Crystal Awards Innsbruck / Alpin Urban Art 2020
31. 3. 2020
After a few days of constant snowfall, clouds and wind, the weather finally got better, just in time for slopestyle finals to begin. Due to inclement weather, organizers had no choice but to cancel elimination runs and put all riders straight into the finals. When we got up off the Crap Sogn Gion cable car station, you could feel immediately the "aloha" vibe everywhere. The end of the mini ramp, the little sister to the world's biggest superipe, was painted blue to create proper Hawaiian atmosphere for guys and girls in aloha shirts to perform variety of laybacks and surf moves. Everybody was wearing flower necklaces and spread the hula-feeling across the place. Good times!
The ladies kicked things off first and it was New Zealand's Christy Prior coming all the way to enter the contest she eventually won. You could tell that this win made her really happy as she needed to cheer up after an early bail in Sochi. Second place went to a regular competitor Jamie Anderson, the gold slopestyle medalist from the past Winter Games. Another heavy hitter and ever quiet Finnish female rider Enni Rukajarvi rounded up the podium and more and more people started to gather around the slopestyle course, soon about to witness the best of today's slopestyle competitive riding. Men were up.
Mark McMorris, probably the best slopestyler of today, Torstein Horgmo, a man who landed the first triple cork in a competition, Peetu Piiroinen, five time World champion, or Emil Ulsletten, a winner of the last Air + Style in Beijing with Switch Backside Triple Cork 1440 Mute Grab, all those names had been waiting for the sun to clear the sky to show why they are among, if not the best snowboarders on the planet.
The slopestyle course consisted of a jib line and three massive kickers standing in a row, all 25m long. You have to maintain good speed if you want to succeed here. And let me tell you, we were close enough to hear that noise your jacket and pants made when hitting jumps at a very high speed - SHMMMMM! Switch backside 1200, double cork 10? Insane! Predictably, it was another case of various doubles at BEO 2015 but it seemed many riders didn't generate enough speed to stomp any triples. Mark McMorris tried one to beat Stale Sandbech, who just did a double Crippler at a small feature nobody would have thought of doing it there, but didn't land it, falling down in his second run so it was decided; Stale Sandbech took the win. Rounding out the podium was Torstein Horgmo, who was almost even with Mark in score, but it was Canadian born, who judges decided in favor of in the end.
1. Staale Sandbech (NOR) - 91.40pt
2. Mark McMorris (CAN) - 85.60pt
3. Torstein Horgmo (NOR) - 83.25pt
1. Christy Prior (NZ) - 84.00pt
2. Jamie Anderson (USA) - 78.55pt
3. Enni Rukajärvi (FIN) - 75.20pt
Whilst everybody was waking up after crazy party with Dirtyphonics crew in the house, women halfpipe training had been already in progress (well, we didn't catch up either) and the weather turned bad once again. Consistent snow fell throughout the day as the top 10 men and six women put down their best of three runs. In the women’s Halfpipe finals, all eyes were on Kelly Clark who took first place with a run including a frontside air, backside 540 mute, frontside 720 indy, Cab 720 indy, crippler stalefish and a method air. But the best was yet to come.
Men's finals were epic. Although the stormy conditions made it challenging to get consistent speed, Iouri "iPod" Podladtchikov, Arthur Longo or the "wonder" kid Ayumu Hirano didn't seem to care. Flying 5-6 meters above the 7 meters high icy walls of what is claimed the biggest operated halfpipe worldwide? No sweat. As the elimination runs predicted, Iouri, Mr.Longo, Ayamu Hirano or Jake Pates went massive in the finals. Huge airs, crazy double corks variations and stylish methods all over the pipe. Swiss rider, David Hableutzel made the home crowd proud finishing 3rd. Young Ayamu must have ollie boots of some sorts. Flying high all the way down, performing series of double corks mixed with huge airs yield him second place. And it was once again, now the 26-year-old Russian-born Swiss rider Iouri Podladtchikov, who successfully defended the 2014 halfpipe title with a run including a method air, frontside 900 tail grab, backside 900 mute, frontside 1080 tail grab, Cab double cork 1080 indy and a frontside double cork 1080 truckdriver.
If style was preferred over difficulty, Arthur Longo would win every halfpipe competition on the planet
1. Kelly Clark (USA)
2. Chloe Kim (USA)
3. Nadja Purtschert (SUI)
1. Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI)
2. Ayumu Hirano (JPN)
3. David Habluetzel (SUI)
Photos: © David "Dave" Mikulec
GOSTOPSITE23 28.4.2022 21:39
GOSTOPSITE23 28.4.2022 21:39
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