Snowboarding: Red Bull Heavy Metal event returns to Duluth in January

Street snowboarders to showcase their skills Jan. 16 at Cascade Park.

Minnesota native Benny Milam performs a "nosepress" at the Red Bull Lakehouse Feburary 11, 2021, in Chisago City, Minnesota. Top-level street snowboarding returns to Duluth with the recent announcement that Red Bull Heavy Metal will take place at Cascade Park Sunday, Jan. 16. Photo courtesy of Ryan Taylor / Red Bull Content Pool
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Top-level street snowboarding returns to Duluth with the recent announcement that Red Bull Heavy Metal will take place at Cascade Park in Duluth’s Central Hillside Sunday, Jan. 16.

According to the release, Red Bull Heavy Metal is “a single-day snowboard contest that features a variety of unique obstacles and lines, compiled in one tight space for the ultimate exhibition of elite street riding.” It hasn’t been held in Duluth since 2003.

Red Bull Heavy Metal will feature snowboarders such as Minnesota native Benny Milam showcasing their unique style of rail riding in front of a Duluth crowd. The event is free and open to the public.

Another Minnesota native, street snowboarding legend Joe Sexton, is the competition director for the event.

“Heavy Metal brings riders who were not traditionally contest riders to the event,” Sexton said in a release. “Street style snowboarders don’t necessarily enter competitions, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t producing some of the heaviest snowboarding parts. (In the original Red Bull Heavy Metal competitions) it was really cool to see the people that were in my favorite videos riding in a contest.


“(Red Bull Heavy Metal) showcases a different side of snowboarding. These riders are the best in the world at what they do, and I think (spectators) are going to see some really cool stuff.”

While the confirmed list of world-class men’s and women’s riders will be announced in coming weeks, as well as further details, some riders expected to compete in addition to Milam include Zeb Powell, Miles Fallon, Zak Hale, Nora Beck, Savannah Shinske, Draydon Gardner, Blake Lamb, Danyale Patterson, Ryan Paul, Ben Bilodeau and Gracie Warner.

Red Bull Heavy Metal will stay true to its roots by utilizing the natural beauty and function of the “rails, drops, gaps, and banks of Cascade Park.”

“Cascade Park is a figurehead for street snowboarding, even outside of Duluth,” Sexton said. “Everyone knows how big that spot is, but only a select few (riders) have stepped to the rail and handled it. I think it makes one of the best spots for the return of Red Bull Heavy Metal.”

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