The very first look at the all-new Natural Selection Alaska venue and riding from the Tour’s third stage is out now. Twelve riders of the world’s best all-around snowboarders including Travis Rice, Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, Elena Hight and Ben Ferguson compete in the third and final stage of the 2023 Natural Selection Tour, the Natural Selection Alaska presented by Backcountry. With Mother Nature opening up one prime day in the window, the riders race from Valdez into a coliseum style venue for sunup to sundown, head-to-head competition.
The approximately three-and-a-half-hour broadcast, featuring Natural Selection’s signature follow-drone angles, will run “as live” with hosts including Todd Richards, Mary Walsh, Ed Leigh, Hana Beaman, Eddie Wall and Pat Bridges live from the studio. Catch the action from Alaska on NaturalSelectionTour.com and YouTube starting on Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at noon PT/3PM ET/9PM CET.
Both the winners of the third stage of the Tour the Natural Selection Alaska, and through points, the overall 2023 Natural Selection Tour champions will be crowned at the end of the broadcast.
Eight men and four women qualified out of the Natural Selection DUELS to compete first in Revelstoke, and now in Alaska, representing all disciplines of elite snowboarding – halfpipe, slopestyle, big mountain freeride, and backcountry freestyle. On the women’s side Kimmy Fasani (USA), Elena Hight (USA), Hailey Langland (USA), and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (NZL) start with semi-finals in Alaska. Jared Elston (USA), Dustin Craven (CAN), Mikey Ciccarelli (CAN), Ben Ferguson (USA), Mikkel Bang (NOR), Blake Paul (USA), Travis Rice (USA) and Chris Rasman* (CAN) meet first in the quarterfinals, before dropping into a two-heat semi-final and final.
A three stage format determines the overall 2023 Natural Selection Tour Champion. This year Natural Selection DUELS served as the first stage and cut the field in half with only winners of the 12 individual head-to-head competitions going forward to Revelstoke and Alaska. In this format, the last two stages of the Tour have equal weighting and a stand-alone winner. The points will be tallied by finish in the last two stages: first place = 1 point; second place = 2 points; third place = 3 points; fourth place = 4 points, etc. The rider with the lowest score at the conclusion of the three stops will be the overall Natural Selection Tour Champion. If there is a tie following the Alaska stage, the championship tie-breaker is based on which rider has the best finish at the Alaska finale.
Going into Alaska, the 2022 women’s Natural Selection Tour Champion Elena Hight has two points and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott on a 23 podium in a row hot streak has one, following her win at Revelstoke. But it is truly anyone’s game on the women’s side. Travis Rice, the men’s 2022 Natural Selection Tour Champion and winner of both the 2021 and 2022 Natural Selection Alaska events, leads for the men with one point. Right behind Rice, it is anyone’s game with Blake Paul and Dustin Craven with the next lowest point totals coming into AK. Both the Natural Selection Alaska winners and 2023 Natural Selection Tour champions will be revealed at the end of the broadcast.