Shaun White Officially Announces 'Snow League' - A Global Tour With a $1.5 Million Prize Purse coming in 2025

  |   Stan Leveille

Shaun White, snowboarding’s perennial poster child, has announced the launch of the Snow League, a new contest tour for halfpipe and, yes, freeskiing halfpipe competitions, set to kick off in early 2025.

White said in a press release, “After years of competing in various formats, it’s clear that our athletes deserve a legit professional league. The Snow League will give riders and freeskiers a platform for the most exciting athletic competition. Now is the moment to elevate the next generation of winter athletes who are pushing the limits.” 

The Snow League claims a fresh approach to the competitive circuit, with the preeminent goal being a longstanding successful tour like surfing’s WSL or skateboarding’s Street League. While the TTR Tour and before that the International Snowboarding Federation held similar lofty aspirations, neither achieved longterm viability.   

Here’s what we know about format: 

At each stop riders will first need to advance out of a qualifying round, and then face off in a head-to-head bracket system. The prize purse for all five stops is said to total $1.5 million, making it, as those behind the event have stated, the richest competition in snow sports.

Riders will first need to qualify, and then face off in a head-to-head bracket system. The prize purse for all five stops is said to total $1.5 million, making it, as those behind the event have stated, the richest competition in snow sports. 

The league will feature 20 men and 16 women, and each event will span 3 days.

  • Day 1: Training day
  • Day 2: Qualifying day
        • 20 men and 16 women will be seeded into four qualifying heats, each with a best of two run format. The top qualifier from each heat will advance to championship day. The next two best scores from each heat will also earn a chance to compete for the last four championship spots in another heat, ie a “last chance qualifier" using an additional best of two run format. 
  • Day 3: Championship day
        • 8 men and 8 women move on to the championship day which features a head-to-head bracket format, seeded from qualifying day with quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals. Along the way each rider must win two of three runs to advance to the next round in the bracket. 


    We asked Shaun a couple questions about the new endeavor:

    What prompted the decision to start this league? 

    SW: I think it started with the need of a professional league for snowboarders and freeskiers. I remember when I was 16, I had won everything there was to win at that point. I was 19 when I won my first gold at the Olympics, and I'll never forget, some reporter came up to interview me and said  “Congrats on an amazing season, but how does it feel to not be the world champion?” I was like, "What do you mean? What did I not do?" I was doing it all: halfpipe, slopestyle, big air, rail. I was winning every event.  I knew right away that there was a big disconnect. 

    When you look at the sport, you have all these major competitions that don't really connect with one another. And they’re all amazing events, promoting a sport we all love. After I retired, I really got to take a step back and look at the industry and what was needed. Right now, there aren't too many events for snowboarding and freestyle. 

    The time is right to bring all the riders together, and start something new, but also promote the sport to hopefully keep all these other events still going.

    Would you like to see street snowboarding in the league?

    SW: We are exploring opportunities for street to be in the league, definitely. My vision is to be able to build a platform for all aspects of snowboarding and freeskiing. We're starting with halfpipe out of the gate, but our goal is to expand in other disciplines: certainly slopestyle, but also big air, rail events and more in both snowboarding and freeskiing. I'd love to make that happen.

    How would you describe your role in the event series as it unfolds throughout the season?

    SW: I was a competitive snowboarder for years. It's been over two years now since I've retired, and I'm now thinking of what my role in competitive snowboarding is today more broadly. Giving back to snowboarding is the most important thing I can do right now. Ushering in the next generation of riders is something I'm so passionate about. Bringing this new platform to life really excites me. Not only am I helping with the rider aspect of this league, but I'm also involved in the business side of things as well.  When it comes to the fans, athletes, spectators, even brands that we align ourselves with, I think I have a voice that all of those people care about. I'm almost the glue that brings all those things together. I'm just trying to bring together the team and use some of the vision I have of how things should be different. Being hands on with everything from the creative to the competition portion has been really fun so far, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the league will do in the next few years.

    In the end, we all want a snowboard tour we can follow and genuinely enjoy. Shaun White, with his impressive backing and capable partners, seems poised to deliver just that. We’re curious to see how this contest series expands beyond the halfpipe, though it might just be the fresh breath competitive halfpipe desperately needs. Realistically, only time will tell. Shaun sees this as his next big chapter, and we, for one, hope its impact is as monumental as promised.