Fabian Böesh, Kim Gubser, Kai Mahler & Édouard Therriault on the Formation Feature // Shot by Klaus Polzer

Swatch Nines 2023 was one for the books once again, as you may have seen from the many mind-blowing clips dropping in your feed over the past week or two. First off, this was my gig covering an event and I am very grateful for the opportunity Newschoolers gave me on this one. Having watched the event since I was a kid, it was very interesting to see behind the scenes and to meet all the people involved in the 2023’s edition in Schilthorn. I went filming in Schilthorn in February and at that time I didn’t know that I’d come back for the Nines, but I was already sold on the Skyline Snowpark (for those who don’t know, go). Schilthorn hosted the Nines this year for the first time, and it did not disappoint. The Swiss ski resort is now the new biannual Nines’s host for 2023, 2025 & 2027 alongside Crans-Montana which will host alternate years. The setting, is unbelievable, with the resort facing the well-known Jungfrau (4158m). Its breathtaking glaciers overhanging the valley would dazzle any sane human.

The Eiger, the Mönch and the Jungfrau // Markus Fisher

This year’s setup again pushed the limits of what a snowpark can be: one massive opening feature “ The Formation Feature” provided many takeoffs and one massive booter; the second feature “The Love Bump” was simple (compared to the others) but so satisfying to watch with a large, rounded landing for 2 off-center jumps and one “kimbo rail” in the middle; and then the last but not least, “The Skate Complex” feature that offered many transfers, rails, side-hits, tunnels and bumps built as a triangular area with a skate bowl in the center, truly one of the most aesthetic, multi-options and multi-sports feature ever built on snow. Skaters and BMXers such as Andy Anderson (CAN) and Sam Pilgrim (GB) joined the party riding the bowl and were being jumped over by skiers and snowboarders using a huge diagonal transfer.

Over the bowl: Max Moffatt & Finn Bilous // Klaus Polzer

Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t great during the week and the organization were forced to close the course on Monday and Thursday. When the weather was good though, the riders were able to fully tear it up during heavy filming sessions.

The lineup of riders was super interesting and diverse with lots of new young Nines included, who provided plenty of highlights. Swatch Nines’s newcomer, Edouard Therriault (QC) blew it up all week but his cork 9 over the nipple at the bottom feature was just perfection. Also, the World Rookie Freeski Champ 2023 Daisy Thomas (AUS) landed her first dub cork 10 at 15 years old which is pretty exciting for the women’s Freeski scene. Alex Hackel was caught doing switch triple 12s like nothing on the first jump and he mobbed around “The Skate Complex” doing swervy creative lines with The Bunch squad. Kai Mahler put down a ridiculous nose butter-hand drag cork 7 blunt on the second feature’s knuckle and many transfers over the last zone. Max Moffatt and Finn Bilous crushed the skate bowl transfer as well with huge flatspins and rodeos above Andy Anderson and a crowd of filmers.

The boys // Theo Acworth

The contest day on Saturday closed down this crazy week of shooting with a jam session of 1 ½ hours on the first Big Air feature with a format of 1 tech trick + 1 style trick combine as a final score. We would have loved to see all the riders in the competition, but some of them didn’t take the start and persisted filming on the bottom features.

I was invited to be a part of the judge’s panel alongside Scotty Naismith and Roy Kittler and we had a tough but good time discussing some super progressive tricks, the Men’s podium ranking was especially difficult. Lukas Müllauer did the best Big Air trick of the event with a switch dub 18 capped blunt (that felt like a switch 10 to us) but it wasn’t enough to be on the podium because of his style trick (switch zero). Max Moffatt took the win with a cork 3 bring back 180 blunt (style trick) and a dub 14 cuban (tech trick), to be honest those two tricks could’ve been on both tech and style category. Kim Gubser definitely likes to reverse mute and went huge on the switch dub 9 bring back 7. On the women’s side, Johanne Killi threw down such a cool switch dub 10 japan (axis on point) then a smooth 5 lead blunt and won the competition. Sarah Hoefflin landed a sick cork 3 holding safety all the way down the landing but didn’t make the podium on the overall score.


Results :


1. Max Moffatt (CAN) Cork 360 Bringback 1, Blunt Double Cork 1440 Cuban

2. Kim Gubser (SUI) Cork 540 Reverse Mute to Nose, Switch Double Cork 900 Bringback 7 Reverse Mute

3. Fabi Bösch (SUI) Rodeo 720 Double Nose, Double Cork 1620 Blunt to Blunt


1. Johanne Killi (NOR) 540 Lead Blunt, Switch Double Cork 1080 Japan

2. Sandra Eie (NOR) 360 Blunt, Double Cork 1260 Mute

3. Mathilde Gremaud (SUI) 360 In and Out Grab, Double Cork 1080 Safety

But the competition element is not the main purpose of The Nines, even if it is a nice show for the public. The reality is that this event is all about giving the riders the opportunity and the freedom to ride a unique park for a few days (and there are no competition vibes whatsoever). However, the horde of cameras and drones on the course would be too much for those who enjoy the quiet laps in the park with 3 homies and a dad cam! I know that it is not the idea of the event but still I remember riders saying that it almost felt good to shred the public park on the way back to the village without 10 cameras focused on you. On a late flat light afternoon session, most of the riders and filmers were already gone but the Bunch crew kept on filming the bottom feature, naturally I sneaked in for some laps without drones or walkie-talkies' noises in the background.

From the media’s office to the shapers, everyone’s work makes the Swatch Nines one of the all-time biggest snow sport event in the world. The legacy will go on for many years thanks to such dedicated people on board with Nico Zacek in command. Be sure to watch the madness on the upcoming edits from Swatch Nines and see you next year in Crans-Montana!