Backcountry icon Devun Walsh wins Legend Award honors at Transworld Snowboarding Riders’ Poll | SummitDaily.com

Backcountry icon Devun Walsh wins Legend Award honors at Transworld Snowboarding Riders’ Poll

Summit Daily staff report
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A guy like Devun Walsh doesn't need an award to say he's one of the best to ever step on a snowboard — but it doesn't hurt.

On Friday evening, Transworld Snowboarding honored Walsh with the coveted Legend Award at the magazine's 18th annual Riders' Poll Awards, held during Dew Tour weekend for the first time ever at the Riverwalk Center in downtown Breckenridge.

Haven't heard of Walsh before? Neither have most casual snowboarding fans, but for 20 years, the native of Canada has been a top-tier pro. He traveled to every corner of the world before it was standard for sponsored pros, board bag in tow, always returning home to British Columbia. It's there, in and around Whistler, where he pioneered backcountry zones and tricks, filming benchmark video parts in the process, according to a release from Transworld.

Walsh cemented his place in the pro ranks with standout segments in the Mack Dawg films from the late '90s and early 2000s, with parts in the Wildcats' movies interspersed. Since stepping back from relentless filming, he has continued to innovate backcountry freestyle riding, taking younger, less-seasoned snowboarders under his wing, instilling decades of knowledge and ushering in a new generation of riders who push the boundaries out of bounds.

Oddly enough, Walsh is also the first Canadian rider to win Legend Award honors, joining the likes of Chris Roach and other veterans who still board all day, every day, without slowing down.

"In everything Devun does — on a snowboard or off — it's always been about style over flash, and his embrace of the next generation has had a profoundly positive impact on snowboarding," Transworld content director Nick Hamilton said. "Devun's approach is one any snowboarder can appreciate."

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Wildcat to the core

While Walsh's pro career surrounded him with overindulgence, he learned early on to navigate this party-influenced industry. He always put snowboarding first, saving the celebration for when it was warranted, and showed everyone else how it's done when the occasion arose.

After two decades, Walsh's wisdom has led him to the well-deserved Legend Award. And he shows no signs of slowing down: This past season, Walsh rallied the Wildcats — a British Columbia-based snowboard crew that, at this point, has become almost synonymous with his name — to create a movie that showcases 10 years of backcountry prowess and party-hard shenanigans. The film, "Wildcats Never Die," reminds the snowboarding world just how influential this group of Canucks has been on the culture.

For 18 years, Transworld has polled the professional snowboarding community to find their picks for the best riders of the year. Each season, these awards are decided by the opinions of over 100 pros. While Transworld hosts the awards, the winners are truly a reflection of peer acknowledgement — the highest honor any rider can receive.