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From the World, Originals April 3, 2023April 11th, 2023

Notes from the Vans Hi Standard

But first, we take ourselves to Lugano. Meetings, with Spritzs in hands, trying to keep a lid on it. The fine line between spritz inspired media genius moments and drunken incoherency.  A senior manager at Vans asks me with the same raised eyebrow and tone “So what are your intentions with my daughter”, but replace the word  ‘daughter’ with ‘snowboarding’. We stall, regroup and say when it’s an organic fit – we’re in! And off we go to Laax, fully fledged, lift pass holding, beanie wearing media invitees of the Vans High Standard. What a time to be alive.

Oh Laax baby!

Now it is impossible to talk about Laax without talking about the riders hotel. More specifically, the Lobby bar of the riders hotel. A revolving door of high fives, fist bumps, a fuck ton of beanies and some of the finest and most aggressive goggle tans known to humanity. Largely fuelled by Aperol Spritz and topped up by Moscow mules. Rooms up top and a night club down below. A fantastic set up if we’ve ever seen one.

Now snowboard events are very similar to stag dos (or ‘bachelor parties’) depending on what side of the Atlantic you are on. That is, go huge the first night and then play catch up and nurse pints all weekend. And the High Standard is no different. We go huge the first night and the next morning are found dishevelled on the side of the piste in excellent company. Sparrow Knox bringing his seemingly never ending enthusiasm whilst Yung Doli, who pretty much single handedly handles all nocturnal activities in Laax and heading up Drink Sexy assures us that all will be fine and we’ll be in the lobby of the riders before we know it.



Finals day, we scrape a media plan with our old friend Arthur Longo running the socials. There’s a 10k price purse for both men and women’s which based on a) being Switzerland and b) being Switzerland would last us exactly 45 minutes at any bar, based on the rate we’re depositing Sweet Swiss Francs (SSF). 13 men and 4 women make the final with Simon Gschaider and Hanna Hrund taking home the win and the big bucks with a impressive display of riding. We shimmy on down the hill, already looking forward to next year’s edition.

Thanks to Vans, Laax and the Riders hotel for having us. Whether we’re invited back is yet to be seen.

Victors – Hanna Hrund & Simon Gschaider

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