Words, pictures, and videos by Christophe Venot, reporting for Critical Motion Films and Newschoolers.com.
The 2003 USFSO slopestyle had a huge field of contenders, over 40 entering the semi-finals fighting for 12 spots in the finals.
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With most of the skiers either sketching out their landings or not demonstrating enough skill, only the 12 best remained, including big names such as: Tanner Hall, Jon Olsson, Mike Wilson, Henrik Winstedt, Pep Fujas, and Nick Mercon. Candide Thovex mysteriously dissapeared from the qualifiers and was not in the finals as had been expected. This year, there was a women's slopstyle division, 20 skiers in the quals narrowed down to 6 in the finals, incuding Sarah Burke and Kristy Leskinen.
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Womens finals ended up being a duel betweek Sarah and Kristy. Sarah's best run consisted of a greased downsloping rail and the downsloping rail next to the swingset rainbow, landing switch. She followed up with a big switch 540 and smooth grind on the triangle rail with a quick safety grab. The run was finished off with a huge 900 off the USFSO booter, putting her in fist place. Kristy's runs had a lot of potential, but unfortunately several sketched landings, yet she earned a solid second place. She stuck the first and second rails and pulled a nice 540 on the first booter. She then skipped the triangle rail to set up for a sick flatspin 720 which rivaled even the men's jumps. Jessica Cumming of Boulder earned 3rd place. She stuck the first and second rails and threw a nice 540 on the first booter. A slight sketch off of the triangle rail, then a 360 off the USFSO booter.
As for the men, Tanner Hall won the $7500 purse with a grind down staircase box to switch, 270 on flat rail, cork 720 tail grab, triangle rail to 270 off, switch cork 720 safety, switch cork 900 tail off the transfer gap. Olsson grabbed second place by 50/50ing the first half of the staircase box to 90 down the second, followed by a smooth grind on the swingset rail. A nice switch 360 safety with an extreme tweak off the first booter to 270 off the triangle rail. Not holding back, he threw a perfect switch 1080 safety and then enormous cork 900 safety across the transfer gap . 3rd place went to Nick Mercon, putting together an amazing run. Disaster to the downslope of the staircase box, smooth grind over the swingset rainbow, switch misty 900 tail, then triangle rail to switch. Super corked switch 7 off the USFSO booter, to an enormous cork 720 ACROSS the transfer gap. Honorable mention goes to Pep who zero'd across the transfer gap, nearly landing in the flats!.
Huge thanks to Christophe Venot (ten80) for this great coverage. Check out http://www.critical-motion.com.
For a complete result list, visit here.