Be there or be square; 1st annual JP Memorial comes to Riksgränsen in May

Be there or be square; 1st annual JP Memorial comes to Riksgränsen in May

In collaboration with Oakley and Giro, Armada is excited to announce the 1st annual JP Memorial. The open format contest comes to Riksgränsen, Sweden, May 3-7, 2015, in honor of the late, great JP Auclair.


“You won’t see an energy drink sponsor at this comp,” writes Armada on the event website, thejpmemorial.com. “You won’t see any banners or a lane closure on the course. We are here to celebrate [JP] in the way that he would see fit. Let’s take it back to the good times of skiing, circa 1998.”

And good times will be had, indeed. On the docket: the Best Backflip Mute Contest, the Quarterpipe Best Hit and the Best QP Straight Air. There’s an event dubbed “Send It” — you send it, you win. Additionally, awards will be dished out for Best Hair, Most Fun and Best Photo, to be judged by Armada’s Chris O’Connell and Swedish photog Daniel Rönnbäck. The former are open to a limited number of entrants while the latter contests are open to all in attendance, ensuring everyone on site can pay due homage to JP. Rest assured, there will be no shortage of high-spirited behavior and mischief, 200 km north of the Arctic Circle, in a place O’Connell points to as the birthplace of modern skiing.

Riksgränsen translates to “the national border.”

“The King of the Hill Contest at Riksgränsen, 1998 was the first place JP and I met,” says O’Connell. “We shot together for two weeks, and I quickly realized I was documenting the future of skiing. It was the first time any skier hit a halfpipe or quarterpipe with style. In the days before YouTube and Instagram, this contest was the first place the international ski media and photographers, therefore the world, really got an up-close peek at what could be done on skis in a terrain park. JP Auclair and JF Cusson filled the magazines in Europe and North America that following fall with the photos and stories from Riks’. Word traveled a bit slower back then.”

“The JP Memorial is to here to pay tribute to our hero, remember where this sport came from and put a little fun back into a ski contest.”

The fee to enter is 350 SEK ($40 US), a small price to pay (if you ask me!) to partake in what’s sure to be an unforgettable experience. Contestants are asked to register via thejpmemorial.com/sign-up-1; once you sign up, you’ll be contacted via email about payment processing. Armada intends to donate a portion of the proceeds to the JP Auclair Fund and Alpine Initiatives.

Information re: housing and transportation can be found here. Special rates are available at the Hotel Riksgränsen when you inquire about the “JP Memorial packages.” For those who will be arriving by plane, the airports in Kiruna, Sweden and Narvik, Norway will be your best bet.


JP Auclair with Glen Plake. Photo by Chris O’Connell.

I’ll be making the trek up and I hope to see many of you there. What could be better than rallying a large group of avid shredders and sending endless back’ mutes in the name of JP? I’m envisioning perfect slush, ice cold Carlsberg, hot dogs and beautiful blondes. Now, I’ve just got to figure out what sort of hair-do might win me a prize…

Related: Donate to the JP Auclair Fund & Andreas Fransson Fund

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