When: Sat 12th of January 2008
Where: Laax, Switzerland
As it always seems to do when we come to Laax, it dumped last night but that didn’t prevent the kids from taking on the superpipe.
Wow. I have no idea why, but everytime we seem to come to this Swiss resort, we arrive to find the resort dry as a bone, yet wake up a day or two later to find Ullr has unleashed his mighty white money shot on the mountian’s faces. Opening the curtains this morning we were greeted with the kind of winter wonderland vista that gets shredders the world over amped.
Initial fears (yeah right, prayers more like) that the contest might be cancelled were dispelled when we logged onto www.opensnowboarding.com and saw the following post:
Some snowy clouds hit Crap Sogn Gion today, so did the kids its halfpipe. There is Qualification of Juniors Halfpipe going on at the moment. 82 Boys in 2 Heats have 2 runs to proof they belong to afternoon’s finals. Best run counts.
After talking to the kids on the drop-in tower just a minute ago, they all agreed to: “Weather can’t stop us from riding this halfpipe beauty!”
If it wasnt 10.20pm I’d know this guy’s name. Nice frontside 9, lad.
Their stoke and determination was admirable, but, really, if they’d had any sense and thought the same way as the massed editorial powder junkies that are crammed into Laax, they would have deferred and just gone shredded the powder. But they are young, they will learn. So, after getting our fill of face shots and pow bounces we rocked up to the pipe to check out the finals.
As I said yesterday, these are young kids. Born in the 90s and oftentimes resembling a flying helmet , they still attacked the monster U jump with determination and more than a freakish amount of preternatural skill. Expecting a straight air fest, we were damned impressed by more than a few of the kids, with some of the lads linking back to back 9s, 7s and 5s, and the girls stepping up with the spins and the fine frontside alley-oops of Melanie Hofmeister got us pumped. Though some mean tricks were put down individually, it was again a case of consistency being king. Despite strong single hits, many of the kids were finding it difficult to put down a full, clean run, and those who did were rewarder amply. And here’s who was rewarded most amply of all of em. Congrats, kids.
Halfpipe Girls Youth
1 Bernard Emma Claire FRA
2 Trespeuch Chloé FRA
Halfpipe Girls Juniors
1 Norendal Silje NOR
2 Sadar Cilka SLO
3 Hofmeister Melanie GER
Halfpipe Boys Youth
1 James Scott AUS
2 Scherrer Jan SUI
3 Niels Regnier FRA
Halfpipe Boys Juniors
1 Stone Zak CAN
2 Shuey Bryan USA
3 Watts Ben USA
Slopestyle qualifiers tomorrow. And powder laps. Yeeehaaa!