SHREDDING IN THE CITY: Red Bull Heavy Metal returns after 19 years

Published: Jan. 16, 2022 at 11:37 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN (KBJR 6) --Lake Superior was the backdrop for an urban snowboarding competition Sunday, Red Bull Heavy Metal.

“To bring it back at a real, legitimate place, with Duluth as that place that’s out of the city, that you have to trek to so people are staying up here,” Competition director Joe Sexton said. “Duluth was the perfect place for it.”

Red Bull Heavy Metal was last held in 2003, but 19 years later, 40 snowboarders competed at Cascade Park. They came from all over the country, including Maggie Leon.

“I just came out of Vermont, and I’ve never actually been to the Midwest,” Leon said. “This is pretty insane. Everything is set up real proper. It’s cool to see how much snow they have out here.”

Leon won first place in the women’s competition on a very special snowboard.

“I’m a design engineer at Burton Snowboards. It’s pretty cool. I actually made this guy myself,” Leon said.

Men’s winner Benny Milam is a Minnesota native and well-known urban snowboarding.

He helped Red Bull organize the event and said it was amazing seeing his ‘brainchild’ come to life.

“It’s just insane; I don’t know, it’s a dream come true, it still doesn’t feel real right now,” Milam said.

While the competitors rode snowboards, this was far from what you might see on a regular ski hill.

“Urban snowboarding is a lot gnarlier,” Milam said. “There’s always something in the way, and it’s a lot harder to ride away from things. It’s a lot of work, urban snowboarding.”

The city of Duluth worked closely with Red Bull Organizers to pull off the event and said they are proud they brought the successful it back to Duluth.

“It feels like it was a big win for snowboarding. I thought the energy was insane, and the turnout was really cool,” Sexton said.

The event featured three rounds of competition, where snowboarders competed ‘jam’ style, meaning they all competed at once.

To learn more about Red Bull Heavy Metal, click here.

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