Words by Andrew J. Hogue / Photography by Aaron Blatt
As the snow fell softly this morning, slopestyle finals concluded. Although the course looked fresh, many riders struggled to stomp landings. Eric Willett had no trouble however and blew up the scoreboard with a first run of 91.0 that nobody could touch. His run started with a frontside 270 onto the down rail, followed by a gap to front lip 270 out on the gap down and a front board to switch on the cannon. On the last three jumps, he sealed the deal by locking in a switch back 10 double cork, a cab 900 double cork, and a frontside 1080 double cork. To cap the victory, Willett kissed the sky with a laid out blackflip, and the crowd went wild.
Behind Willett, Seb Toots and Justin Morgan finished second and third. What could have been a dramatic finish, couldn't have ended on a less dramatic note when Toots got caught up on a rail early in the final run of the contest. Gjermund Braaten who placed second at the Breckenridge Dew Tour slopestyle stop, also checked out after he failed to land the first of the three jumps.
After getting second at O'neill Evolution in Switzerland on January 7, Willett's first place finish has positioned him third in the Dew Cup standings overall and looks red hot coming into Winter X.
"You just gotta be comfortable with what you know how to do, go for it, and point it for the win," said Willett.
Although Willett was feeling good with his victory, the most stoked competitor was Morgan, who had been pushing for his first professional top three finish. When asked about what it meant to finally step up on that podium, Morgan said "To see all the hard work pay off in a big way is what I've been working towards, it means a lot man, I am so, so, stoked".