Unlike many sports, snowboarding doesn’t have that many world records to beat, and they’re mostly really, really impressive. There’s the fastest (Edmond Plawczyk, 203kph [126mph], 2015), the highest (Terje Håkonsen, 9.8m, 2007), the longest (Mads Jonsson, 57m, 2005) and the craziest (Johan Olofsson, 914m [3,000ft]/35s, 1996).
But: while the above records are beyond the reach of mere mortals, there is one snowboarding world record that’s begging to be broken: the longest rail slide. And there are two very good reasons for this: firstly, it’s not insanely dangerous; it just requires the right balance of balance, skill and persistence (plus a really long rail, obviously). The second reason is the current world record of 78.70m, set by Calum Paton (UK) in 2011, while impressive, isn’t exactly… legit. No disrespect to Calum, but to be considered legitimate by other snowboarders the rail needs to be round, not flat, and it needs to be jumped onto, not a ride-on.
So, that was the challenge Nitro team manager Knut Eliasson set for himself and his crew last month: not only to break the current world record, but do it on a rail that counts…
A tough challenge, no doubt. But when you’ve got three days to get it done and riders like Marc Swoboda stepping up, it must be possible… right?