Epic match-ups between the world’s top 24 riders will roll out in mid-February exclusively on Red Bull TV as Natural Selection DUELS determines who will compete in the next stages of the 2023 Natural Selection Tour in Revelstoke and Alaska this March.
Olympians, icons and snowboarding’s brightest stars are dropping into mountain venues across the US and Canada in head-to-head competition for the first stage of the 2023 Natural Selection Tour.
Watch DUELS exclusively on Red Bull TV to find out who comes out on top with high-action edited and judge-scored DUELS as they stream on-demand, daily starting February 19.
The 12 riders who come out on top of DUELS earn passage to the Natural Selection Tour’s second stage, the YETI Natural Selection Revelstoke and the final stage, Natural Selection Alaska, where the best all-around snowboarder in the world will be crowned.
American snowboarder Ben Ferguson, 28, revealed: “DUELS is basically a contest in the backcountry where you are teamed up with an opponent, working together to scope a zone, and then ride together, but against each other. It felt like a day of filming with a big shot of adrenaline.”
The Oregon native added: “By adding the competition element, we both had to step it up and go for it on day one, trying things you wouldn’t usually dare to try in a new backcountry zone. Nils (Mindnich) is an amazing snowboarder. I was so bummed to be matched up to DUEL him, but it was really fun to finally get to spend time with him in the backcountry and we had a blast riding together.”
All 16 men and eight women invited to compete in the Tour’s third season started off at DUELS that featured a dozen individual match-ups between “defending” and “challenging” riders designed to bring out each riders’ full creativity, highlight new zones and snowboarding’s diverse styles. Each DUEL will showcase two matched riders competing head-to head on one day, in one zone.
Finnish snowboarder Enni Rukajärvi said: “I was so excited to get the invite for the Natural Selection and challenge myself in a new way. I can’t remember a time when I was this nervous about anything, even with years of competing in slopestyle and big air; this is something really different. Being up against Elena (Hight), last year’s tour Champion and the queen of lines is not an easy task, but at the same time it is really inspirational to get to ride with and learn from her.”
The 2023 Natural Selection DUELS match-ups as pulled by the NST randomiser (Defending rider listed first, challenging rider second)
Torstein Horgmo vs John Jackson
Ben Ferguson vs Nils Mindnich
Travis Rice vs Red Gerard
Zoi Sadowski-Synnott vs Marissa Krawczak
Elena Hight vs Enni Rukajarvi
Mark McMorris vs Mikey Ciccarelli
Jared Elston vs Gigi Rüf
Mikkel Bang vs Ulrik Badertscher
Dustin Craven vs Werni Stock
Leanne Pelosi vs Hailey Langland
Kimmy Fasani vs Darrah Reid-McLean
Blake Paul vs Brock Crouch
2023 Natural Selection Tour Dates
Natural Selection DUELS
Daily from February 19, 2023, exclusively on Red Bull TV
YETI Natural Selection Revelstoke*
LIVE! March 4 – 11, 2023 on NaturalSelectionTour.com
Natural Selection Alaska*
March 25 – April 1, 2023, on NaturalSelectionTour.com
*competition to run on one day, when Mother Nature calls it, during a seven-day contest window
Watch duels on Red Bull TV from February 19 HERE.
Header image: Travis Rice vs Red Gerard Duel. Credit: Aaron Blatt / Natural Selection Tour / Red Bull Content Pool