Brecken-fridge blasted stereotypes of being notoriously cold and windy with a mild, almost sunny day for the Vans Triple Crown Slopestyle finals, held Thursday, December 20. This was the first time for slopestyle in the Triple Crown, and despite some injures in yesterday’s qualifiers; the contest ran fast and smooth.
Jessica Dalpiaz was the women’s leader going into today’s contest and she stomped a good line, including a backside 540 to fifty-fifty on the rainbow rail. It was quite a surprise (even to her) that she ended up in fourth place. First-placed Kim Bohnsack rode amazingly, though, mastering the technical tricks with a frontside 180 to switch boardslide on the flatbar. New Hampshire’s Jamie MacLeod–always a slopestyle dominator–couldn’t stomp the big frontside threes she was trying off the first hit. “I was landing those in practice all day,” she said, claiming victim to contest lockup syndrome.
The men’s competition was really close, but sort-of-Breck-local Todd Richards ended up on top of the pile, slaying the course with his usual focus and winding things up with a huge 900. “I’m so glad I finally got my feet under me again,” said Richards, who was less than stoked on not qualifying for the finals in last weekend’s Mammoth Grand Prix halfpipe event.
Young rippers Travis Rice and JJ Thomas came in behind Richards. Rice is an explosive rider by nature, and managed to harness the energy on large corked spins. JJ Thomas, whose riding is always stylish and solid, picked up the tech end of things with a fakie three off the first kicker to inverted five. Used-to-be-Breck-local Chad Otterstrom was slaying the course all day in practice, but had a little trouble in his contest run and landed in spot-number four.
Slopestyle seems to be fast eclipsing big air as an alternative to halfpipe, especially when the courses are designed by the likes of Gunny Gunnerson of Snow Park Technologies (like this one was). And with event organizers ditching big air as an X-Games event, slopestyle seems to be the contest of the future.