Words by Elena Könz
The Battery Catfight competition is a 4star TTR slopestyle event for girls, in Levi, northern Finland. I was there last year and I had a lot of fun, so I decided to go this year again. I asked Andrea Binkert, a Swiss friend, to come along. The weekend before flying to Finland we took part in the finals of the Ladies First Challenge, a 4 star TTR contest in Leysin (Switzerland). We spent two wonderful, warm days riding in the slushy park of Leysin. Andrea got 2nd place and I got 3rd. Shortly after the contest we drove home so we could get our flight the next day to Finland. When we got out the plane in Kittillä it was pretty cold. We found ourselves back in winter again, in the middle of reindeers and northern lights.
The plan for the first few days was to film in two teams for the Samsung video team battle; an international team against a Finnish team. We met the rest of our team: Birgit Rofner, my Völkl team buddy and her sister Steffi, Cecilia Larsen, a Nikita Team buddy, Malin Johanson, Chani Michaux and Tania Benz. Some of the girls were there last year too. Others we knew from several times of snowboarding together. Our mentor Pekko Manninen and cameraman Jere Toivonen joined us for three days of filming. We went out checking the resort for spots, a good way to get to know the place and its people. We found a wall in the bike park where we did the first shoot and photographer Teemu Heljo joined us. I guess during filming the earliest we made it back home was 8 o’clock in the evening. We were so stoked, we didn’t realized time passing by.
After the three days of filming we had one day for training. Next day the half pipe competition started, on the first bluebird day. I got 1st place last year, but because I didn’t do much pipe riding lately, I didn’t have big expectations. I had some difficulties in the beginning but I got more and more comfortable with every run. Especially the last run, during the finals, felt really good. Backside air, frontside 360, cab 360, frontside 540 and a backside 360. So I was really happy to win 1st place.
In the evening we had a rail jam. The Finnish girls were really rocking it. After the rail jam we went to a bar where we could watch our movies that the film crew edited. The Finnish team had a video and it was pretty cool to see how different the two videos turned out. Same days, same place and so many different ideas. It also was a good surprise that both videos turned out to be so great.
The next day we had slopestyle competition. I remember waking up and seeing it snowing outside. That really sucked and didn’t motivate me to get up. But as soon as the training started, the sun came out and it turned out to be another beautiful day. It was pretty windy and was more difficult to bring your run down. But the vibes at the start were really good. My run consisted of a frontside 360 bonk over the battery bonk, then backside 540, switch backside 180 then frontside 360 and fifty fifty board slide back 180 out over the box at the end. After the qualification I was in 3rd position and I was really happy. My first run in the finals was the same run and it went really well, I realized to fly further and grab everything longer. I risked change in my second run and instead of a switch back 180 I did a cab 360 and a switch back five on the last jump. I decided to do the same on the 3rd run, but then I lost too much speed over the bonk and did a backside 360 and then a frontside 540. But doing a cab 360 over the last jump failed. It had been a lot of fun riding this competition and I was really stoked to get 2nd place. We all enjoyed the awesome party in the evening.