The last ski event to run at this year's Dew Tour was Men's Slopestyle. Dougbot was somehow still conscious and killing it... but can you hit the course in the preview next year Doug? Lots of the usual questions going in to this one thanks to some good conditions, not least: Would anyone do an interesting trick? Would the judges factor rails in the scores properly for once? Past evidence suggested the answer would be no to both, but one thing was clear right from the start: those stadium sports style 'athlete' intros are horrible.
Right out of the gates, Oystein Braten put down THE generic slopestyle run. Spin on, spin off + 4 ways dub 10/12 setting 86.4 as the benchmark. Fabian Boesch stomped a fairly similar run right after but upped the tech marginally and did at least vary up the axes a little with a switch dub misty and some carves in, for a score of 89(ish). It's good to see people landing their runs though, a nice change from semis/pipe. Jesper bobbled but he did do a blender switch dub 10, does that count as borderline interesting? Antoine Adelisse has a slightly quieter sports coach than Kevin Rolland last night, which is almost as nice as his dub 9 was. Also, fuck me this is slow when it's on live TV.
Gus makes things look stupidly easy. No matter what else you like/dislike about him, he's damn good, solid grabs, nothing that interesting but he did a switch 2 on to continuing misty out, using a rail as a jump so that's cool? He goes first by a big margin. Basically unless someone goes in to the top 3 or does something interesting, I'm not writing about it because otherwise this is going to turn in to a long list of very similar runs. ABM did a pretail and a backslide to fastslide... he crashed but at least relieved a bit of monotony. Jossi Wells makes skiing really really ridiculously good looking, yes he did 4 dubs but all carved, all cool axes mixing up the rails too, which was only good enough for 3rd. Woodsy also brought the style to his run, adding a little element of creativity/technicality in the middle section... but also only good for 3rd bumping Jossi, interesting.
Stomp game stronger than 'stache game
Standing just behind Woodsy in his post run interview, E-Heath was looking pimp in the media area, that's a highlight right there. Bruce Wells slayed his interview with Doug, "i got paid to throw bombs" "Beau's was the frothiest I've been", probably THE highlight of the whole broadcast. Back to skiing I guess, Oystein repeats the same old same old, Fabian Boesch more dub mistys but bobbled, I could probably copy paste the first run. Joss Christensen put a run down with some cool grab variety for 3rd. Antoine Adelisse buttchecked on a triple 14, which is a lot of rotation on a fairly small jump. Not a lot of highlights from the first nine riders this time round though, ABM repeated the same rail combo, still the most interesting trick selection in the event but couldn't put a run down.
It was cool to see Gus cheering on his fellow competitors from his first place 'throne' at the bottom, I can appreciate that sportsmanship, but really nothing much happened until the last two runs. Jossi 'Zoolander' Wells can definitely turn both ways, bring the afterbang and add rotations with a sw dub 14 (slightly sketchy landing)... but it was good enough for 2nd place! Finally something interesting. On the last rail trick of the last run, we finally have another 'out of the ordinary trick', this time from Woodsy: A stair ride to cannon back 6. Somehow it was only good enough for 5th despite a clean stylish run with the prerequisite 4 ways dubs. Bullshit, but such is comp skiing.
So that wraps it up for Dew Tour for another year, Slope finals were an undeniable display of technical mastery and there wasn't as much to openly mock as in Halfpipe yesterday. But it still left me feeling that something desperately needs to change to up the entertainment value for both the aficionado and the casual TV viewer. Shoutout to the commentators for managing to talk for 2 hours while occasional skiing happened between ad breaks and without saying too much stupid shit either. That's all from your resident disgruntled compenhater, see you at X-Games.