The 2021 Audi Nines is officially underway in snowy Crans-Montana, Valais, Switzerland, where a crack team of the world’s best skiers and snowboarders are sizing up the limitless potential of this year’s venue. Join Halldór Helgason, Jesper Tjäder and Nico Porteous for an exclusive first look at a playground unparalleled in the world of snowsports.
This year’s venue is the result of a creative collaboration with designer Sebastian Gehwolf, whose “hack” of the course design has resulted in one of the most visually spectacular installations yet seen in snowsports. Drawing from his experience as an interior designer for Audi, Gehwolf’s reimagining of the setup has introduced a variety of eye catching details and unconventional angles. The result is a stunning blend of art and functional design, tailor-made to inspire unforgettable photos, videos and memories.
“What’s unique about the feature this year is that it was made in collaboration with athletes and a designer from Audi,” says Nico Porteous (NZL,SKI). “It makes for a really artistic feature that is also shreddable.
Beyond the aesthetic touches, the 2021 Audi Nines venue remains focused on providing a setting optimized for riders to progress and showcase their skills on a wide variety of different snow features. From classic tabletop jumps and a massive step-up to quarterpipes, rails, a “snowglobe” 8 meters in diameter and two daunting channel gaps, this setup includes everything but the kitchen sink to test the riders’ mettle.
“This is the first time you can actually hit Audi Nines features from both sides,” says Halldór Helgason. “There’s features all over the place. They’re definitely not kidding around.”
“Yesterday we had the first day on the course, and everything is really big!” says Coline Ballet-Baz (FRA,SKI). “This year is going to be all about creativity, finding transfers and newlines. I can’t wait to get some bluebird days so we can get the session started. It’s going to be insane!”
Important Covid-19 Information
The Covid-19 pandemic remains a serious challenge to be treated with the utmost respect and caution. The Audi Nines team has taken every precaution necessary to provide a safe environment for its riders and production team. This year’s session will remain closed to the public. Stringent measures are in place to prevent viral transmission onsite while ensuring that all local, regional and national regulations are met or exceeded.