly all the significant events of the season done and dusted, we thought now would be a good time to look back at the standout moments of the winter. These aren't the best, or the worst, just the ones that - for us at least - stuck in our memories.

So in no particular order, here we are...

[part title="Barack Obama says “Air to Fakie""]

One of the best things to come from the biggest event of the season (the Olympics duh - of which more later) was the emergence of Sage Kotsenburg as the new public face of snowboarding.

Sage has been splashed across the mainstream media and paraded on chat shows, panel shows and every other kind of show like a performing monkey.

When the leader of the free-world is talking about "back to back double corks" Sage Kotsenburg must've done something right!

While he might sometimes have wondered at the point of some of this, it's had an impressive impact on the American people at large.

I mean when the leader of the free-world is talking about "back to back double corks" he must've done something right!

[part title="Anna Gasser's Cab Double Cork"]

Speaking of double corks, this was a pretty significant one - the first ever by a woman on a straight park kicker.

The start of the season saw the Stubai Glacier graced with one of the best set-ups around - apparently they'd done a cut, copy and paste job on the Sochi course, and the pros were flocking to hone their skills.

This relatively unknown Austrian prodigy used the set-up to crank it up to 900 for a cab double.

The shapers had done a cut, copy and paste job on the Sochi course, and the pros were flocking to hone their skills.

Naturally there were usual pedants and naysayers questioning whether it could actually be called a cab double cork or "just" a double underflip.

But pair it with the fact she sent a back 180 that would have Devun Walsh questioning his career choices just before the double, and I think its safe to say this was pretty damn legit.

[part title="Coaches Cause Much Mirth in Sochi"]

With her doublecork under her belt, Anna Gasser duly headed to the Olympics. There, she dropped in before she was meant to, giving her coach a chance to become a star in his own right - though not, perhaps in the way he might have anticipated.

Finnish rider Roope Tonteri's coach did rather better, showcasing snowboarding's punk rock attitude by doing the least punk thing possible - knitting at the start gate. What a dude!

Nothing says "I don't give a fuck" like doing something completely unexpected...


[part title="Supernatural Suspended... But Art of Flight Sequel is Go!"]

Travis Rice with a Red Bull Helicopter. Photo: Scott Serfas

Travis Rice dropped the news that the epic Red Bull-sponsored backcountry contest at Baldface Lodge (the Supernatural and then the Ultranatural) was taking a break in the ‘lympic year despite two-seasons of strong competition.

Every cloud has a silver lining though. And it seems that the Bull’s budget instead went into the double halfpipe event at Aspen, and there was also some pocket money left to start filming the sequel to the Art of Flight.

Incredible what you can get for a few million quid these days…

[part title="ESPN Pull The Plug on the Tignes X Games"]

X Games fans looking bummed. Photo: Ed Blomfield


In a "surprise surprise, but was it really a surprise?" kind of moment, ESPN announcement that the Tignes X Games was to be no more. If not entirely positive, it was certainly a significant moment.

It was always rad to see some of the worlds best riders throw down in France, but as I pointed out in an article for Whitelines at the time, taking the pinnacle of European competition out of the hands of an American TV network may not be a bad thing.

And as the French say “Zere iz non point crying ovaa spilt Red Bool"

[part title="Snowboarders Get Invited to Nine Queens"]

In another very under-hyped release, the team behind the frankly jaw-dropping construction of the Nine Queens project in Livingo, Italy announced they would be inviting their sideways standing brethren for the first time in 2014.

Bearing in mind this event has seen some of the most progressive riding for female skiers over the last few years – it’s amazing to see the snowboard dames going along as well.

Bravo to the skiers for opening the drawbridge to them.

[part title="Eiki Helgason Tries An Insane Double Frontflip On A Wall... And Takes A Pounding "]

As the brother of snowboard superstar Halldor Helgason Eiki maaaaaaybe sometimes finds himself overshadowed by his brother’s antics.

Nonetheless, as he showed once again in his Real Snow part for the X-Games Eiki is a baws in his own right.

Despite taking more of a hammering than one of the girls from Geordie Shore on a Saturday night out, he still finally stomped this sorta blocking wallride to double frontflip to fakie on a chimneystack.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

[part title="Method!"]

Like his brother Eiki, Halldor is never one to fit comfortably into a pre-approved mould. As the first rider on course for the X-Games Aspen Big Air Finals,  he decided to go for the most timeless trick in snowboarding: the method.

Like a back-scratching, two-fingered salute to the X Games judges, this trick said "snowboarding isn't about spinning to win, it's about fun."

This wasn't our favourite one of the season though - while Halldor's method may have enough tweak to take your eyes out, the method of the year has to go to Kent Callister for this ridiculous methods in the pipe. First in Sochi then at the US Open.

kent_callister-76400 (1)

kent_callister-76400 (1)

[part title="Sven Thorgren's Viking Rampage"]

Young Swede Sven Thorgren had been killing it on the World Rookie Tour for some time and also competing on the World Snowboard Tour just for japes.

But 2013/14 saw him come out with all snus blazing; snapping up a myriad of medals, cold-hard cash and teenage hearts with this part and a killer season all-round.

Boy’s got flat spins that you’d need a protractor to measure the wobble on and a bag of rail tricks to suit.

I for one am very excited to see this young man continue on the competitive tour in 2015.

[part title="Jed Anderson's Never Not Part"]

Jed Anderson is the crown prince of jibbing, the man who (willingly or otherwise) has done more to take the tight-trousered park rat look into the mainstream than any other rider.

This is due to a large extent to the fact that his major sponsor is Nike and as you'd expect, he played a massive part in their award-winning first movie this year.

While Gigi Rüf or Halldor's video parts in the same movie probably won more plaudits from ordinary snowboarders, it was Jed's, with its super-tech rail combos and innovative lines, that attracted the attention of core industry types.

[part title="RK1 Show Why Norway Rocks"]

The Norwegian RK1 do it for me in ways that girls can’t.

I wouldn’t stretch as far as saying they do it for me in ways that Emma Watson could, but if it was the choice between watching Stale Sandbech, Len Jorgensen, Aleks Ostreng and Olav Stubberd (filmer) proveribially ‘reducto’-ing every park they ride and ‘diffindo’-ing Emma’s undergarments, it’d be a tough choice.

Team this crew's insane talent in a park with some guest appearences from Torgeir Bergrem, Ulrik Badetscher, Kevin Backstrom and even (occasionally) Steve-O of Jackass fame, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a cocktail.

(Oh and Emma baby, if you’re reading this, it’s a barefaced lie. It’d be you every time babe. Every time.)

[part title="Nike Never Not Part Two"]

Nike's first major movie release included not just several of the standout parts of the season (three of which have made this list) but also an entire second "part" dedicated to documenting the process behind filming and being a pro snowboarder.

Check out the first two minutes just to see Nicolas Muller riding with only the sound of the snow scrunching beneath his board.

It's not the gasp-a-minute trick fest that Part 1 is, but if you've got a spare 45 minutes, this is well, well worth watching.

If not, then at least check out the first two minutes, just to see Nicolas Muller riding with only the sound of the snow scrunching beneath his board... magical eh?

[part title="Christy Prior 'Does The Boarding'"]

Two months ago Christy Prior dropped an edit so good I thought I was going to have to check into the err... Priory for rehab on my eyes after watching.

Double Wildcat? Christy got that. 270 on 270 off? Christy got that. Nose blunt that defies Newton’s three laws? Christy got that.

Oh and in case you're one of those who doesn't like helmeted contest riders, check this edit from the season before. Fisherman's hat steeze? Christy got that too.

[part title="Seb Toots Smashing Whistler"]

The young French speaking Canuck dropped an edit a few weeks before Sochi displaying his herculean kicker capability on the slopes of Whistler Blackcomb.

Seb as the 2nd place World Snowboard Champion (WST not FIS) is such a threat on any slopestyle course that I find myself consistently surprised that the US Government haven’t sanctioned him under some NATO convention.

I find myself consistently surprised that the US Government haven’t sanctioned him under some NATO convention.

Apart from the slightly odd edits he dropped at the end of last season, he can usually be relied on to put out some of the sickest comp rider's edits going.

Unfortunately he couldn’t convert his skills to a top spot in Sochi, but at least we have this eh?

[part title="Scott Stevens Full Part"]

Scott Stevens sensually stimulating standout snowboarding strokes salivary sensations so seemingly superfluously, sometimes… ah shit.

Put it this way, if snowboarding was around in the 1600’s, I’m almost certain Scott Stevens would have been burnt at the stake as a witch. Honestly, his skills are some kind of black magic.

If snowboarding was around in the 1600’s, I’m almost certain Scott Stevens would have been burnt at the stake as a witch.

This part won the judges choice award at the Reels Festival in Annecy, in France. On collecting his award Scott (modest fellow that he is) apparently had tears in his eyes.

[part title="Yawgoons Get Ridiculous"]

The name Yawgoons sounds like some sort of Roald Dahl-esque kind of story that takes place in the far away land of Yawgoon Valley. But these edits aren’t for children.

These chaps make sweet and passionate snowboard love to batshit crazy features in such a way that I think it classes as the best bestiality I’ve ever seen. Oh wait, shit, I mean the only bestiality! I said ONLY!

[part title="Rome Spend 12 Months On the Road"]

Rome has never been a company to follow the trends of the rest of the snowboard world.

It seems each year, the video world gets more and more fragmented with different riders doing projects and brands cutting back on team films in favour of websidoes.

In the case of Rome, they found a neat way to combine the two.

Each year, the video world gets more and more fragmented.

They have a ridiculously heavy team these days ranging from competition killers to urban foxes roaming the dark streets at night just looking for that next hit.

So they followed their team around for 12 months, made a different edit each month (which they dropped online) with different riders and then put it all together into one film at the end. Et voila: Rome 12 Months.

[part title="Elias Elhardt Puts Out The Part the World's Been Waiting For"]

I'm impressed by the whole of Elias Elhardt's epic powder part from Pirate Movie Productions Distorted Reality, but what I really want to bring your attention to is that frontside 180/stalefish combo.

Elias boosts so high off that cliff that I’m surprised he didn’t show up on air force radar.

He then holds that grab a damn sight longer than Rose holds Jack’s fingers in Titanic, and stomps the landing so hard I find it hard to believe it didn’t show up on the Richter scale.

Bravo Elias you absolute mentalist.

[part title="Burn Make a Decent Movie About Snowboarding's History"]

While there have been a few attempts at the history of snowboarding, in my opinion none of them have reaaaalllly hit the nail on the head.

Both surfing and skateboarding have had the Stacy Peralta treatment with the Riding Giants and the Bones Brigade respectively, but there’s been no spine tickling snow-based film until last year.

OK so strictly speaking this was released at the end of the 2012/13 season, but we're counting it 'cos it's good.

Sponsored by Burn, We Ride gave a comprehensive history of the sport in a way presentable to both mainstream and core riders and it was it was directed and put together by a Brit. Take that Benedek.

[part title="Torah Bright Bosses the Olympics"]

Torah Brigh. Photo: Matt Georges


She didn't win everything, but for us Torah Bright was still the biggest star of the Olympics. Having taken gold in Vancouver, she could have given up comps all together to ride powder - and in fact, that's pretty much what she did for the past four years.

She did it all with a massive smile on her face.

When she came out of semi-retirement for Sochi, it was only because she'd decided that this time she was going to do the Olympics on her own terms, and take on every discipline going.

Yep, that’s right: slopestyle, halfpipe and boardercross. And best of all? She did them all with a massive smile on her face. She didn't win everything (although a silver in halfpipe is still pretty frickin' good!) but she looked super stoked to be there.

[part title="YoBeat's Hateline Wins The World Over"]

On the other side of the Atlantic lives a site so filled with disgust, pity and anger; they had to make an entire show just called Hateline to get it all out in one go.

Whilst I failed to be won over by the first few episodes, by the time the third rolled around, I genuinely looked forward to the shitty intro, crappy green screen and graphics that looked like they were done on Microsoft paint.

It’s now become a Tuesday tradition with my Finnish colleague Anssi to wait for the edit to drop and then go to the pub after to talk about it. Well-played YoBeat. Well played.

[part title="Bode Merrill Puts Out This Winning X Games Real Snow Part"]

For all I wasn't crying too hard over the loss of X Games France, I'm no X hater. Their Real Snow competition is genuinely innovative, and a cool way of getting thrusting the more niche world of street filming into the competitive spotlight.

Not only that, the chunky cash prizes on offer drive the eight handpicked riders to put out some insane parts each year. Like this one, which won Bode Merrill the judges award and the gold medal for 2014.

Honestly, is there anything this dude can't do with one foot unstrapped? Mental.

[part title="The Crash Reel Tells Kevin Pearce's Story"]



As I mentioned earlier, since 91 Words for Snow it had felt like snowboarding was missing out a bit on the documentary stakes. But this year changed all that.

With the Crash Reel, We Ride and Mission Antarctic all dropping this year we were spoilt for choice.

Kevin Pearce's dramatic story got the Hollywood treatment with a documentary filmed pre and post of his horrendous halfpipe accident. It focussed less on the snowboarding and more on the consequences of living with a traumatic brain injury, but was a better film for it.

A must see for every snowboarder and a must see for people in general. I'm sure I'm not the only person who's eyes seemed to spring a leak at one point during the movie…

[part title="Jackson's Hole Is Somehow Given the Green Light Again"]

Someone in Red Bull's commissioning department deserves a pint from pretty much every snowboarder out there, for green-lighting this insane combination of radness randomness and out and out idiocy once again.

Seasons 1 and 2 were great anyway, and then for season 3 they added Sophie Nicholls...

[part title="Brage Richenberg Steps Into The Spotlight"]

I first noticed Brage Richenberg, the Norse snowboard warrior, back in 2012 at the World Snowboard Championships in Norway. His riding wasn't just technical, it was super-stylish.

He also raised the eyebrows of Nike Snowboarding’s Jon Weaver who deemed him “a bauss".

At the end of last season Brage became quite possibly the first person brave/stupid/talented enough to try a double wildcat off the knuckle of the jump, which raised a few more eyebrows.

But it was 2013-14 when he properly stepped into the snowboarding spotlight, grabbing a storming 3rd place at the O’Neill Pleasure Jam and then snatching a gold medal at the Burton European Open.

Bravo Brage.

[part title="Rowan Coultas' Continuing Rise"]

After putting out this impressive edit in the build up to the winter, Mayrhofen local and contest killer Rowan Coultas went on to have a belter of a season on the competitive circuit.

Kicking this off with the O’Neill Pleasure Jam at Superpark Dachstein, he jetted off to China for the Red Bull Nanshan Open before swiping both the mens and the rookies categories at the latest Austrian Shred Masters just a few weeks ago.

He then went on to the Spring Battle at Absolut Park in Flachauwinkl where fellow Brit Billy Morgan took home the glory. Big things are coming for Row in the next year, mark my words.

[part title="The Grindhouse Step It Up a Gear"]

The Grindhouse are the only UK crew that are making full-length snowboard films at the moment.

Last season they stepped things up a notch from their debut feature (Scare Money) with the slicker-looking Mind Games. With more locations, more riders, more budget, better riding and better filming the release marked a big step up - and their UK premiere was one hell of a party.

The crew, headed up by Jamie Durham are filming for their third film this season and it’s looking like it's going to be another belter of a movie.

We’ve already seen snippits of footage from them out in Minnesota slaying the proverbial shit out of terrain. And while we’ll have to wait until September to see the fruits of their labour on the screen, we can't wait.

[part title="Jake Blauvelt Puts Out Naturally"]

Jake Blauvelt dropped his two-year project Naturally earlier this year much to relief of people like myself who had been holding their breath in anticipation.

The 30 minute-or-so film was edited by a non-snowboarder which gave the film a different kind of vibe than the majority of snowboard films.

The soundtrack was incredible and the locations and camera work were nothing short of breath-taking.

The soundtrack was incredible, the locations and camera work were nothing short of breath-taking and it managed to be groundbreaking despite the fact that there wasn't a handrail - or a spin over 1080 - anywhere in the movie.

Jake's riding was obviously the highlight, but one of things I loved most about the film was watching rider like Shayne Pospisil and Freddy Kalbermatten, who are incredibly talented but underrated, getting the opportunity to go out and kill it for the big screen.

[part title="Avalanche Sharks Melts The Internet"]

Not all snowboarding films over 35 minutes were Oliver Stone epics this year. For some reason un-beknownst to God, Allah or however else it is that runs this gaff, someonebody decided to make a film called Avalanche Sharks.

The trailer for this "every bit as shit as it sounds" movie became an overnight internet classic, following hot on the heels of Sharknado and Sand Sharks.

Which, while they might not be Citizen Kane and Gone With The Wind, still puts this film in pretty illustrious company.

I did try and watch the actual film by the way, but about 10 minutes in I wanted to slit my wrists. Still, not as bad as Chalet Girl though…

[part title="Kazu Sticks it to The Man"]

Japanese slayer Kazu Kokubo has never shied away from controversy. He got sent home by the Japanese Olympic Committee from the Vancouver Games for having his shirt untucked (yes, for having his shirt untucked!) and was forced to apologise to the Japanese public.

To be honest, I’m surprised they didn’t put him on report card for that stunt. Anyway, despite not actually going to the 'Lympics this year, Kazu once again stuck it to the man in 2014 by literally sticking it to the judges at the X-Games. And in an instant, he summed up a lot of people's opinion on the X-Games' occasionally questionable judging.

[part title="Victor de le Rue and Mathieu Crepel dominate Absinthe's Dopamine"]

Victor de le Rue. You'll have to buy Absinthe's movie Dopamine if you want to watch his part, but it's worth it!

If Frenchman Victor de le Rue has lived in the shadow of his older, more famous brother, the freerider Xavier, then this was the season where he stepped out of it and became a superstar in his own right.

Those who've watched his rise have long been predicting that Victor had a part like this in him, but his Absinthe Films' ender still had many people saying "holy shit!" Unfortunately the part isn't available for free online, but iTunes will happily take your money for it if you'd like to be similarly wowed.

Meanwhile his compatriot Mathieu Crepel a man who is arguably still better known as a pipe rider than a backcountry wizard, had a similarly impressive part in the movie. Does this mark a shift towards La France for Absinthe?

[part title="Mervin Manufacturing Goes Independent"]

The dudes at Mervin build Lib Tech, Gnu and Roxy boards. Photo: Ed Blomfield.

After 17 years of ownership, Quiksilver sold Mervin Manufacturing - the company behind the Lib Tech and Gnu boards and one of the oldest brands in snowboarding.

Quik were apparently making budget cuts across the board, and the ever-so-slightly crazy Seattle-based company didn't fit into their longer term plans. The two parted ways on good terms apparently, and Mervin will continue making Roxy's boards for Quiksilver in the future.

This could be taken as a positive or a negative. Lib Tech's Willy Wonka-esque founder Mike Olsen admitted in the past that Quiksilver had pretty much saved his company when they bought it in the 90s. And under Quik's ownership Mervin had definitely thrived.

But with new investors behind him, the prospect of Mike and Mervin being given completely free rein to pursue their more madcap ideas is undoubtedly exciting.

[part title="Silje Norendal Fulfils Her Potential"]

It’s safe to say Silje Norendal could retire right now and she’d still be one of the most popular female snowboarders in the world. Since the Olympics, I’ve had more than one non-snowboard friend come up to me and ask who "the hot Norwegian slopestyle rider was."

But while she's always been able to attract attention because of her looks, this was the season where Silje really stepped it up in riding terms as well, following up her X Games France gold medal with one at the X Games in Aspen. In doing so she beat Jamie Anderson - widely recognised as the best female slopestyle rider ever - for the second time.

Not that the commenters on her Instagram photos would know anything about that - for real, reading the comments under her photos is like watching a legion of randy terriers humping a teddy bear.

[part title="Tinder-lympics"]
Look at that headline!

Possum Torr

If like myself you’re familiar with the old left swipe, right swipe conundrum that Tinder brings think yourself lucky that the Daily Mail isn’t reporting on your preferences on the iPhone app.

Unluckily for Kiwi rider Possum Torr, the well-reputed, respected and not-known-at all-for-taking-things-out-of-context journalists at Paul Dacre's muck-raking rag were. Obviously the team at the Daily Mail were just a bit jelly that they didn’t get to kiss the lucky egg.

[part title="Joe Sexton Releases This Video Part"]

As anyone who watched the "People" movies will know that Joey Sexton has been killing it for years, so it was perhaps no surprise that Videograss gave him the opening section of their movie.

But even knowing all that, we were still blown away when we saw this part - the kid's technical rail skills are second to none and his eye for a good spot is next level. As his one-time mentor JP Walker would say - damn son!

[part title="Jason Robinson Crawls Out of The Woodwork"]

Jason Robinson. Photo: Andy Wright

Jason Robinson was not a rider we'd really heard of before last season, but following a storming Absinthe Films part this insanely fast-charging freerider can be said to have well and truly arrived.

The movie part came accompanied by a series of photos that made snowboard magazine editors' jaws hit the floor the world over.

The video part is no longer available online (you'll have to actually buy the Absinthe film from iTunes - I know, crazy right?) but if you're too skint/stingy to do so, then just ogle the shot above, and hold tight, because we're sure to be hearing a lot more from Jason in the future.

[part title="Quiksilver Back Danimals and co."]

Quiksilver may have made cuts to some parts of their marketing budget, but they were also busy investing in new areas.

The brand, which is most often associated with movies like Travis Rice's hyper-produced That's It, That's All and Art Of Flight surprised everyone last year by signing up underground jib hero (and star of several Videograss movies) Danimals.

They then put out a movie that consisted pretty much entirely of cutting edge urban riding, featuring cameos from the likes of Jake Olsen Elm amongst others. Pretty left-field!

[part title="Gigi Ruf Puts Out One Hell of A Part"]

Gigi Rüf is so prolific, he's often put out three full-length powder parts in a single season - one for Pirates, one for Absinthe, and one for whichever sponsor movie he's filming for that year.

This year though rumour had it that his deal with Nike included the stipulation that he film only for them - so all his mind-blowing action shots were condensed down into this awesome four minute part.

If you haven't already, do yourself a favour and watch it now.

[part title="Xavier de le Rue Returns to the Antarctic"]

This season saw Xavier de le Rue once again stake his claim to be the best freerider on the planet right now. His latest movie, Mission Antarctic, saw him return to the icy wasteland he'd first explored with Jeremy Jones in the Relentless movie Lives of the Artists 2 and absolutely dominate it.

Fast, technical descents in the sketchiest of conditions at the ends of the earth? No-one does it like XDLR...

[part title="Billy Morgan Sends It To The Moon in Sochi"]

Billy Morgan sending it in Sochi. Photo: Nick Atkins/Scene Images

Before the Olympics, many people in the UK were secretly (or not so secretly) hoping that Billy Morgan would steal a march on his better known rivals and maybe even sneak a medal.

He might not have had the reputation of say Mark McMorris or Max Parrot, but he definitely had the tricks. And having come up relatively late in snowboarding, Billy was used to playing the underdog.

In the event, Billy made the finals in style. Disappointingly he fell on what he admitted were his "easiest" tricks, but that didn't stop him stomping a new triple cork variation (just for the hell of it) or throwing down a crowd-pleasing backflip on his final hit. It also didn't stop him smiling - lad!

[part title="Sina Candrian Cranks It To 10"]

Whilst this came to light in May 2013 it was - in this writer’s opinion - one of the most underrated moments of the last 12 months. Maybe it was because the majority of the snowboard world was off tanning themselves in Bali?

Either way when, with typical Swiss precision, Sina Candrian sent a huge frontside 1080 on a gap jump at Snowpark Laax late last season it didn't get nearly the "holy shit!" reaction I felt it deserved.

She also threw it in her run at the Olympics, making her the first to land it in competition. She might have finished 0.25 points away from the bronze medal spot, but it was still a monumental moment in women’s snowboarding.

[part title="Jamie Nicholls Goes For Broke"]

Jamie Nicholls having it large in Sochi. Photo: Nick Atkins/Scene Images

Jamie Nicholls, long marked out as the British snowboard scene's "chosen one" was a trailblazer for British men despite the fact that the ink of his driving licence is probably still drying.

But with Billy Morgan having a storming few seasons, I heard more than one person discount Jamie as a serious contender going into the Olympics.

In Sochi Jamie proved his doubters wrong and then some, throwing down the run of his career by kicking things off with a cab 1440 flatspin - an insanely technical trick that he'd only landed a handful of times before. What a hero!

[part title="Desiree Melancon Puts Out Arguably the Best Women's Video Part Ever"]

It's a bold claim that, but honestly watch this section from Think Thank's Brain Dead and Having a Heart Attack. 

She's technical, she's stylish, her choice of spots is innovative, she's got a big bag of tricks and she makes it look like fun.

This is so far ahead of the curve in terms of pushing the "progressive" envelope that it makes Pink Floyd sound like punk.

More please Desiree!

[part title="Ed Leigh and Tim Warwood Set the BBC Ablaze"]

Tim Warwood, Aimee Fuller and Ed Leigh in the commentary box in Sochi.

Upping Ed Leigh's involvement in the Olympic commentary for 2014 (following on from his epic debut at the 2006 Games and impressive follow-up in Vancouver) was an inspired choice by the BBC. Pairing him with fellow shredder Tim Warwood was a stroke of genius.

As well as snowboard slopestyle, halfpipe and boardercross the Beeb put this quick-firing comedy duo in charge of commentary for the freestyle skiing disciplines and damn did they deliver.

OK so the newspapers (well, the Daily Wail and the Torygraph) went to town on the fact that 300 people complained about their getting emotionally involved in Jenny Jones' bronze medal moment, but do you know how many people wrote in in support? Nearly 2,000.

It's like Matt Damon said in Good Will Hunting “You like apples? Yeahh, well how do you like THESE APPLES?!?"

(PS. My favourite Ed and Tim moment? “ Kent’s method is like a magical eagle…oh…wait…here it is... JURASSIC PARK")

[part title="Much Ado About Cheryl Maas"]

In the run up to the games, controversy didn’t quite rage as it did storm about Russia’s downright disgusting stance on LGBT rights. Much ado was made about the various LGBT athletes that were competing at the games and whether or not they would make a protest against Russia’s bigotry.

In the end, only Dutch snowboard legend Cheryl Maas made anything that could have been considered a "statement" - the out gay rider flashed a pair of rainbow mitts at the camera during qualifying.

While Cheryl herself remained silent on whether or not the gesture was a deliberate protest (admitting as much could have seen her disqualified for making a political point) millions of people took it as such - and took to Twitter to show their support.

And although it's hardly a Tommie Smith and John Carlos moment, we have to claim this as a victory for snowboarding - after all, I didn't see any ice-skaters or curlers brave enough to fly the rainbow flag, did you?

[part title="Shaun White Doesn't Win in Sochi"]

Shaun White managing to look gracious in defeat in Sochi. Photo: Tristan Kennedy


He might not have enjoyed it much, but there's no doubt that Shaun White not winning anything in Sochi was one of the defining moments of the snowboarding season - if not the decade.

The man who'd dominated competition for so long, and was going into the event as a favourite (in some people's minds) for two gold medals, came away with nothing. Not silver, not bronze, nothing.

There were of course many contributing factors, not least the fact that Ayumu Hirano and Iouri Podlatchikov simply outclassed him on the night. But watching from the ground, Whitelines Magazine simply concluded that in the end Shaun didn't want it enough. 

Which made it less surprising when he announced his retirement from competitive snowboarding a month or so later... 

The statement that appeared on Shaun's official Facebook page earlier this afternoon.

[part title="A New Era of Competitive Halfpipe Riding Begins"]

IPod finds out he's the new Olympic Gold Medallist. Photo: Nick Atkins/Scene Images

The king is dead. Long live the king. Of course, Shaun White's defeat meant the crowning of a new Olympic gold medallist - Iouri Podladtchikov.

Whether the personable Swiss rider will go on to dominate the sport in the way White did is debatable. Not least because the silver medallist - 16-year-old Ayumu Hirano - is not so much nipping at his heels as gnawing them off.

But what is certain is that with White's dominance over, a new and exciting era of competitive snowboard halfpipe riding has begun. What happens next will be very interesting.

[part title="Halldor Helgason Throws This Backflip"]

The whole of Halldor's part in Nike's Never Not is worthy of inclusion in this list. It's insane (watch it below if you don't believe us).

But it was this moment that really stood out and marked the man out as a true superstar. Is there anything that sums up snowboarding's "don't give a fuck" attitude better than this nutter sailing upside down over a 60-foot building gap while wearing a neck brace?

If there is, I've yet to see it. Awesome.

[part title="Snowboarding Wins the Olympics"]

There were many naysayers going into the Sochi Olympics. On the mainstream side you had people like Bob Costas claiming the sport was better suited to an episode of jackass.

On the core side you had the legend that is Terje Haakonsen railing against everything Olympic related.

And in the middle there were ordinary snowboarders worrying that somehow the sport would be damaged by over-exposure to the mainstream.

That the riders might have to act differently somehow. That the event wouldn't show "real" snowboarding. In the event, we needn't have worried.

Sage Kotsenburg mid-way through a stylish double-grabbed spin. Photo: Nick Atkins/Scene Images

The softness of the halfpipe aside, the Russians did a fantastic job of organising a top-level snowboarding comp and the riders responded by producing the best display of competitive slopestyle riding the world has ever seen.

Not only that but the judges appeared to reward what most people would consider stylish riding, and while in the men's I personally think Stale (who got silver in the end) was robbed, there's no denying that the laid-back, long-haired Sage Kotsenburg makes a great mainstream spokesman for the sport.

Jamie Anderson meanwhile is the best champion women's slopestyle riding could hope to have. And even in the halfpipe seeing new faces like Kaitlyn Farrington and Ayumu Hirano with medals round their necks was refreshing.

Best of all though, was the fact that he and all the other riders acted the same way they always do - like they were having fun.

And (with the exception of one spectacular killjoy from the Guardian) the wider world loved it. Snowboarding was one of the smash hits of the games with shredders and the general public alike. Which can only be a good thing.

[part title="Jenny Jones Gets Bronze"]

Snowboarding makes the front pages of every major newspaper in the UK. How cool is that?

Snowboarding Makes the Headlines

I may be biassed with this at number one, but I'm British, so what the hell. Jenny Jones already had an illustrious career littered with X-Games medals, Burton Open podiums and others alongside inspiring a generation of UK competitive riders. But by her own admission, by the time Slopestyle was announced as an Olympic discipline for Sochi, her career was winding down.

An ankle injury and a bad concussion just before Christmas 2013 meant she went into Sochi with a chance of a medal, but it was just a chance.

And then she only went and bloody did it. Along with the rest of the UK snowboard community, I managed to get something stuck in both eyes when Jenny’s medal was cemented… odd that eh?