Cover: Freeski Sweden
It was the men's turn to step up to the slopestyle course to show the world what they've got on a cold morning in Beijing. This is one of the biggest slopestyle courses we've seen in a while and they came out lacing runs straight away. This was another excellent display of freestyle skiing on the worlds biggest sporting stage. Highlights below!
Colby Stevenson was the first to put down a run with some serious creativity and style; lacing a super fed on the transfer rail, switch 3 to switch 5050 which was damn clean and his nosebutter canon rail combo that we saw on insta, reminiscent of Delorme, followed by dub rodeo 12 and back to back switch 14s on the jumps giving him a good spot with a score in the high 70s. Birk Ruud took a creative line through the rails, spinning a 5 onto the butter pad before switch 2ing onto the down rail. His perfect jumps, back to back 16 and 14, on the last two booters were rewarded with 83.96.
Andri Ragettli skied with signature tech on the rails and back to back 16s for a commanding position in the pack. Edouard showed us why the 18-year-old is the future with some crazy rails putting a 3 swap down on the transfer rail and a double out of the cannon rail. He landed a bit backseat on the switch dub misty 16, he got docked a little for this, 70.40.
Kim Gubser took the biggest drop-in of the course and used the speed to hit the biggest transfer in the park, flat rail to the down of the DFD and backslide blind 4 off the canon were really nice. He went huge on the jumps, with a switch triple 12 high safety on the bottom booter. It looked like the solidness of the park hurt his legs with those Gucci plateau landings putting him into 4th with 76.71; he did not drop for run two.
Nick Geopper was the second to get into the 80s, putting both ways 2 on continuing blind 6s, one off the hut, in his signature technical rails. He was also the first, and only, skier in the men's field to hit the QP take off and laced dub 14 lead tail on the final booter which the judges liked, he was rewarded 82.51.
A Hall's switch 2p2 on the top rainbow rail was an absolute beauty, he tail tapped the third rail as part of a 9 rather than sliding it which might have cost him a couple of points. He used the butter pad wave feature showing his creativity and finished things off with a dub 16 lead Japan giving him a spot in the finals.
Matej looked effortless through most of his run, taking creative lines cutting back and forth but he fell on the final jump with a nosebutter just not getting it around. Hugo Burvall had a lovely switch lip blind swap to switch on the top transfer rails but fell on jump 2. Ben Barlcay skied well through the rails and laced up a dub 16 mute on the bottom jump that got the homies hyped, he earned 7th for his efforts.
Max Moffatt dropped a switch cork 4 onto rail 2, somehow fitting a blind swap continuing 4 into the cannon rail. He really surprised himself with how big he went on the last jump, switch dub 16 nose that he held forever. Parking lot stuff, what a run. Henrik had some trouble with his rails and lost his flow. Daniel Bacher went everywhere in the rail section stalling up on the walls and generally using the course to its fullest, putting a 'triple' 10 on the second jump, a real nice axis. This run put him in the bubble spot.
Teal Harle had beautiful rails, blind 3 swap continuing 2 followed by a perfect 4p2 and a misty 4 off the cannon although falling on his double 12, showing frustration and the challenge of a 2 run qualifier.
Ragettli put down another classic run of his with a front swap pretz 2 on the big transfer, switch 4 continuing 2 and a 2p4 on the high rail. His jumps were the same as run 1 although cleaner and bigger; he picked up the highest score of the day with this one, 85.08. Birk Ruud came off a rail early so wouldn't improve his run 1 score, although with no need to for a spot in finals.
Fabian Boesch didn't bow to the pressure. Dropping an underflip 450 on and misty 4 the cannon, he put down a triple 16 on the final booter as well. A really wild one to watch although not scored super high, ending up with a 74 and a spot in the finals. Jesper Tjader who had some trouble on the jumps in run 1, although flowing through the rails, improved them this time around gaining a place in the top 12.
Finn Bilous came off the first rail early but his disaster 270 was perfect as well as his cork 630 blunt off the cannon, coming up short on his 16s on jump one left him out of contention. The weather came in a little bit halfway through run 2 with the wind blowing across the top section of the course and caused trouble for a few, like Thibault.
A Hall, tried to improve things with a switch 2 back swap front 2 on the rainbow to down rail, opting for a 9 nose tap over the flat bar and on the wave feature he upped things to a 9 continuing butter 3 although his bindings got caught up midair on the last jump so he couldn't put it down. Matej laced up his second run, using all the transitions and being playful with it. His nosebutter dub 16 on the last jump was textbook, really flexing out the skis on the takeoff.
Ben Barclay cleaned things up from run 1, blind fed on the transfer, switch 4 disaster on the DFD. The blunt on his left dub 14 blunt was styled out really nice and his switch dub 16 mute was stomped. Upping his score by a couple of points and earning a spot in 7th. Evan McEachran yet again came unstuck on his jumps and will miss the finals. Javier Liso had a good rail section but a lack of technicality on the first two jumps kept him out of finals as well. Leonardo Donnaggio landed on the flat of the DFD, by accident, on his switch 2 disaster continuing 2 but he held onto it like a beast. Max Moffatt cleaned up the switch cork 4 on but lost the speed on the second jump, he'd sit in 11th with 4 riders to drop. Harlaut followed but was out of character and a little too sketch to progress but nothing could remove his smile though.
The brutal realities of a two-run qualifier kept yet more big names out of the finals such as Dollo, Teal and Evan we got an excellent show and are set up for a cracker of a final. Here's the full results list: