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Snowboard Tour Features Durango

March 1, 2024

The brainchild of snowboarder Travis Rice, the Natural Selection Tour showcases the world’s top riders from Olympians to big mountain film icons all competing on the world’s most iconic locations. Natural Selection DUELS feature six mountain venues from around the world, where head-to-head competition between two top riders will decide who moves on to the next stages in the Natural Selection Tour. By Connor Shreve. This story is sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts and Happy Pappy’s Pizza & Wings.

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Purgatory is enjoying the spotlight from the Natural Selection Tour. You're watching the Local News Network, brought to you by Dunkin' Donuts and Happy Pappy's Pizza and Wings. I'm Connor Shrieve. Purgatory hosted round one of the Natural Selection Tour. The competition pitted pro snowboarders, Victor Daviet and Nils Midnich against each other in a big mountain freeride competition that aired on Red Bull TV, February 27th. Crews did have some last minute challenges with terrain and filming that forced the location to move inbounds at Purgatory Resort at the last minute. Midnich called the event dynamic.

So on our second day here, not even with a venue secured, we ended up taking some laps at the resort and ended up finding a run that we really liked on sticks. And we're able to work with the extremely awesome team at Purgatory and construct a couple jumps on slope and create this course within the mountain.

Daviet is grateful for the locals who scrambled to make the competition possible.

It was like perfect rollers and the community knew really well the sport and had that idea, and actually it worked really well. And thanks to that community because they are really special and they worked really hard to make the course happen.

The two feet of fresh snow that fell in the San Juans was both a blessing and a curse as riders struggled to get enough speed for their hits.

But at the end of the day, I think both of us were psyched on how the course turned out because that was a big question mark, and just really impressed with the Durango community who helped build everything and make it come to life. Without the snowboard community in Durango, it would not have happened at all. So that's what I think we were most excited about.

Riders spent a week in town, scouting terrain, filming and hosting a meet and greet with fans before it came time to compete.

I won the rock paper scissors. That's what how you decide who is going first. So I won the rock paper scissors, so I had to go first. And there was so much snow, two feet of fresh snow, so it was hard to get the speed, first of all.

Adding to the unique dynamic of Durango's Duals is the relationship between Midnich and Daviet. Both members of the Solomon Snowboard team, their friends whose relationship goes back more than a decade. Daviet, who's mostly given up traditional slope-style competitions, says his approach wasn't about beating Midnich.

I see it more like a session where we push ourself to put the best show on, like try to just send the best tricks and at the end, there would be a winner. But it's like everybody at this show is best level and so I see it once again more like a competition against myself than a competition against my friend, yeah.

It's Daviet's first attempt at an NST Duals competition. While Midnich has been trying to get past the first round multiple times over the past five years. Despite performing well and winning other international events, he says, being able to break out of the first round of duals would be welcome.

I think I'd be stoked and it would be, maybe like a good confidence booster 'cause I suppose after five years of thinking you're doing good, but still not doing good enough that, you start running some mental gymnastics to be like, oh, this is like where I should be. So it'd be fulfilling and I'd just be psyched.

You can watch the duals action and see who won on Red Bull TV. You can also learn more about this and other stories at Thanks for watching this edition of The Local News Network. I'm Connor Shrieve.


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