On Friday, Air & Style, creators of one of the longest-running and most respected big air contests in snowboarding, announced that they will be adding another contest to its roster, and bringing on a new title sponsor to promote it. The "Oakley and Shaun White present Air & Style Beijing 2010," a TTR 6-star event, will take place in Beijing, China on Dec. 4.
"I have always loved [the Air & Style] events because the music and riding always blows away the fans," says White. "When the fans are stoked it makes it fun for the riders. I can't wait to see how everyone in China reacts to such an amazing contest. Being out there with such good riding and music is going to be the experience of a lifetime."
"When the opportunity arose to do an event in Beijing, it was a no-brainer to make it happen," says Air & Style Managing Director, Andrew Hourmont. The Chinese people have an amazing interest in action sports and to do an Air & Style event in such a large urban environment will be great for the sport, the riders and the spectators."
White won Air & Style events in 2003 and 2004, but has not competed since 2007. Though he is lending his name to the China event, he may not actually compete in the contest but he will be on hand to promote it, according the TTR and Oakley.
"Shaun is really the only person in snowboarding who is known throughout the world, he's the only person who can get in there and break barriers. He's decided to be involved in this contest as an ambassador, because that's what he really is. He wants to help solidify action sports in China. We want to show them what snowboard culture is like, before they create their own version of it," said Oakley's Joe Prebich.
"China takes sport so seriously, and the Chinese government is very excited about action sports. They've identified that snowboarding is something they want to win [Olympics], and we just want them to have access to the right information," he continued.
So far Scotty Lago, Andreas Wiig and 2009/2010 TTR World Champion Peetu Piroiinen have been confirmed for the 16-rider contest. The prize purse is $100,000 and worth 1,000 TTR world ranking points.