The sun struck for the third day in a row. It was trying to be its old soggy northwest self this windy July 10th morning, but the clouds broke and the slopestyle got underway as planned in perfect conditions. The course started off with a series of rails: a “church rail (a spine-type lunker), some C-rails, and a gap-to rail; this led into a series of two 40-footer table’s, a 50-footer, a two-hitter halfpipe, and a quarterpipe. The action was really up top on the rails and through the triple jump section … or maybe that’s just what I was telling myself since there is no way to take it all in, and that’s where I was positioned.
Rumors and hearsay circulated through the crowd. I heard that twelve-year old Shakedown winner Seb Toutant had a run with 10′s all ways, I heard team managers debating whether Kass or Wiig would win, I heard money being bet on U.S. Open second place finisher Chaz Guldemond. After practice Wiig, Otterstrom, Jussi O, and Chaz Guldemond had the high odds among the salty peanut gallery.
The women hit the course first with a field of twenty riders. Noticably absent today was Molly Aguirre, who went down in halfpipe practice—she was definitely a favorite to win the Volvo this weekend. Jamie Anderson nailed it with a backside 3 nosegrab, frontside 3, to a frontside 180—heavy on the style. Natasza earned third with a cab 5, frontside 5, to backside 5 over the tables. Chanelle finally stuck her frontside 7 at the end of the day, minus the grab, but lofty enough to earn second, and Sylvia Mitttermuller nailed a frontside seven that I remember seeing her struggle with at the Roxy Chicken Jam earlier this winter. She got that trick.
Jussi Oksanen didn’t just have one winning run—he had three. His run was a boardslide to fakie out over the spine box, a switch 180 tailpress to 180 out over the C-rail, then it was full blast into a switch backside 9, a frontside 1080, and a frontside 7 over the tabletops. How about a Haakon cab seven in the half halfpipe and a handplant on the QP—that’s what it took to win the slopestyle today. Jussi wasn’t confident in his place on the podium with a solid field of riders stomping their way down the course. Danny Davis kept it progressive from top to bottom, linking up technical tricks with a frontside 270 to 270 on the church rail, and wisely choosing an alternate route over the down rail with a 50/50 gap to backside 180, linking up a switch backside 9, frontside 7, backside 7, into a frontside 9 in the u-tube, and an air to tail stall on the QP. And who can resist Danny Kass’ backside 5 crail on the last 50-footer. He’s been on a winning streak all weekend. Last night he took a 10,000 purse in a poker tournament—he doesn’t really play poker. Andreas Wiig won the best trick for a his switch backside Rodeo, but everyone pretty much agreed that he could have been awarded the prize for his backside Rodeo nine, or the frontside 10. Anyway, let’s just say he won best tricks.
I think we’ve compared this event to a Price Is Right Showcase Showdown before and this year was no different. Sixteen-year old Elena Hight showed consistency and skill throughout all the events, and that means she gets to return her mom’s car in exchange for a 2007 Volvo C70 convertible. Dude. Wait, there’s more. Harley Davidson gave a Sportster motorcycle to the male and female riders who “display the highest degree of unique and stylish riding. Harley got involved because of a shared history with snowboarding—rebel roots and a shared struggle for mainstream tolerance. Remember those days? Anyway, look for Jamie Anderson to be tearing up the pavement in South Lake Tahoe and Danny Kass to be hauling one inside his new Grenade Fun Hauler RV. And that’s the end of the sunniest ASJ ever. Back to the beach everyone.
Women’s Final Results:
1st Place Jamie Anderson, $5,000
2nd Place Chanelle Saldics, $1,200
3rd Place Natasza Zurek, $675
Sylvia Mittermuller, frontside seven (SSony HDV camcorder)
Men’s Final Results:
1st Place Jussi Oksanen, $10,000
2nd Place Danny Davis, $5,000
3rd Place Danny Kass, $2,500
Andreas Wiig, switch backside 900 (Sony HDV camcorder)
Harley-Davidson Most Inspired Rider Award
Volvo Overall Rider Award
Elena Hight: 1st and 2nd place finishes