Photos: David Malacrida
The first ever Sosh Big Air event went off in Annecy this afternoon. The format? A brand new one requiring the riders to leave their double cork comfort zones and choose tricks off a set trick list. The tricks were throwbacks to legendary skiing moments past like Tanner's cork three gorilla steeze, Pep's zero spin critical, Candide's poleplant cork seven etc. Those tricks came with a set score for perfect execution and then deductions for imperfections. Certainly a first in our little sector of skiing, but how did it work?
Well, it was interesting for sure. The audience got to see a whole bunch of tricks you'd never see anymore in a big air event. And there were some insane highlight moments, not least Henrik's incarnation of Pep's 0 in semis. But in semi-finals around half of the guys had no interest in doing tricks on the trick list, and plenty more looked uncomfortable with the whole setup. Jossi was one of the guys to score four 0s. Part of the blame here can be attributed to shitty conditions but there was a sense from our crew on the ground that some just weren't stoked.
In the finals speed was better, we had a lot more highlights and a lot fewer lowlights. A gucci plateau cork sev poleplant blunt from Henrik, an insanely big flat five bow and arrow from Luca Schuler were among early bangers. Henrik even finished off the competition by doing his own throwback trick from the list, a nosebutter dub 12 blunt. It was a cool idea to throwback to old school tricks, the event was designed to celebrate the history of freeskiing and put style on show, which it did. The finals were actually a pretty good watch, even a refreshing change perhaps. But the commentators were constantly asking 'was that the way he was supposed to do that trick'. The skiers were choosing set tricks from a list with set grabs and set scores. Luca Schuler even picked up a single pole so he could do the poleplant cork 7. That seems deeply at odds with the pursuit of freedom in skiing the early pioneers abandoned aerials for.
Shoutout Lolo Favre for keeping it real in the commentary with the history lessons and correcting trick calls.
1. Henrik Harlaut
2. Fabian Boesch