Jamie Anderson is still the best female slopestyle rider on earth…
No questions asked. Jamie's been dominant for over a decade by utilizing style and consistency and today, she cemented another brick in her legacy by coming out swinging and qualifying first for the women.
But maybe not for long.
There's more talent and competition in women's slopestyle than there has ever been. Be it Hailey Langland, Julia Marino, Silje Norendal, Spencer O'Brien, Anna Gasser or Katie Ormerod, there's never been a field this deep before, so while Jamie is still the reigning queen of slopestyle, any of the aforementioned girls could take her title if they hit a hot streak and land the run they're capable of.
The US is the women’s slopestyle favorite heading into the 2018 Pyongchang Games…
Without a doubt. Jamie will most likely win it again, but we also have Hailey Langland and Julia Marino to round out the podium as well, which is not hyperbole. Is it too early to start thinking of a US sweep on the women's side? Maybe not.
But watch out for Japan.
Between what we saw from Miyabi Onitsuka and Yuka Fujimori (who qualified two spots out from the finals), Japan is currently harboring some serious talent in slopestyle, so any country—not just the US—should keep their eye on the young Japanese rippers.
We could see a double cork landed in a slopestyle run at the US Open…
Julia Marino did it during X Games slopestyle but no girl has landed one at a US Open. However, that may change this year. The jumps are huge, the girls are better than they've ever been and the course is running fast. We could see Anna or Hailey stomping one not he last kicker by the ened of the weekend.
Because this is the most unique slopestyle course ever seen at the US Open.
SPT killed it, plain and simple. They threw caution to the wind in their Sketch-Ups and the 2017 US Open slope course is the best and most exciting setup in recent memory.
Women's Qualifying Results:
1. Jamie Anderson
2. Anna Gasser
3. Spencer O'Brien
4. Miyabi Onitsuka
5. Julia Marino
6. Enni Rukajärvi
As for the men’s side of things, it's still Mark McMorris's world and we are all living in it…
While it's still anyone's game in the Big Air realm, slopestyle is still Mark McMorris's to lose. Big Air is a one-shot, one-kill discipline, so whoever is "on" that day can take the win, but with slopestyle, consistency is key, and no rider is more consistent than Mark McMorris currently. Linking together three rails and three jumps and riding away from those features perfectly is one of the hardest things to do in competitive snowboarding, but Mark is still head-and-shoulders above the field. No questions asked. McMorris is the king of slope.
But there are some newcomers that are making some noise.
While Mark remains on top, he's also created his biggest competition in many senses. Riders like Chris Corning, Brandon Davis, Red Gerard and Mikey Ciccarelli (who qualified in 10th, 7th and 3rd, respectively) may not be hot on his heels per say, they are certainly gaining ground in a discipline that acts as a revolving door of talent, so McMorris shouldn't be worried but he certainly shouldn't lift his foot off the gas.
Yuki Kadono, Roope Tonteri, Max Parrot and Eric Beauchemin failed to qualify today.
Yuki shocked the world in 2015 by unveiling back-to-back triple cork 1620s and beating McMorris on the last drop. Roope is a consistent top-tenner at the Open. Max Parrot is coming off of Big Air gold at the X Games, the Innsbruck Air & Style and the Los Angeles Air & Style and Beauchemin got second last year, so it was a shocker that they didn't land in the top ten by the day's end.
Does the US have a legitimate Olympic slopestyle hopeful?
Our golden boy Sage Kotsenburg has all but announced his retirement from the competitive realm, so who do we set our sights on for slopestyle gold going into the 2018 Games? Red Gerard? Brandon Davis? Kyle Mack? Brock Crouch? Time's a tickin' and the US has some work to do to catch up to Canada.
Seb Toutant qualified at the buzzer today, in typical Seb Toots fashion.
The kid thrives under pressure. Some might say he lives for it, as he qualified in his second of two runs as the third-to-last rider to drop. A true competitor in that sense, Seb knows how to put it down when it counts most and you'll be seeing him on Friday.
Who the F is Chris Corning?
Chris Corning snuck into finals with an insane run today. A few weeks ago, he got a last-minute spot in the LA Air & Style and ended up finishing in 5th place. Then, he comes to the US Open and qualifies for finals. Is Chris Corning the new US Olympic hopeful in slope? Can he continue his Cinderella season at the US Open? Only time will tell.
Ståle is back!
After double knee surgery, Ståle Sandbech is officially back on the scene and we couldn't be more excited. He qualified in 9th place today and something tells us he's gonna go balls-to-the-wall in Friday's finals.
1. Sven Thorgren
2. Mark McMorris
3. Mikey Ciccarelli
4. Mons Roisland
5. Brandon Davis
6. Sebbe De Buck
7. Red Gerard
8. Sebastién Toutant
9. Ståle Sandbech
10. Chris Corning