Latest News


Frostgun 10th Anniversary in Val d'Isere!!

The 10th annual Frostgun Invitational took place in Val d'Isere last week and the world's best skiers and snowboarders gathered to thrown down their biggest tricks in front of an international crowd!  

Words: Sophie Offord

Photos: Downdays // David Malacrida 

As one of Europe’s most prestigious big air events, the annual Frostgun Invitational has now been added to the AFP World Tour, placing it on the same level as the X Games and the Dew Tour. Along with a prize purse of $50,000 the athletes really battled it out for the podium! The jump this year was huge. An 85 foot table with the riders using every single bit of it.  As well as continuing with the ‘Street Fighter’ rail jam event, Frostgun introduced the hip contest this year. Prizes were dished out for best trick and highest air, and the crew had crafted a specially designed 13 meter hip for it. The perfect event to pit the best slopestyle athletes against their halfpipe counterparts!



Photo: Downdays
Photo: Downdays

Frostgun kicked off with the Snowboard Big Air on Tuesday evening.  We caught up with British snowboarder Scott Penman who was at the event commentating for ESPN, "Snowboarders are like artists. You can’t compare Mozart and Picasso... How on earth are you then meant to compare two different tricks from two different riders? It's so hard to judge the athletes against each other, but that’s kind of the beauty of our sport! Who is to say what is cool and what tricks should hold the most points? Who is to say how to build a rail or a jump? Frostgun have cashed in on this and decided ‘lets just build something massive!!’… It’s going to go off!!!"  

His comment was particularly true for this event, having witnessed the sheer amount of triples and doubles being thrown in training, the snowboard judges announce that they wanted to keep Frostgun from becoming a ‘gymnastics competition.’ It was therefore decided that the two best tricks counted; one tech and one style trick. The style trick was capped at a rotation of 720 degs.  For the spectators, this was definitely the best decision that could have been made, especially with Antoine Truchon’s tweaked out Cork 7 Taipans and Kalle Jarvilheto’s insanely slow Double Shifty 5’s. 

The finals went off with Swiss rider Carlos Gerber throwing down a smooth backside 720 Indy and a backside 1080 double cork melon. He still came up short of two points for second place.  Last year's winner Kalle Jarvilehto threw a slightly sketchy Backside 540 for his style trick but bailed a Backside Double Cork 1080 with a tail grab, landing him the highest mark for tech tricks in the final and a second place overall.  In the end it was Finnish rider Nuutti Niemela who took home the top podium spot and the $7000 prize with consistent riding and smooth landings all day. He oozed style, even on his tech tricks with a Backside 720 Nose to Tail and a Backside 1080 Double Cork Mute. 



Wednesday hosted the brand new Hip Contest.  After finding the landing and the feature pretty tight in training the boarders started things off.   The feature was a huge 13m high quarter-pipe next to the kicker.  After taking the podium the previous day, Jarvilehto broke his binding in the training and had to sit it out.  The French Canadian then took home the prize for the highest air with a gigantic boned out Mute.  Knut Mathis took home the best trick prize following a crash during training.  The skiers were finding the landing pretty flat, and French legend Jules Bonnaire recounted: “I will take a break now cause I hurt my legs on it!" The comp became a battle for the highest air between the two French riders Jules Bonnaire and Jeremy Pancras, however it was Japer Tjader who wowed the crowd with a score of 81.33 with a huge Ally-oop Rightside 270 Screaming Seaman. However, after a few sketchy landings and looking ahead to the Big Air the following day he decided to pull out.  In the end it was Aleks Aurdal who won the best trick with an Alley-oop Critical Rodeo 3 clocking 3 seconds of hangtime and Bonnaire who won the highest air.

Best Trick

1 – Aleksander Aurdal 85.00 / Alley oop rodeo 3 critical
2 – Jesper Tjader 81.33 / Alley oop 270 safety
3 – Antti ollila 78.00 / 450 mute to reverse mute
Highest Air - Jules Bonnaire

Snowboard Hip

Ski Hip 



After an epic evening and a slight hangover, Thursday afternoon saw the Street Fighter Rail Jam. Before the event we met up with Julian Ball, British freeskier who was commentating on the live stream for ESPN.  ‘Every year they step it up; Frostgun has the most intimating features.  This is a sculptural playground for the athletes to really show off what they can do and is a great set up for progression.’  Just before the boarding kicked off however, we overheard that a boarder had broken his board with the argument that the set up was just too big and they couldn’t get enough speed.  As there were only four boarders in the event the organisers decided to cancel it. 

Photo: David Malacrida
Photo: David Malacrida

The skiing went ahead with six riders entering.  The course was huge!! Onlooker Lara Bugle commented ‘I am stressed out just watching this!’ Whilst a rider shouted out ‘why I am such a pussy? Its massive!’  The format was a 30-minute jam session and with 6 riders it was quick fire adrenaline laps.  Tjader set the bar high with a huge Underflip onto the down rail quickly followed by Gagnier’s huge disaster across the gap and Goepper smashing out a huge 450 on to 270 out on the step up rail.  Daniel Hanka showed us some style with a 1 footer to 450 out on the up rail along with Gagnier and his huge 6 on.   With 10 minutes to go on the clock Tjader upped his game with a 270 on to Underflip out.  Goepper on the other hand showed us some tech with a Switch 9 over the whole rail with multiple hits.  The last few minutes became an all out fight between Goepper and Tjader with Underflips and a huge Switch 270 on to Misty flip out from Goepper. 

Results – (Only the best trick counted) 
Nick Goepper – Switch 270 in Misty 450 Japan out ( highest rail )
Jesper Tjdaer – Backflip to 90 to Back 2 ( gap to rail )
Daniel Hanka – Back 450 out ( canon rail)




The Ski Big Air began against a fading light and a huge crowd.  The jump was absolutely massive. After the first couple of hits in training we heard French rider Jeremy Pancras shout ‘it’s so freaking scary’ despite the fact he was throwing down!  However, local Planks team and Armada rider Tom Leisure thought the jump was ‘nice and easy, its really progressive, I’m having so much fun with it!’  Berns from Butta snowboard wax who was at the event all week providing waxes for the athletes commented ‘its absolutely ludicrous!’  Within the first few hits Goepper threw a huge Triple 12 followed by a score of 90.6 from Swiss rider Fabien Bosch showing the crowd that this was going to be a pretty insane comp!   Half way through the first heat Pancras landed his first Switch Dub Cork 16 yet it was Ambuhl who took the top spot half way through with a huge Switch Double Cork 1260 mute to double japan grab.  In the American’s typical style Goepper got super techy and killed it with a Switch Double 9 Screaming Seaman.  At the end of round one it was Goepper, Ambuhl and Bosch who made it through to the finals.  
Photo: Downdays
Photo: Downdays

The finals began with Ambuhl stomping a Switch Dub 12 seizing a score of 92 and throwing him straight into first position.  Gagnier grabbed second place on his second run going huge.  Goepper tried his 14 Cork Mute to Double Japan grab but was quickly overtaken by Schuler who managed to get the same score as Gagnier ay 92.33.  Ambuhl then upped his game but slightly over rotated hurting his knee… things were getting intense!  Gagnier then showed the crowd that he was desperate for that top spot with a Dub Bio 12 which was quickly followed by Bosch and a Dub 14.  With 4 minutes left on the clock Goepper matched Elias’s run with a score of 186.33 with a super tech Switch Dub Rodeo 9 Screaming Seaman to Mute. 

However it was the long grab from Elias on his Switch Double Cork 14 Mute that landed him first place with a score of 187.66.  It was Gagniers last run that then knocked Shuler off the third spot landing a huge Dub Bio Octo Grab 12 with the comment ‘that was the only good run I had all night’.  After receiving news of his first place Ambuhl stated that ‘it was a really good night, I saw Candide earlier and he said to ski for France and ski with your friends.. I think it worked!’


1 – Elias Ambuhl – Switch Double Cork 14 Mute / Triple Cork 16 Safety

2 – Nick Goepper – Triple Cork 14 Mute to Double Jap / Switch Dub Rodeo 9 Screaming Seaman to Mute

3 – Vincent Gagnier – Rodeo 16 Genie Grab to Octo – Dub Bio Octo Grab 12

The next big event here in Tignes is the British Ski & Snowboard Championships.
The Tignes Spirit shop crew have dominated over the past couple of years, and we can't wait to have a crack again this year!
You can register here, or just head to Tignes Val Claret at any point during the week to catch the action!