At last year's Nikita Chickita Ana Rumiha made it to the women's finals, narrowly missing out on a podium place, finishing 4th. This year the judges all confirmed she was the clear winner, busting out some consistent and stylish runs. Her final run comprised a backside 180, frontside 360 indy and she was the only girl who bonked the tree with a nice frontside 180, finishing off with a frontside 360 on the wall. She claimed 1st place, a tidy 1,000 Euros prize money and the much-coveted one-year Nikita contract.
We catch up with Ana to see how she found the day...
"I think I first found out about Nikita Chickita on the internet last year and decided to go along with four of my friends. Last year's contest was the most fun ones I've ever been on, so I decided to come back again this year.
"The night before I was supposed to set off for Serfaus, I was considering not going, due to the bad weather report and pretty high travel expenses, but I woke up the next morning full of positive energy and an itch to travel. I called my friends, Anja and Andy and told them that we had to go - it didn't take much to convince them! So that was it, three happy friends went to Serfaus...
"As the competition morning was kind of cold and snowy, I wasn't too motivated to jump around right away, but that's why I love Nikita Chickita. You can ride however and whenever you want, no pressure. In the qualifiers I couldn't do a single trick I wanted to, so I was just hoping to get in to the finals and be able to ride the park for the rest of the day.
"Then the sun came out and Nikita Chickita transformed into the best contest of the year once again for me. No bibs, no starting positions, no tension. It felt like a normal day in a perfectly shaped park, except there were only good girl riders and I could have had the whole park for myself whenever I wanted. Because of the positive atmosphere, I was really relaxed and I had so much fun from the beginning ‘til the end of the contest. I think it's really difficult to make a contest where the riders can have all the freedom they need and can do whatever is on their mind. This one makes me feel free and that's how I understand snowboarding.
"It was great that we had a snowcat driving us up the hill because the girls had to wait for each other and watch each other ride, so there was a really nice and friendly feeling among us. I also got to know some great girls there, as it's not every day that I meet people with same interests and same passion for snowboarding and skateboarding as me.
"So... I had some funny runs in the finals and I guess the judges liked it, but I sure wasn't expecting to win. I have to admit that I was really stoked when I found out, especially when I remembered that I almost nearly didn’t go!
"Nikita Chickita is still my favorite contest. I wouldn't even call it a contest, it's more like a gathering for the girls who want to have fun, ride and show each other what's new in the female snowboard world."
Images by: Andy Kuljis