Wait! What? The Freeride World Tour hasn’t even finished yet and women’s snowboard has already got a winner? Yep! Despite sub-optimal conditions, Marion Haerty stomped her run in Fieberbrunn to take home the win. And not just of the day. Of the entire tour. For the fourth time. No one has ever done that before. Ever. Marion has just ridden into freeride history.
‘Right now I’m on my cloud. And I want to stay on my cloud. Yeah, I’m super happy, especially to win four world titles. I’m part of history and I’m stoked about it. It’s an honour.’
Marion stormed onto the freeride competition scene in 2016 and a year later took her first Freeride World Tour title. With her freestyle background – she used to compete in slopestyle – she always brings a playfulness to her freeriding, which has gotten stronger as she’s matured. She’s not afraid to go steep and technical and think on her feet, adapting to the conditions. Her title-securing run in Austria is a case in point.
‘I was a little bit disappointed about my run in Fieberbrunn actually, because the snow quality wasn’t good. It was super crusty by the end of the day. (Women’s snowboarding is the last category to compete.) The snow changed super-fast during the day and the conditions were totally different by the afternoon. I tried to adapt but the last couloir was super icy and I wasn’t expecting that. It was not fun to ride that part. But I tried my best and I’m really happy to take another win in Austria.’
You’d think the Freeride World Tour would be enough of a focus for a podium-placing athlete, but Marion has been busy. Although COVID-19 restrictions meant she couldn’t compete on the entire Natural Selection Tour in North America, she was able to compete at one event in Jackson Hole.
The brainchild of pro snowboarder Travis Rice, Natural Selection is basically competitive backcountry riding, with big hits and features and a lot of freedom for expression. And Marion was stoked to compete. So stoked she came second!
‘Natural Selection in Jackson Hole was a new event for me and the playground was super fun. The snow was fresh and everything was crazy around this event so it was super exciting. I want to do more events like this in the future. I have to work on my freestyle, of course, and this is my plan for the future.’
Speaking of future plans, how does she feel going into Verbier, the last stop of the Freeride World Tour, with the title already in the bag?
‘I feel pretty good because I have nothing to lose. I can ride to the maximum, the best that I can. So I’m pretty relaxed right now.’
Moving forward, Marion continues to aim high. She is spending more time in the big mountains, learning new skills to complement her snowboarding and open up more areas of the backcountry. She has been and will continue to film. She’s naturally competitive, so comps will continue to feature in her seasons – as she says, her ‘goal is to win the Natural Selection Tour next year’.
Being such a multifaceted rider and athlete (she surfs, skates and paraglides, too), she never wants to stop learning, growing, developing and pushing herself. ‘I’m still really hungry about new projects, filming and competitions. This is only the beginning.’