Yuki Kadono Wins Air and Style LA with first Switch Backside Triple Cork 1620.
Over 30,000 people turned out for the first edition of Air and Style LA at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California on Saturday. The festival was the largest snowboarding event ever to be held in Southern California and proved to be quite the spectacle. A 160 foot high stadium jump jutted from the parking lot, and was surround by two music stages, along with throngs of food carts, vendors, and entertainment tents. Sixteen of the world’s best snowboarders battled it out in three rounds on the massive jump in front of an eclectic, sprawling crowd.
Japans Yuki Kadono PHOTO: Nick Hamilton
Yuki Kadono, 18, was on fire and took the overall win after stomping a huge switch backside 1620 triple cork. This was the first time a trick of this nature has ever been stomped in competition, and it was fitting to have it landed at the first installment of Air and Style in North America.
“I’m just so stoked. This is really amazing!” Kadono said after stomping his trick.
“This event is just so cool, and I’m really happy to be apart of it,” he continued.
Sebastian Toutant took second with his flawless style and massive triple corks.
“I was not expecting anything crazy, but this turned out to be such a sick event,” Toutant told us following the event. “It’s so great to be in LA and I think everyone really just enjoyed being here. It was so warm, but it’s crazy that the snow actually held on really well. This was actually the best jump out of all of the Air and Style’s. It’s crazy to think that since we’re in LA, but it’s true,” he concluded.
Stale Sandbech PHOTO: Nick Hamilton
Stale Sandbech placed third and in doing so, clinched the title of overall Air and Style Tour Winner, earning a solid $50,000 payout for having the best overall tour rankings.
“This feels amazing!” Sandbech said of his win. “It’s been a really big goal of mine this season, and just to win this legendary Ring of Glory feels so good! I’m so happy,” he said.
Stale Sandbech with his Air + Style series winner’s ring
The juxtaposition of the musical acts with contest snowboarding provided an interesting array of entertainment for the sprawling crowd that was dotted with overly eager teenagers, rock-oriented hipsters, LA socialites, partying parents and a plethora of photographers, both professional and amateur.
Things kicked off under the warm SoCal sun at 1 pm with the first heat of snowboarders sending it off the massive jump. As this wound down, everyone’s attention turn to the main stage where Shaun White’s band, Bad Things, tuned up for the first musical performance.
Lead singer, Davis LeDuke ranted around the stage with a furious fervor, prompting the crowd to rise up and dance, while suggestively beckoning people to enjoy themselves. His behavior was a stark contrast to White’s, who played with poised precision and a determined demeanor, similar to his attitude on his snowboard.
“I guess this proves Shaun White really can do everything,” said Ben Mona, 28, who was visiting from Montana. He said he was conned into coming by his girlfriend, who wanted to see the ‘snowy spectacle.’
Following the second round of snowboarding, a smattering of clouds that once simply dotted the sky, melded into a dark mass and the smell of rain permeated the air. Though drops never fell, the cooler temperatures were welcomed and also helped to keep the integrity of the manmade jump.
PHOTO: Nick Hamilton
Musical highlights of the day included Phantogram, a two-person electronic duo comprised of Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter. They took over the main stage and unleashed a fiery performance that captivated all, except for throngs of people that stood in the 45 minute lines for $10 PBRS.
Prior to the last song of Phantogram’s set, lead singer Sarah Barthel cooed her love for Shaun White, saying “We love you Shaun!” and thanked him for putting on the event with a heartfelt congratulatory exuberance.
As the clock crested 5 PM, the vibe was total festi-mode as attendees roamed the grounds in search of their next high; be it musical, booze-induced or otherwise.
“This isn’t a concert…. It’s a party y’al!l” said rapper Kendrick Lamar, who put on the last musical performance.
The swelling crowd ramped up for his show, but it unfortunately it was shut down early for being too loud… Or so Lamar said. The rapper stopped in the middle of a song and said he was being turned off for being too noisy. He then berated the sound police for interrupting his show, but shook the warning off, and performed one last song for the hyped crowd.
Air and Style continues tomorrow with another round of concerts and ski portion of the event.
Now it’s off to the after party where the 10% rule is sure to be in full effect.
Air + Style Los Angeles
1 Kadono, Yuki JPN 95,26
2 Toutant, Sebastien CAN 70,13
3 Sandbech, Stale NOR 65,65
4 McMorris, Mark CAN 58,65
5 Thorgren, Sven NOR 44,72
6 Truchon, Antoine CAN 71,92
7 Hansen, Kim Rune NOR 57,35
8 Parrot, Maxence CAN 49,32
9 Piiroinen, Peetu FIN 45,93
10 Willett, Eric USA 16,93
11 Kotsenburg, Sage USA 54,42
12 Horgmo, Torstein NOR 53,19
13 Ulsletten, Emil NOR 35,89
14 Mattsson, Niklas SWE 25,85
15 Bergrem, Torgeir NOR DNS
16 Morgan, Billy GBR DNS
Air + Style World Tour Ranking:
1 Sandbech, Stale NOR 273,54
2 Kadono, Yuki JPN 241,36
3 Toutant, Sebastien CAN 220,78
4 Piiroinen, Peetu FIN 204,43
5 Ulsletten, Emil NOR 175,91
6 Parrot, Maxence CAN 157,87
7 Mattsson, Niklas SWE 137,16
8 Bergrem, Torgeir NOR 132,80
9 Thorgren, Sven SWE 124,13
10 Kotsenburg, Sage USA 114,24
11 Truchon, Antoine CAN 110,57
12 Morgan, Billy GBR 100,54
13 Hansen, Kim Rune NOR 94,24
14 Inamura, Keita JPN 93,39
15 Lundstrom, Tor SWE 92,59
16 Willett, Eric USA 90,69
17 McMorris, Mark CAN 73,59
18 Mack, Kyle USA 72,26