After last year’s relocation of the event to the Olympic Stadium in Munich, the 14th edition of the Air & Style once again managed to set new standards. The redesigned and newly positioned monster kicker allowed for harder snowboarding action and brought the happenings closer to the audience, who enjoyed significantly improved visibility from all ranks. The event organizers took last year’s criticism into account and achieved a truly convincing setup. Thanks to the integration of the FMX contest into the snowboard setup and an additional Rookie Contest, the focus was mainly turned back on snowboarding. The head-to-head contest format established during last year’s event remained the method of choice. The only difference was that instead of two riders it was four who competed in the finals, which made the contest even more exciting. Musically, the one-of-a-kind event was powered by concerts of British Newcomers Milburn, Canadian punk rockers Billy Talent and the Berlin local heroes of Seeed.
As a novelty for 2006, a Rookie Challenge was part of the show. Ten up-and-coming snowboard talents from different nations gave proof of their skills during a half-hour jam session. The Challenge’s winner Mikkel Bang, (Norway) was rewarded with a place in the starter’s field for Air & Style 2007.
From the 16 participating snowboarders it eventually was Travis Rice, USA who beat Risto Mattila, FIN, Antti Autti, FIN and David Benedek, GER after a neck-and-neck battle with a Double Backflip BS 180, Cab 540 Tailgrab and a broken board. Risto Mattila stomped a Switch 1080 Nosegrab to Switch BS 540, Antti Autti showed FS 1260 Tailgrabs to Switch BS 720 and David Benedek could unfortunately not hold his incredible FS Double Cork 1260 from the first round in the finals. The surprise of the evening definitely was that the evening’s favorite Shaun White was out in round 2 after what was probably the hottest battle of the evening against Antti Autti inspite of noticeable Cab 1260s. Other highlights of the evening included last year’s winner Hampus Mossesson with BS Shifty 900s, Eero Ettala with his signature trick, a Switch Double Backflip, and young Torstein Horgmo with FS 1080s.However, the true winners of the evening were the 25.000 fans in the famous Olympic Stadium who experienced an unequalled mega event that perfectly tied in with the “glorious old days of the Air & Style. After the exceptional show, many excited snowboard fans turned the night into day at various After Show-parties.
All things considered, the Air & Style can once again proudly proclaim itself the king of in-city contests. Even though many other TTR-Tour stops have already drawn level with the event due to their noticeable setup and rider skills, the special atmosphere of an Air & Style still remains unmatched.
1. Travis Rice, (USA)2. Risto Mattila, (Finland)3. Antti Autti, (Finland)4. David Benedek, (Germany)
Nokia Air & Style is supported Braun, DC, Protest, BMW, Swatch, Osram, vybemobile, yahoo and TTR.