Hopefully Andreas Håtveit and Johanne Killi don't have to fly anywhere with these heavy trophies, or else Red Bull will be on the hook for some overweight baggage fees. Adam Klingeteg/Red Bull Content Pool

Event News


Showdown in Sweden

Norwegians never retire: Håtveit and Killi win Red Bull Unrailistic

By: Simon Bartik April 30, 2024

One of the most innovative events in skiing today, Red Bull Unrailistic by the rail god himself, Jesper Tjäder, went down in Åre last week. The setup was perfect, the weather was nice, and the invited roster of some of the world’s best skiers promised a memorable show.

Best Trick Session

After a few days of warm-up sessions, the event started on Thursday, 25 April with the Best Trick contest on the massive S-rail combo nicknamed the Tjäder Twist. Last year’s defending Unrailistic champion, the Norwegian legend Andreas Håtveit transferred from one rail to another with a front swap, front 450 out, while Colby Stevenson stomped a switch lip on, back swap continuing 270 out. Matej Svancer fought hard and finally laced a switch tails 270 on, continuing 270 out. The session then moved over to the giant rainbow rail and the seemingly never-ending flat-down rail, where Jennie-Lee Burmanson greased the 36-meter down rail section with ease. At the end of the day, Matej and Jennie claimed the Best Trick awards, which came with a valuable 10-point bonus on their score in the “slopestyle” contest that followed the next day.

Hunter Henderson at Red Bull Unrailistic Best Trick in Are, Sweden
1. Hunter Henderson wrangles with the Tjäder Twist feature during the Best Trick session. Adam Klingeteg/Red Bull Content Pool
2. Best Trick winners Matej Svancer and Jennie-Lee Burmansson. Judith Bergström/Red Bull Content Pool

The Unrailistic Slopestyle

The main contest went down on Friday, 26 April as a few thousand stoked freeski fans converged on Åre’s National Alpine Arena. It was a slopestyle-like format with a bit of a twist: The competing riders would ski on up to seven features in a row, but only the scores from their best four features would be counted. This allowed for some room for error to let people try heavy tricks on the challenge rails. And in a bit of fresh air from the standardized competition format, reverts were not only allowed, but encouraged.

Johanne Killi styles out the rollercoaster box. Adam Klingeteg/Red Bull Content Pool

The women kicked off the evening’s festivities, with five ladies tossing their hats into the ring: Swiss young gun Zoe Van Essen, Danish street skier Isabella Tvede-Jensen, Swedish style goddess Jennie-Lee Burmansson, German rail specialist Lisa Zimmermann and the recently retired competition legend Johanne Killi.

Best Trick winner Jennie-Lee stepped up to all the biggest rails on the course and was close to lacing the long down rail again, but couldn’t put down a full clean run. Isabella was the only rider to surf the pond to the wave feature, and Zoe did a nice combo on the dance floor rail, coming off early into a switch 360 out. But the contest ultimately became to a showdown between Lisa Zimmermann’s technical proficiency and Johanne Killi’s well-honed consistency. Lisa absolutely murdered the dance floor rail with a front swap, front 450 out, but Johanne put down a 270 on, pretzel 270 out of the “Dice” feature and slid the massive rainbow rail to claim the top spot.


You can ask my mother.
Johanne Killi, when asked if she has room for more trophies in her trophy case

The men’s riders’ field was stacked with an assemblage of World Cup riders, street heavy hitters, and a couple of legendary OGs like Henrik Harlaut, Tom Wallisch and of course, Andreas Håtveit. And the level of skiing—as you might well expect—was completely off the charts.

Perhaps what was most notable in this “slopestyle” contest was that each and every rider had a completely unique trick and a different approach to the course in their runs. Henrik Harlaut, looking to break the record for how many Monster Energy logos you can fit onto a helmet, was sending a back 540 swap transfer on the Dice feature, while Joel Magnusson was swerving from top to bottom with a creative tokyo drift approach to the rollercoaster box. Evan McEachran accepted the challenge of the 36-meter down rail, and 17-year-old Theo Thorén showed off a creative nollie flip bringback on the rollercoaster. Unrailistic mastermind Jesper Tjäder had one of the night’s most unique tricks, a bodyslide to wallride to back 270 out of the dance floor.

Henrik Harlaut holds the record for the most Monster stickers on a helmet. Judith Bergström/Red Bull Content Pool
Hunter Henderson's bodyslide to back 270 out of the rollercoaster rail was one of the evening's smoother maneuvers. Adam Klingeteg/Red Bull Content Pool

As expected, the gigantic rainbow rail was the venue for some of the night’s more outrageous stunts. Hunter Henderson floated smooth hand drag 540s over it, while Max Moffatt looked for a hand drag misty 7. Nico Porteous launched massive front 450s out of the dance floor rail at Mach 10, keeping his speed up to hit the rainbow from the side as a wallride with an alley-oop 180 up and switch 360 out. Emil Granbom was looking for an absurd lip rodeo 450 on that delivered one of the night’s more spectacular crashes, and Andreas Håtveit had his nose grab 270 on—land holding!—on lock.

Land holding!! Andreas practicing for his upcoming SLVSH game. Judith Bergström/Red Bull Content Pool

In the first round, it was Evan McEachran who first came out cooking, lacing a double transfer to 450 out of the Dice before sliding the entire down rail—the only competitor to accomplish this during the contest. He doubled down with two front swaps and a back 270 out of the rainbow, followed by a back 810 out of the kicker rail, to slide into provisional first place.

However, he was soon bumped off the top spot by none other than Jesper Tjäder himself, who laced his creative dance floor trick into a preposterous back 360 swap to back 630 out of the rainbow, one of the night’s highlight tricks. Jesper in turn was bumped down by Matej Svancer, whose double transfer to front 270 out on the dice, switch 270 disaster to the quad kink, and front swap back 810 out of the dance floor were bolstered by his healthy 10-point bonus from the Best Trick session to propel him to first. Notably, Matej was also the only rider hitting the trampoline feature, and he also added a front flip into the pond for the culture on his final run.

Matěj takes the plunge! Adam Klingeteg/Red Bull Content Pool

In the second and final run, Colby Stevenson made his bid for the podium with a huge back 360 swap to back 450 out on the dice feature, backed up with a 270 on, early-off layback 540 on the dance floor and a back swap, front 270 out of the rainbow rail that was good enough for third place. But with Matej appearing unshakeable at the top of the scoreboard, it fell to last year’s champion Andreas Håtveit to unseat him, and the Norse rail god did what it took: front swap to back 450 out on the Dice, a creative swerve approach to the Banana Split feature (apparently designed with the sole purpose of crushing genitalia), a 50 to 540 out of the dance floor rail, and his impeccable 270 nose grab onto the rainbow. Skiing like his life depended on it, Andreas finished his run with a back 630 out of the kicker rail and a front swap, back 630 out of the final wave feature. Final verdict: 72 points and back on top of the Unrailistic podium for the second time running.

I told my wife beforehand, being here skiing with these guys, I don't care if I win or lose. This is a victory just being here, having this much fun skiing.
Andreas Håtveit

Red Bull Unrailistic 2024: Full Replay

The most Unrailistic ski competition ever | Red Bull Unrailistic 2024 Red Bull YouTube