The day before slope style, Mammoth spat high winds and gray skies on all the lil’ Triple Crown competitors. Everybody just wanted some sun–careful what you wish for. Mr. sunshine did make an appearance and promptly turned the course into the slow lane. When Todd Richards knuckles a 20-foot table, you know there’s a problem.

Knuckle: the word of the day. Slow conditions quickly neutralized many competitors–it was hard to watch. Kids with skill were coming up short and getting owned. But hey, it was a gorgeous day for a suntan, and it could be argued this is what competition is about: adapting to any condition. A few did just that.

A word about judging. Often people like myself see things quite differently. In boxing, the view from press row versus the official judges can be comical. It goes something like this: if the outcome isn’t a travesty of justice, they try not to beat anyone up about it. Using their method, I have nothing to cry about. The top three, all deserved to be in the top five, so I’ll call it good.

Janna Meyen took the women’s event with a nice frontside floater over the hip into a backside 540 to Cab 540 combo–as sick as it was, she rides even better. That’s a compliment. Jessica Dalpiaz came in second place with some clean, consistent lines. But the big news was Tara Dakides. Tara pulled a backside 720 over the tabletop after stomping her signature “Taradactyl”. She’s playin’ for keeps–don’t call it a comeback. Much respect to Erin Comstock for the smooth switch backside 180s.

On the men’s side of things, up-and-coming “super competitor” Ryan Paris took out some big guns. How he fired past Todd Richards by nearly ten points is beyond me, but I’m not hating’ on judges, remember? The kid rode really well. Danny Kass barely edged out Nate Sheehan for second, linking a huge switch backside rodeo to perfect backside seven followed by a couple seamless rail moves on the lower section. Sheehan had all the technical maneuvers locked and made it all look pretty. Myles Hallen and Rahm Klambert rounded out fourth and fifth. Scanners Andreas Wiig and Tuomo Ojala put the hurt on this course finishing six and seventh–had “Mandreas” not sketched a little on his backside nine, he may have been top three. What does T.R. have to do? Homeboy’s second run was perfect and only earned him eighth place. Alex Soroken had super tech spins, knuckled the lot of ‘em, and refused to fall, painfully stomping everything for ninth position: nice work.

Random observations (and one robbery): French Canadians named Guillaume (Brochu and Morisset) really handle their business on the handrails. Jimmy Rippey was the only guy I saw alley-oop the hip, then follow it up with a textbook switch backside rodeo seven. Last but not least, I can safely say Cory Cronk got robbed. Smooth 720s to backside 540s landed Cory 28th. Did I miss something?

One hit wonders die quick, and consistent riders reap the rewards at slope style events, and this was no exception. Can you keep your nose clean for an entire run through the park? It’s harder than it looks, little ones.

RESULTS:

Men’s Slopestyle

1. Ryan Paris

2. Danny Kass

3. Nate Sheehan

4. Myles Hallen

5. Rahm Klampert

6. Andread Wiig

7. Tuomo Ojala

8. Todd Richards

9. Alex Soroken

10. Eric Shaw

11. David Fortin

12. Daniel Sewell

13. Guillaume Brochu

14. Christian Halland

15. Jake Blauvelt

16. Chelone Miller

17. Kevin Pierce

18. Henning Matinsen

19. Ben Conner

20. Justin Lamoureux

Women’s Slopestyle

1. Janna Meyen

2. Jessica Dalpiaz

3. Tara Dakides

4. Cheryl Mass

5. Kelly Clark

6. Izumi Amaike

7. Jaime Amderson

8. Erin Comstock

9. Natassa Zurek

10. Maribeth Swetkoff