The 2021 Audi Nines wrapped up earlier this month in their newest location in Crans-Montana, Switzerland. Instead of a more traditional recap, we decided to throw some love towards the riders who killed it especially hard throughout the week, complete with some of their best photos courtesy of the talented Nines photographers. Without further ado, let's get to it.
Double front flip over the globe. Photo: Klaus Polzer
He may not have cleaned up at the riders' awards, but Kim Gubser was without question one of the rulers of the week. The upstart Swiss rider scored himself a last-minute invite and wasted no time making a big impression, going absolutely ham on the step-up jump with massive laid-out doubles and stomping a preposterous backflip off the snow globe feature. If you watched any contests this year you'll have already known that Kim has been on a roll lately, and his performance at Nines made clear that he'll be a rider to watch for years to come.
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I have no idea what trick this even is. All I know is that it´s insane. Photo: Polzer
Photo: Mateusz Bocian
Nico Porteous showed up early to help film the GoPro course preview and didn't stop blasting for the whole week. On Thursday he started going sky-high on the quarterpipe hits, and although no one bothered to measure, he arguably matched or even exceeded David Wise's world-record air from two years ago. What do you think — did Nico break the record for "highest air on a quarterpipe to banked landing"? (And yes, that question was specifically phrased to appease the Simon Dumont fan club.)
Nico is too nice to ever claim it, but this massive QP air might have bested David Wise´s high air from 2019. (And for the record, Nico says an air on a QP to banked landing can never compare with Simon Dumont´s record on a true quarterpipe). Photo: Tanguy Henrijean
This is not normal. Photo: Ethan Stone
Catching the evening light through the hole-in-the-ball. Photo: Polzer
Winner winner chicken dinner. Photo: Breitenfoto
Jesper in his element. Photo: Henrijean
There's probably not a rider on this planet more suited to the Audi Nines than Jesper Tjäder. He was on course earlier than any other rider every single day, tossing tricks on every single feature as if running through a checklist. He was the only rider to hit the nutty transfer gap between the two main jumps. If he wasn't voted ruler of the week, it was only because here, just like everywhere else, Jesper is perennially underrated.
Wait, what? Switch backflip through the ball. Sequence: Fischi
Cork 5 handdrag over the ball. Photo: Stone
Blunting into the sunset. Photo: Tanguy Henrijean
Jesper took the award for Most Creative male skier for the week. Photo: Flo Breitenmaster
Matěj on the up. Photo: Theo Acworth
Young blood Matěj Švancer was voted Ruler of the Week by his peers, and for good reason. The currently Czech, soon-to-be officially Austrian rider slayed it all week long with massive, stylish hits on the step-up. It's hard to tell what the main highlights were: the switch double front flip? The triple backflip without goggles or hat? The double bio 12? Take your pick.
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Rodeo 540 on the step-up. Sequence: Fischi
That´s gotta feel good. Photo: Klaus Polzer
Matěj wildin´ out on the up rail. Photo: Breitenberger
The Ruler of the Week. Photo: Breitenberger
Sarah doing work on the kicker. Photo: Henrijean
Swiss miss Sarah Hoefflin sealed the deal on the women's Rider of the Week trophy with solid riding from the beginning of the week to the end. She was the first woman to hit the step-up feature, putting down a 360 mute clean in between sessions on the regular kicker.
Large and in charge on the step-up. Photo: Polzer
Women´s ruler of the week. Photo: Breitenberger
Sunset blunts, a soothing sight. Photo: Breitenberger
The Swedish style queen JLB rocked the setup throughout the week with uber-smooth hits on any feature she deigned to hit. This girl caps uncrossed blunt better than most of us are able to breathe.
Example #1. Photo: Henrijean
Candide dripping style over the step-up. Photo: Polzer
Most of us call him the GOAT. The French-speaking riders just call him "God." The legend himself Candide Thovex made a rare public appearance at this year's Nines, throwing down with his signature style over the step-up with buttery smooth 5s, 7s and 9s. All hail!
Candide was decked out in all black, as usual. Photo: Polzer
Hannes must have tossed a hundred bio spins over the step-up throughout the week. Photo: Polzer
Another late addition to the rider's roster, Austrian up-and-comer Hannes Rudigier didn't stop sending all week long. If there was a prize for "most motivated," Hannes definitely would have been in contention. His tireless efforts netted him a big bag of shots that he can look back on with pride.
Ballin´ out with a cork 5 blunt. Photo: Theo Acworth
A tweaked cuban 540 at sunset. Photo: Stone
We have liftoff. Photo: Breitenberger
For some reason Hannes got a lot of black-and-white photos. Let´s round it off wit this gem of a front flip from the final day. Photo: Henrijean
Maggie´s smooth rodeos were a constant sight throughout the week. Photo: Polzer
One of the few Americans to make the jump over the pond for this year's Nines, Maggie threw down solidly on the kicker throughout the week. When it comes to a clean rodeo 5 japan, look no further — Maggie's got you covered.
Did we already mention that Maggie´s got a nice rodeo? Photo: Breitenberger
Laurent De Martin, Robin Briguet and Anthony Vuignier making the most of an overcast day. Photo: Henrijean
Local boy Laurent De Martin of From Switzerland With Love fame joined the party late in the week, but quickly made up for lost time. His cork 7 blunts are a photographer's dream trick, and he kept them happy by tossing blunt 7 after blunt 7 throughout the sunset sessions. Sometimes one trick is all you need.
Blunt 7, example #1. Photo: Polzer
Blunt 7, example #2. Photo: Stone
Heck, let´s toss in a blunt 3 just to mix things up. Photo: Polzer
Aaaaand we´re back to blunt 7s again. Photo: Henrijean
Of course, we could keep this list going indefinitely: Finn Bilous, Tom Ritsch, David Wise, Fabian Bösch, Alex Hall, Quinn Wolferman, Robin Briguet, Nico Vuignier, Ralph Welponer — they all brought their unique flavor to this year's edition of the Nines. But we've got to cap off this article somewhere. To see the rest of the squad's contributions to the session, make sure to peep the 2021 Audi Nines Ski Mixtape.
Here's to yet another solid edition of the Nines. Now we can already start speculating about what crazy features they're going to dream up for next season!