Photo Epic: Proving Grounds 2022 – Practice Day

It’s that time of year again when 30 of the world’s best freeriders from big mountain and slopestyle make their way to Prineville, Oregon to compete at the Natural Selection Proving Grounds presented by Pacifico. The run-up to the event had the riders battling the weather as high winds caused unsafe conditions for the athletes to practice for any substantial amount of time, fortunately, Friday provided calm conditions for the majority of the morning which meant that the men’s qualifying could take place which had been postponed from the day before, and the calm conditions also afforded the athletes an opportunity to make sure that they are dialed for the Super Finals which are to take place on Saturday, September 10th.

The venue got a facelift from previous years and provided the athletes with a mix of slopestyle features and big mountain drops, the riders got to choose between two avenues to drop in on, and from there the rider got to pick their own adventure with a multitude of possible lines to hit the features that best suited their riding styles – much like the Natural Selection snow events, this course allows for the creativity of the athletes to shine through as they formulate their runs.

Practice was cut short due to the winds picking up, and this also meant that the best trick competition which was held in the evening had most of the riders either avoiding high-consequence tricks or deciding the sit the best trick comp out in favor of saving themselves for the super final. Despite the winds, the fans made their way to the venue to camp for the night so that as the sun rises, they too can rise and make their way out to the course to watch the madness unfold!


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