The Rookie of the Year award is always a controversial yet coveted title. We strive to consider a broad range of factors when making this decision, including podium finishes, debut video parts, significant sponsorships, and more. We're cautious about awarding it too soon, in case a rider has an even more remarkable year ahead. These riders, who have been integral to the scene for a while, have truly delivered a standout rookie performance this year.

Mason Lemery

Mason Lemery's anticipated full part debut in Brown Cinema, showcased some massive airs and a powerful riding style. Despite some opinions suggesting that Lemery's rookie phase may have already passed last year, it is his first official part that truly marks this year as his breakout season. 



Luke Lund

Luke Lund had a solid year, prominently featured in several notable projects, including L1's Tomorrow World, 686’s Camp Robbers, and Salomon’s The Hillside Project. These appearances highlighted Luke's versatility as a snowboarder, showcasing his abilities not just in street environments but across a variety of terrains. 



Justin Phipps

Phipps was seen in a wide array of projects. L1’s Tomorrow World, dustbox’s Needed You, K2’s SWEEP, Dylan Okurowski’s Running with Scissors, and Torment’s Dorothy. The impressive number of projects he's been involved in, combined with his dedication to propper trick form, undeniably positions him as a prime candidate for the Rookie of the Year.



Taiga Hasegawa 

Taiga Hasegawa’s groundbreaking accomplishment of being the first rider to successfully land all four 18's has set a new standard in the sport. Additionally, his year was chock full of consistent podium finishes: gold at the Edmonton World Cup in Big Air, gold in slopestyle and big air at the Junior World Championships in New Zealand, World Cup events in Silvaplana, Switzerland, Bakuriani, and Kreischberg. The kid wore a lot of gold in 2023.



Lolo Derminio

Lauren Derminio's win at the Uninvited Invitational stands as a significant testament to her presence this year. Further elevating her profile is her powerful performance in the movie Buster, where she truly came into her own, particularly with a series of solid street rail clips. Her impressive frontboard through a notably challenging kink rail being a highlight. 



Iris Pham

Iris Pham's nomination for Rookie of the Year is well-earned, marked by her self-produced video part titled Rocky Mountain Iris. This debut street part is a standout, showcasing not only her skill but also her creative vision. What sets Pham apart is her incredibly strong trick selection, demonstrating a level of confidence that is rare for a first-time street segment. 



Hrund “Hundi” Hanna

Hruni burst onto the scene with her victory at the 2022 DIYX Street Jam, marking her as a talent to watch. However, it was her performance in We Are Losers 2 that truly cemented her as a standout contender. In this, her first significant video part, Hruni impressed with a series of substantial kinks, complemented by her engaging and humorous  lifestyles. This combination of skill and charisma makes for a solid case in her nomination.



Gaon Choi

Choi made history by becoming the youngest X Games snowboard halfpipe champion at the age of 14, breaking the record previously held by Chloe Kim. In addition to her X Games success, Choi got one of the highest scores ever awarded at the Dew Tour halfpipe. Her run included a switch backside 900 Indy, Cab 720 melon, frontside 1080 melon, and Cab 900, securing her first place finish with a score of 98.33.






Snowboarding isn’t a science. Well one could argue that to explain how it physically works via science, but as far as the way the industry works? No way. Part of what makes snowboarding so appealing is the lack of specific ramifications for what makes something special. We personally feel the “art vs. sport” argument is rather played out,  but it certainly makes this time of year, when trying to award snowboarding’s most prominent figures, challenging. So while we acknowledge there were likely performances this last year that you may personally feel are being left out, this is our best stab at quantifying that which is intentionally unquantifiable.

To ultimately determine the 2023 award winners Slush has refined a list of opinion leaders who we task with voting on various nominees that we decide upon as a staff.

While we acknowledge there were likely performances this last year that you may personally feel are being left out, this is our best stab at quantifying that which is intentionally unquantifiable.