Snow, it turns out, is not actually a prerequisite for running a Big Air event. The technical term for the cumulative snowfall so far at today's big air venue in Steamboat Springs is fuck all. All through the event, it looked like post-season conditions but the jump itself looked great and the rider's comments certainly backed that up. It's rare these days that a big air actually looks fun, but all through qualis and finals, this one did. Sunny skies and a slushy landing certainly helped, and speed looked infinitely available too. As always, some big names missed out in qualifying, Nick Goepper, Kelly Sildaru, Woodsy, and NS favorite Max Moffat amongst them. Birk Ruud, meanwhile, made finals but didn't start, so fingers crossed that isn't anything serious. Ths was a great event all around, with NBD tricks and some creativity on show. The ladies, especially, crushed it.
Giulia Tanno kicked things off with a trademark dub 10 for 83 to set the benchmark for the rest of the field right out the gate, immediately followed by Sandra Ei with the same trick for a very similar score. Olivia Asselin dropped in with the switch 10 mute grabbed and stomped perfectly. Elena Gaskell stomped a switch 10 of her own, but of the bio variety to take an early lead with an 86.25. Eileen Gu opted for the left dub 10 too but went safety to japan and immediately bumped Elena into second. Johanne Killi went switch right dub 10 japan, also stomped perfectly to keep the rapid turnover of top spot going, followed by Sarah Hoefflin with a switch right dub 10 (mute) of her own, slotting in just behind Johanne. Tess Ledeux was last to drop with a dub 12 mute, taking the lead, with all 8 ladies stomping perfectly... something you almost never see in a contest, super impressive.
Giulia Tanno dropped a switch 10 but kinda sketched it. Sandra Ei carved super hard into a right dub 10 but got a bit lost in the air and side slapped hard. She seemed ok and the set was super dope, hopefully we see that stomped in a comp soon. Olivia Asselin backed up her switch 10 from run one with a left dub 10 safety but missed the grab a little. Elena Gaskell went bio 9 for an 80.5 and a second solid score on the board, but her lead didn't hold up long. Eileen Gu immediately bumped her with a right dub 12 safety for 90.75 and both ways dubs checked off. Johanne Killi put down the switch left 10 tail, but on-axis, for provisional second place. Sarah Hoefflin mirrored her switch dub 10 but whiffed the grab, scoring in the 70s. Tess Ledeux backed up the first run banger with a switch right bio 10 tail but the grab could have been better, leaving her second.
Olivia Asselin stepped up her dub 10 to a 12 and got the grab way better for 87.5. Giulia Tanno cleaned up her switch left 10 a little but the score improvement was minimal. Sarah Hoefflin went way too big on switch left dub redemption before Elena Gaskell went switch left 10 mute but couldn't improve her score. Johanne Killi also failed to improve, but put down the switch right 10 again for good measure. Tess Ledeux went close to dub 16 (first ever?) but couldn't quite hold it together, leaving Eileen Gu standing on top of the podium. On her victory lap, she sent the first dub 14 in a comp for good measure to end an epic ladies event. Big respect for that (scoring a 96, not that it mattered).
1) Eileen Gu
2) Tess Ledeux
3) Johanne Killi
Colby Stevenson, first to drop on the men's side stomped a switch dub 18 stalefish for 89.5. How is that trick not even breaking the 90s these days? The judges made a good call to leave themselves plenty of scoring space but damn, skiing has gone insane. Matej Svancer landed Tokyo drift on a switch trip 14 (1350?), deliberately apparently and scored a 90.5 for his efforts. Not sure about that one but it's certainly not easy. Alex Hall went large on the switch dub 18 Buick, almost landing in the fence and scoring huge, with a 91.75. Antoine Adelisse did the switch trip 14 pre nose thing again, it's still scoring huge so why stop I guess... 92.75.
Colby doubled up on the stalefish grabs on his dub 16, but slightly whiffed the first of the two, scoring 82. Thomas Frostad, coming outta nowhere, backed up a nice switch dub 16 from his first run with the forward version for a second solid score. Matej's first trick might have been a bit questionable, but there was no doubting the nosebutter triple 1980 he stomped this time around... 98.00 and a commanding lead. Oliwer Magnusson, clean as ever, dialed in the switch dub 18 tail, following up the forward version from his first run and a second high 80s score. Antoine Adelisse consolidated his great first run score with a right trip 16. More of a safety trick for him but 87.5 was enough to put him provisional second.
Ben Barclay snuck in out of nowhere, from last place to provisional third courtesy of a perfect forward dub 18 blunt. Capped and held too. Henrik finally put it down with the switch butter dub 10 safety, but it was too little too late for a podium shot. Alex Hall stomped a 1980 Buick, grabbed perfectly, bumping Ben off the podium, with a 94.0 and second place. Oliwer M and Thomas both improved with dub 18 variations but neither could make the podium spots despite perfect stomps. Antoine Adelisse dropped in from third but couldn't improve, leaving Matej with the second victory lap of the day. His switch double frontflip was the perfect way to cap a crazy contest, this kid is going to be hard to beat for years to come.
1) Matej Svancer
2) Alex Hall
3) Antoine Adelisse