Snowboard Iskola

Last night, a celebration went down in Nelson, British Columbia. The theme was gold. The emcee was backcountry powerhouse Robin Van Gyn.

And the winners of Research and Development, an all-new women's backcountry freestyle contest were announced.

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On Monday, Research and Development, the event created by Robin Van Gyn, was a go as fourteen of talented riders, many up-and-coming in the backcountry, competed on a face at Whitewater Resort in Eastern British Columbia.

While an edit is forthcoming, the entire event was broadcast live on @rndsearch, thanks to the trusty camera wielding of Justin Taylor Smith. (Thanks, Chip!) Watching the riders navigate the face with authority and grace was the absolute sickest. We can't wait to watch everything else that is released from the event.

You can rewatch the live event here:

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But back to the awards. An esteemed judging panel of Leanne Pelosi, Maria Thomsen, Marie-France Roy, and Hana Beaman had the most difficult job of deciding the podium, as well as a few other accolades, including The Combo Award (the person who did the best job of combining both freeride and freestyle into their runs), The Foot on the Gas Award, Mountain Goat Award, Best Trick, and a special one for opening up a gnarly run referred to as Oreo.

In addition to handmade trophies, a trip to Baldface for Risk Maturity, and $5,000 (among other prizes including an "air chair" aka actual chair), there was one coveted spot in the 2025 Natural Selection Tour for the overall winner.

We're not going to post the results here because the video of it all is so rad. Robin shares so much awesome insight into the event, the explanation of each award is so fun to hear, everyone was dressed to the nines, and even watching via Instagram, it was abundantly clear the community, camaraderie, and bar-raising snowboarding that was going down at Research and Development.

Thank you so much Robin and everyone involved in Research and Development! We already can't wait for next year!

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