NewsJune 26, 2023

Banked Bakony 2023

Once again, the Eplény Ski Arena hosted the eagerly awaited Banked Bakony freestyle meeting, showcasing a fusion of various snowboarding styles.

This year's event saw a remarkable turnout, with 115 riders competing across eight categories on Saturday. The youngest participant was a mere nine years old, while the oldest rider, aged 60, demonstrated their enduring passion. In addition to the Hungarian snowboarders, the competition welcomed participants from Italy, Austria, Germany, and Belgium.

The banked slalom, a distinctive and increasingly popular discipline in snowboarding, took center stage. Riders navigated a thrilling course adorned with banked turns, undulating waves, and other custom-built features, vying for the best time. The Banked Bakony holds accreditation from the International Snowboard Federation, cementing its status on the official competition calendar. The organizers harbored a clear objective: to establish a cherished tradition, showcase the beauty of the Bakony region to both visitors and competitors, and put the Eplény Ski Arena on the international snowboarding map.

"We aimed to organize an internationally acclaimed event in Eplény, where not only competitors but also friends and spectators could revel in the experience. The competition format is highly captivating and easily comprehensible for all, even those unfamiliar with snowboarding. Descending the course mirrors the sensation of riding a wave, creating an exhilarating experience for the riders. Meanwhile, the spectators are treated to lively commentary, hot tea, and delectable hotdogs. The presence of foreign riders elevated the event to new heights, and witnessing the local riders triumph over the fiercely competitive field, including the professional category, was truly inspiring," shared Gergő Koczka, the main organizer of the event.

Botond Fricz, who relocated to Innsbruck last year, emerged as the victor in this year's Banked Bakony, successfully defending his title and claiming the prestigious "Wild Boar" trophy, hand-carved and steeped in legend, for yet another year. German Olympian Leon Gütl secured second place, fresh from his endeavors at Laax Opera in Switzerland, while Austrian rider Alex Taferner secured an impressive third place.

"The entire 'Banked' weekend was an incredible experience! It felt fantastic to snowboard in Hungary once again and showcase the Eplény ski resort and its picturesque surroundings to my international friends. I am immensely proud of the enthusiastic participation of numerous young talents. Providing them with professional conditions in Eplény holds great importance for me, considering this is where my own career began 10 to 15 years ago," expressed Botond Fricz, the winner of the Elite category and a professional freestyle snowboarder.

In the Open category, the competition was fiercely contested by both the female and male riders. Emma Tóth emerged triumphant in the women's race, clinching victory by a mere four-hundredths of a second, with Brunner Blanca and Anna Huszár, both regular European Cup contenders, finishing closely behind. Among the men, Artúr Bede showcased exceptional skills, being the sole participant to complete the course in under 30 seconds, thus claiming the coveted snowboarding trophy. Milán Csontos secured second place, while Levente Kovács celebrated a well-deserved third place finish.

The Banked Bakony Freestyle Meeting once again etched its mark on the snowboarding landscape, delivering unforgettable moments and fostering a vibrant community. As the event concluded, participants and spectators alike departed with memories to cherish and a shared anticipation for future editions.

Keep riding the slopes,

The Banked Bakony Team

Detailed results are available on our site: