On Saturday February 23rd The World Snowboarding Championships slope style event took place in Vail, Colorado. Being that Coors Light was one of the sponsors it took us a couple days to dry out and get the story to you. Sorry. The course looked like a good time. Rails, kickers and quarter pipes littered the hillside, including a “C” rail, rainbow and an up-flat-down rail that was about as tall as a house. Many of the jumps also had rail options. The course finished with the big “show time booter” at the bottom of the hill so that all the people who were too lazy to go up on the hill could still get some oohs and ahhs in.
Because of a previously mentioned sponsor the first part of the morning is a little fuzzy. I do remember Chris Engelsman’s crazy runs that were nearly all switch. Switch f/s boardslide? No problem. Cab sevens? Sure. Marc Frank Montoya had more steez in one trick than must people have in there whole run. He is so damn smooth sometimes you want to yell “do something hard” because he makes everything look so easy. But a couple of flat landings kept Marc out of the finals. Todd Richards was throwing down lofty quarter pipe McTwists and switch double helicopters. But a couple of falls kept him out of finals as well. When the qualifying results were posted it was Shaun White, Jussi, Travis Rice, E tree, Doran Laybourn, Andreas Wiig, David Benedek, and Joni Malmi who were going to the big show.
As for the ladies: last year’s winner Tara Dakides was injured during practice and wasn’t able to compete. (Tara if you’re reading this get well soon). That opened the door for all the other women in the field. Katrina Voutilainen threw down a couple of mean frontside fives. Fifteen-year-old Torah Bright was one of the few who hit the rainbow rail all day (keep your eyes open boys, I think she’s single). After two runs, Hana Beaman, Janna Meyen, Katrina Voutilanen, Annie Boulanger and Megan Pischke were going for the cash.
Katrina hurt her knee in the second round of the qualifiers, but it didn’t stop her from putting together a run good enough for third. Janna on the other hand put together a pretty sick run banging f/s board slides on the rails and lofty f/s 180s finishing off her run with a text book half cab and a nose press on the bottom rail. Everyone was happy to see Janna do well. Mostly because she is one of the most under rated women in snowboarding, but also because we all knew that Janna is well aware of the ten percent rule (ten percent of all winnings go to the bar). Hana Beaman would take the $20,000 in cash for her first place run that ended with one clean ass backside 5 off the showtime booter at the bottom.
Now back to the Men’s: Damn, I’m kinda like one of those Olympic announcers huh? “And now back to women’s curling,” oops sorry. So anyway, the finals got pretty heated. When there is $20,000 dollars on the line people tend to pull out the stops. Andreas was doing cab sevens, cab 9s and quarter pipe Haakons. While Travis Rice backside rodeoed, cab sevened and 270 to railed himself into fourth. Joni skipped most of the rails and went for the kickers. Since he did backside sevens and switch backside sevens I don’t think anyone cared. Especially the judges since they gave him third. Jussi finished second with a damn near perfect run that ended with a switch backside 9. Can you guess who got first? Come on take a stab. You’re right it was Shaun. How you suppose to beat a run that has a b/s 7, a f/s 5 a f/s 7 on the quarter pipe and is topped off with a cab 9? I don’t know either. One ting I do know is that Shaun left the weekend $35,000 richer. Not bad for two days work. Too bad he?s not old enough for the ten percent rule.
Mens slopestyle final 1. Shaun White – $20,000
2. Jussi Oksanen – $15,000
3. Joni Malmi – $10,000
4. Travis Rice
5. Chris Engelsman
6. Doran Laybourn
7. Andreas Wiig
8. David Benedek
1. Hana Beaman – $15,000
2. Janna Meyen – $10,000
4. Megan Pischke
5. Katrina Voutilanien