Decades ago, people snowboarded. Now, they specialize. There are the racers, the freeriders, the freestylers, the park rats, the pipe jocks.
Then there are those rare few who kill it on any terrain. And that's where Mr All-Terrain Ståle Sandbech comes in. Arguably one of the best in competitive snowboarding, this dude shreds powder, park, pipes and rails. And he makes it look oh so easy.
Park: The 22-year-old is tied with Mark McMorris as the highest-ranked slopestyle rider in the world. Consistency and spontaneity are his weapons. His ability to perform super-progressive tricks with his own individual style are the icing on the cake. Is he the best? Easily.
Pipe: He may not ride pipe so much now, but let's remember that legend Terje Håkonsen touted him as the “best 13-year-old snowboarder in Norway” after the elite Arctic Challenge. Even though he isn't actively competing in pipe, he did make that wise choice straight after Sochi to do the halfpipe along with slopestyle at the Burton US Open, his insane Double Crippler earning him the title of Best Overall Rider. Ah, just another day at the office.
Urban: Some riders shoot those video parts that make you drool, wishing you could do what they do everyday. All you have to do is check out Sandbech’s parts in Transworld’s Nation, Rome’s The Shred Remains, or his RK1 crew’s edits to see he destroys it on the streets too.
Backcountry: Big mountain skills take time to hone. But someone was lucky enough to witness Sandbech shredding fresh pow in Arlberg, “stacking tricks in the shortest time”. We can be certain this guy will be hitting the backcountry even more one day, but for now, the view from the podium along with the shiny winners hardware is still more appealing.
There aren't many riders who possess the skill to excel in any terrain, but Sandbech does it all. His style – making the hardest trick look easy at it's most critical point. And the admiration continues...