“Build it and they will come”, an obscure mantra from the baseball movie Field of Dreams or a famous Roosevelt-quote? Either way it suddenly makes all the sense in the world in Oslo 2012, when all the best snowboarders migrates to the beautiful capitol of Norway to claim the most prestigious titles of snowboarding. In this field of dreams there will also be some dollars to reach for.
As the snowboarding calendar is an increasing nightmare for the athletes, the limited prize money purses makes it hard for most competitive snowboarders to make a decent living. The World Snowboarding Championships (WSC) aims to offer the best arenas, the best riders and the highest prize money. Half a million dollar is on the table and the prize money spread goes deep so more riders can enjoy it.
“We are not anywhere near other global supersports as tennis or golf, but we are making the first steps. There´s so much risk involved in snowboarding now, and the competitive top level is as high as in any other sports. We hope the WSC can be a kickstart symbol for how good snowboarding can be when its run by snowboarders. The WSC titles are most important to the riders, but prize money is crucial to bring more riders to the pro level,” says Chas Guldemond of the riders union We Are Snowboarding (WAS).
Each contest in the WSC will pay out 100 000 dollars (halfpipe men & women, slopestyle men & women and quarterpipe), starting with 40 000 dollars for first prize and paying all the way down to the 20th spot (all semi-finalist will get paid).
“We have created the prize money spread together with WAS and the riders, and they clearly want deeper spreads so more people can get a return on the risks they are taking. Back in the 70s, when the best tennis players realized they needed more pro competitors, the increased prize money was pivotal in dramatically raising the level of the whole sport. We can learn from Bjørn Borg and his peers,” says Henning Andersen, CEO of the WSC.