It was the year 2000 the last time a slopestyle contest was held at the World Ski And Snowboard Festival in Whistler. Back then Sims put it on as part of the Sims Invitational World Snowboard Championships. As different brands sponsored the snowboard portion of the WSSF over the 12 years that followed, slopestyle was cut while rail jams and other events were added to the mainstay big air before they too eventually fell away.
Now, in it's fourth year as title sponsor of The Shred Show (formerly Grenade Games V, Grenade Games VI and The Show) the crew at Monster Energy decided to reintroduce slopestyle given the recent progression of the discipline and its inclusion in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The course didn't disappoint. The setup was flowing and packed tight with features, making for practice runs on Sunday that were fast and stacked with tricks. It seemed the stage was set for a solid day of riding. And then on Monday, the fog rolled in.
As the weather worsened organizers made the tough call to cancel the two-run qualifiers and move straight to a three-run final where the best run counted. From the difference in scores from run to run it was clear how much the visibility was affecting the riders -- when the fog lifted some riders posted scores in the 80s, only to end up with as low as an eight on their next run when the fog dropped down again.
Still, with 15,000 dollars and 850 TTR points on the line for first, everyone was going for it. Antoine Truchon, who placed second in Saturday's Big Hip, threw down a run that would have been tough to beat regardless of conditions. He started it off with a frontside 180 switch 50-50 to switch backside 180 on the first down rail into a frontside 1080 double cork on the first jump. From there he rolled into a backside 540 on the second jump, to boardslide 270 out on the cannon rail, finishing it off with a switch backside 1080 double cork. All totalled it was enough to put him in first place and hold him there.
"It was a really fun course and the features were really challenging," said Antoine. "The hardest part was the weather. It was super foggy and flat flight. But to me it didn't make a difference that they cancelled qualifiers because I had one run in my head that I wanted to pull off. I was going to do the same run for qualifiers and finals."
Michigan's Ian Thorley picked up 6,000 dollars for second place with a run that started with a frontside 1080 on the first jump into a frontside 180 switch 50-50 to switch backside 180 out on the gap-to flat box. He followed it up with a boardslide 270 out on the cannon, to backside rodeo 900 and a Cab 1080 on the last jump.
"For me slowing down for the features was the biggest challenge," said Ian. "They weren't small by any means and there was so much speed on this course. It was hard to put the brakes on and get in line with the next feature. I had a lot of fun though. Whistler is awesome."
Whistler's Logan Haubrich stuck a solid first run including a frontside 720 on the first jump, 50-50 on the gap-to flat box, 50-50 frontside 360 out on the cannon, backside 900 and switch backside 900. The line held up against the 30 other riders' runs, earning him third and 4,000 dollars.
- The Shred Show slopestyle winners L to R: Logan Haubrich, Antoine Truchon, Ian Thorley.
The Shred Show continues with one final day of fun at the Mogul Duel on Blackcomb. Check back for coverage of the ridiculousness.