The 2019 edition of The Audi Nines presented by Falken is currently underway at Sölden and Obergurgl-Hochgurgl in Tyrol, Austria. The assembled crew of stellar athletes aee busy exploring the possibilities of the otherworldly snow features created especially for this world-class freestyle session. Now’s your chance to drop in with the Audi Nines GoPro Course Preview with James “Woodsy” Woods at Sölden and Laurie Bloun over at Obergurgl-Hochgurgl.

On the first day, history was made, as David Wise took advantage of optimal weather conditions to test out the event’s towering 10-meter-high quarterpipe feature. As his peers cheered him on, he quickly began rocketing to extraordinary heights.

David Wise. Photo by Klaus Polzer

“I was just enjoying myself and I started going a little higher each time,” said Wise. “I never got to the point where I was terrified. I eventually got some butterflies, but butterflies in a good way. We just kept going higher and higher.”

“It was really nice to have a measuring system in place so I could do a jump, find out immediately how high I was, and then go do another jump,” he added. Wise’s final record-setting elevation: 11.7 meters (38 feet, 4 inches) above the top edge of the quarterpipe with a straight air tail grab. 

A quarterpipe is a kind of jump where a rider launches vertically off a convex-shaped ramp and lands back on the same surface he or she departed from. The ramp on which Wise achieved his high air was a modified version with a banked landing to increase the safety of the jump. The design of the feature took cues from a similar obstacle used by Danny Way to set the current world record quarterpipe air in skateboarding, and incorporated input from legendary snowboarder Terje Håkonsen, the current record holder in his sport.

It’s the second time that Wise has set a high mark at the Audi Nines. In 2016 he shattered the record for highest air on a hip, flying 14.2 meters (46 feet, 6 inches) above the coping. 

Tom Ritsch. Photo by Florian Breitenberger

“I can’t say enough for the crew out here, from the Schneestern guys and Sölden to the whole Audi Nines team, because this is a team effort,” said Wise. “I get to be the guy who gets the highest air, but I could not have done it alone.”

The previous quarterpipe world record was set by Simon Dumont, who achieved a height of 10.8 meters (35 feet, 5 inches) in 2008. Dumont’s long-standing record was accomplished on a conventional quarterpipe, landing back into the same transition he jumped from.

James Woods. Photo by Florian Breitenberger

The Audi Nines continues this week with more action-packed film and photo shoots, culminating in the Contest Day on Saturday, April 27th at Sölden’s Tiefenbach Glacier, where the Nines athletes will put on an exciting final show for a public audience.

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