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How Cool is This? Street Snowboarding Takes Over Hart Plaza

The Iconic Red Bull Heavy Metal Contest Swept Through Detroit with Rising Star Grace Warner at the Helm


Odds are, a 22-year-old female from Commerce Township is not the persona that comes to mind when we think competitive street snowboarding, but Red Bull athlete Grace Warner is defying the odds.

Warner is at the forefront of the next generation of riders, winning over fans from all over the world with her Midwest style that has a heavy emphasis on street staples like rails and stairs and the ability to turn any artifact of urban life into a feature.

In fact, this rising star helped bring the biggest street snowboarding event to date to her home city of Detroit this past weekend.

On February 11, the iconic Red Bull Heavy Metal street snowboard contest showed off over forty of the world’s top street snowboard athletes, including Grace and her younger brother Drake, and some of the most progressive rail riding in the world to an energetic and fascinated crowd including many of Warner’s family members and friends.



Red Bull Athlete and snowboarder Benny Milam was an event Ambassador alongside Warner.

“I’ve been so excited to give Detroiters a sneak peek into what we do and hopefully we inspired others to drop into a snowboard for the first time,” said Warner.

Milan echoes this saying, “I’m stoked to help bring such an iconic event to a city with a big and growing street snowboarding scene.”

Indeed, the street snowboarding scene is quickly going from a little-known sport to a hot topic around the country, including in the Midwest and Detroit, but this largely unexplored sport has always been at the forefront of the Warner family.

Warner’s father, an avid snowboarder, strapped snowboards on all four of his kids at a young age and none of them have looked back.

I’d practice for hours with my dad and siblings every day after school at Alpine Valley and Pine Knob. It quickly became an addiction – we all fell in love, said Warner.

She says her competitive side has surfaced more in the last two years. “I was never really competitive about snowboarding but having the opportunity to enter some contests kind of pulled that out in me, and it’s been fun.”

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And her talents are being noticed.

Warner joined the Burton Snowboarding team and signed on with Red Bull in 2022. She then traveled to Europe for the first time to film her part for the all-women street shredfest Hot Coco, which premiered on Red Bull TV. She recently took second place at the Red Bull Rail Yard in North Carolina and is looking forward to carrying that momentum into this weekend’s event.

The rising star talks about the rise of the sport itself saying, “It’s definitely exploding in Detroit and all over. It’s insane to see the number of kids hitting the park. It’s quadrupled since I was a kid and it’s become such a strong community.”

When asked about what the event in Detroit means to her, she says,

That is something I’ve been trying to find words for. I cannot describe how much it means to have been given the opportunity to bring my worlds together – the snowboarding community, my family and friends – for one day in my home city. I’m beyond grateful that Red Bull has given me the chance to do so. I’m just speechless.

A typically male-dominated sport, Warner comments about what it’s like to be an up-and-coming female.

“I’ve spent my life trying to keep up with the men. I would show up at the hill and it would be 99% males, but ultimately that has benefited me,” she said. “Recently I am seeing more and more females jumping into the sport and that’s really exciting.”

When asked what she was most looking forward to regarding the event, she says, it’s coming together as a community. “Most of the time we are split up into crews and traveling around shooting content, so coming together and showing everyone what we’ve got is really important and fun.”

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Pat Fava and Egan Wint earned the top spots on the podium by putting it down in three unique zones. The day kicked off on the iconic 20-foot concrete wallride. Following this, the riders then rolled up to Zone 2 ready to battle with the technical down-flat-down rail in the middle of Hart Plaza. The event closed out in a rowdy session in Zone 3, a 50-foot steel down rail in the amphitheater.

Warner said of event, “This has been absolutely unreal. My heart is incredibly full. Riding with my crew, dropping behind my brother [Drake Warner] meant the world to me.” In addition to invited pros, the event included local riders such as Brent Behn, Derek Lemke, and Nick Fox among others.


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