You are totally correct. They robbed him of the true gratitude and results he should have gotten. Simon boosted and his first two hits were massive and huge grabs, however this is where it goes wrong...
Simon got the highest pipe score ever. Below is a list of things that should all account towards a person not winning a pipe competition at the level of ski tour.
-Every hit was spun the same way
-He only grabbed on two of his hits
-Both times he grabed it was in the same areas of the ski
-He didn't have a switch hit
These are four very great indicators that Simon SHOULD NOT HAVE WON this competition. I can understand if he chose not to grab on his 12 or the alley oop ten because each are incredibly difficult tricks respectively, and he made them look descent without a grab. However, I think that you can use a "no grab" for style points on no more than one trick. For example, the 1260 looked a lot like the Yasutoku roller blader, the trick does look cool. But spinning like a top and tucking your hands into your chest like Eric Burgoust two hits in a row should be enough deduction (no matter how large the hits) to not win a Ski Tour stop.
Bla blah blah, but its hard to grab on a 1260 you say? I am pretty sure that Matt Hayward does it pretty legit, and I saw multiple people at the US Open attempt 1260's with grabs. Simon has the amplitude, but for the past 10 years competition judges always say I am looking for grabs. But then they get mesmerized by the amount of spinning and once again choose what looks cool to the people in Chicago watching on TV.
Don't get me wrong Ski Tour is a great event and is put on beautifully, but there does definately need to be some changes in how the judging works. Another great example of this is a local Boy Charlie Lasser dropped in two skiers before other Local boy Peter Olenick. Charlie did a sick cork 5 nose mute (check pics on freeskier) to right 5 opp tail, to cork 9 blunt, to alley oop flatspin 7 high critical. Granted that Charlie went a little lower on a few of his hits he nailed every grab, spun both ways, and had tricks that looked very different on each hit. In contrast, Peter Olenick did the Whiskey Flip (double backflip 180) with a weak grab and landed very backseat. The rest of his pipe run was very very very sloppy and he even landed on his but on his third hit, and landed at the bottom on the 4th.
Not to say that Charlie should have won or anything, but this is just an example of where things go wrong in judging. Charlie had a stomped run- hands down- Peter butt checked twice and was sloppy, yet still scored more than 20 points higher than Charlie? This happened with many athletes like Dorey and JL, but it shouldn't continue to happen. Just because guys like Peter and Simon have big names, and big ugly tricks should they place this well? No not at all, judges probably need to change their requirements.
ATA ATA ATA ATA ATA ATA ATA