Sölden’s THE X – Taking a Look Behind the Scenes of 2015’s Media Highlight
A 25-meter Kicker and two gigantic Hips, stacked up in front of an amazing mountain panorama. These were the impressive features of this year´s Special Obstacle in Sölden. Project head and mastermind Sven Toller and Area 47 Snowpark Sölden park designer Stefan Morocutti joined their forces to ornament the mountain with a very special something meant to stoke riders across the globe – THE Sölden X. Already the video teaser published in spring this year has more than whet the appetite of freestyle aficionados. So right here and right now we proudly present the main edit, featuring yet unreleased action and behind-the-scenes footage from setting up THE X.
Business first, then Pleasure
“I already had the idea of two crossing Hips some years ago, but I never had the possibilities to build it as big as I wanted it to be”, says Sven Toller. His plan for Sölden: One Kicker and two Hip Jumps should run into one another as an X. So finally, in May 2015 the time has come and a bunch of skilled shapers gather to make the idea reality.
Five days of hard work with heavy machines, the shapers have been pushing the snow they needed to a huge pile. After cutting out the massive special obstacle, the precision works may start. Within three weeks, the prominent X is being formed out of the huge amount of snow. Shortly after the finish, the enormous dimension of the X becomes clear for the crew when they see their project from a bird´s eye view. The pictures from the drone are shared all over the world via well-known social media platforms and show that the effort of the QParks shape crew was definitely worth it. These pictures lured some of the best snowboard and freeski crews on this planet to Sölden and the riders couldn’t wait to shred this unique monster. Amongst them, also X Games gold medalist Mark McMorris jumped at the chance and shot one week at THE X with a high-class film crew.
SUN´S OUT, GUNS OUT!
Back on scene, the spring sun is shining mercilessly while the riders are carefully approaching the huge kicker and both Hip Jumps with first speed checks. Obviously, THE X hasn’t only impressed them visually. “The setup was perfect, with an awesome 25-meter step-up kicker – and these hips? Straight to the moon!”, that’s how Blue Tomato Teamrider Sam Baumgartner describes his impression of the QParks media obstacle 2015. After a short time, the riders start to push each other to greatness on the creative and innovative setup.
At the end of the season, the biggest tricks were thrown down and awesome stylish moves
were presented in front of Ötztal´s amazing mountain views. The result of the buddy-like cooperation between riders, photographers and shapers can be seen in several team videos and the crew´s edits.
Mark McMorris was very stoked about the sessions he had on THE X, as he comments in the Sölden part of his new movie IN MOTION: “I was really excited when I first saw the feature there, because we were a big crew. But there were so many options: Frontside Hip, Backside Hip, over the whole gap. There was something for everybody to get shots on.” Needless to say, McMorris has produced some fascinating shots for his brand-new movie that has just been released.
Once again, the traditional media obstacle attracted some of the best riders from around the world to come to Sölden. In countless backbreaking working shifts, the QParks crew proved that a unique setup, motivated riders and a relaxed shooting atmosphere are the best ingredients for spectacular footage and unforgettable times on the mountain.