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O'Neill announces '04 Snowboard Team
Tuesday, 30 September 2003




Bigger, better and even more progressive than ever...
The O'Neill Snowboard Team 2003/4

With an eclectic freeride/freestyle crew of powerful and talented riders, Team O'Neill '04 promises to perpetuate its focus once again on the value of all-round snowboarding ability and the encouragement of progressive riding. The members of this formidable European Team are:

Gian Simmen (SUI), Stefan Gimpl (AUT), Alex Coudray (SUI), Thomas Harstad (NOR), Dani Costandache (SUI), Eirik Haugo (NOR), Daniela Roth (SUI), Nici Pederzolli (AUT), and Jessica Venables (GB).

"We wanted to expand the team in order to push the level but we didn't want to let it get too big", comments Franck Corbery, European Team Manager, "it's very important for us to be able to operate on a personal level with everybody in the team and allow them to maintain a sincere spirit in everything that they do."

Team rider Gian Simmen (SUI), perhaps one of the most sincere riders in the industry, continues to go from strength to strength. Having won the Pipe World Championships in the USA as well as the Highest Air Trophy at the Arctic Challenge last season, the former Olympic Champion is now back on your screens in Marco Lutz's latest extravaganza, "Kingsize". Thomas Harstad (NOR) has also been spending a fair amount of time in front of the camera, having successfully fulfilled his last year's goal to spend more time filming. Thomas will be making appearances for Straight Jacket Films as well as in Siesta Productions' "Victory", alongside fellow team rider, Eirik Haugo (NOR), whose extraordinary season last year prompted the 20-year-old's move from rookie status to fully fledged European Team member. Among other impressive achievements, Eirik qualified for the main field at the SB-Jam and went on to place 1st overall at the Burton European Open.

Also reaching a momentous milestone last season was Austrian freestyler, Stefan Gimpl (AUT) who was accoladed the legendary status of "Rider of the Decade" at the infamous Air & Style last December. But the members of Team O'Neill aren't just pioneering in their ability, but also in their creative and independent thinking. At the Xtreme last March, Alex Coudray (SUI), the Xtreme Champion of 2002, redefined the meaning of original line by veering off at the end of his run to spray a massive "Time for Peace" in the snow. Bouncing back from knee injuries, Dani Costandache (SUI) and Nici Pederzolli are currently training hard on the glaciers to break into the new winter season with a bang. While Dani will be busy planning and organising the O'Neill SB-Jam, an event which he initiated, Nici, former FIS Half Pipe World Champion, is hoping to be on unbeatable form by the start of the World Cup. Daniela Roth (SUI) and Jessica Venables (GB) make up the rest of the awe-inspiring board babe contingency. As 25-year-old Jessica says, "In the next couple of years, I want to be doing first female snowboard descents." Reflecting O'Neill's dedication to encouraging fresh talent, this year's Rookie Team sees the addition of 17-year-old Fredrik Evensen (NOR), who placed 1st at the Sims Snow Show Big Jump 2003 in Norway, Andr Kuhlmann (GER), who was voted Most Impressive Rider at the Jam 2003 and Brit girl-wonder Zo Smalley (UK). They join existing Rookie Team riders, Max Delayen (FRA) and Ludovic Guillot-Diat (FRA) who, despite a broken shoulder at the beginning of last season, still managed to pull off French Overall Junior Vice Champion 2003.

Most of the team will be appearing in O'Neill's latest video, "Tweaker", due to hit the shelves next month. Other commitments on the team's calendar this season incorporate the Ticket to Ride Tour, the O'Neill SB-Jam and the O'Neill Xtreme as well as filming for various productions including O'Neill's fifth video venture. Yet despite having assorted pursuits and strengths, Team O'Neill share a singular attitude, perhaps put best by Gian Simmen, "You push yourself to the limit just because you love doing it so much."

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