When: Thu 17th of January 2008
Where: Laax, Switzerland
Today, the riders/passengers that are still aboard the Burton European Open plane flying first class, got to battle out, who would become captain of the plane. In other words, today we got to see 16 mens and 8 womens riders who had either made their way through qualifications or were seeded compete in the slopestyle finals.
Getting straight to the point of this excersize! I was spellbound watching the women go off on the slopestyle course, showing the world that being a cute sweet girl does not mean that you can’t shred and destroy a slopestyle course making some dudes question their manliness. The 8 ladies had 3 runs to show what they had to offer, and they sure as hell delivered. Taking third was Germany’s Silvia Mittermueller with smoothe steezy jibbing on the top of the course followed by a Sw Bs 5, Truckdriver Fs 3 and a Fs 7 on the last of the three smaller jumps. Second went to Ms. Jenny Jones who definitely upped the ante and hit the big booters on the course with a huge Bs 3, an even bigger Fs 3 and roundied off the massacre with a gargantuan Fs 5. Ooowweee. Yes, even though there are no real mountains in the UK, does not mean that the country is not capable of producing very legit rippers. The crowd was going off at Jones’ run and the judges were feelin’ it aswell. Hell, I thought that it was the banging run of the day, if it were not for Ms. Postivity Jamie Anderson, who always seems to wear a smile on her face. Clean and styled jibbing on the top part of the course was followed by a beautiful inverted Cab 5, a big Fs3 over the bigger second kicker and a slow ‘lets just hang in the air a little’ Bs 180 over the last big booter.
The mens field was evenly compiled of Scandinavians and the North American Continent. It was a test to see what training conditions for modern day freestyle snowboarding are more effective. Perfectly shaped parks and huge resorts backing you with huge shaped terrain or small tiny dark parks, which are perfectly shaped, but entail aaaaalot of ice. I, favouring the Finns due to the fact that almost all European contests are dominated by them, could not have been more wrong. Us Europeans had the chance to witness mens global snowboarding on it’s highest level, presented by three fine US gentlemen going by the names of Tim Humphreys, Chas Guldemond and Mr. Shaun White. I won’t get into what jibs were being pulled as it would confuse you and me with petzels, danishes, hard way ons, hard ways offs etc…….Anyway, the young Humphreys snagged 3rd with a run with constantly a increasing amount of spinning. The first hit was a huge Bs 7 Nose, the second was a Bs 9 Tail and the grande finale was a Cab 10 Nose. All steezed, all stomped. Chas started the aerial part of the course with a McTwist in the QP and went on a spinning rampage with a Cab 9, Fs 7 Tail and a stomped Bs 1260 on the last booter. The man to beat in every contest he enters, underlined his reputation and once again was the benchmark setter. A Fs 9 in the QP, a Fs 10, Bs 9 and Cab 10 all performed with perfection sealed the deal for Mr. White and automatically made him captain of the Burton Plane.
Check back tomorrow for Photos!