After 15 successful years in Zurich, the guys responsible for Freestyle.CH decided to put on not one but two action sports extravaganzas for 2009. In addition to the well-known one that went down at the end of September, they brought the love to Berlin too.
For the first time, snowboarders and other extreme sports athletes we’re flying through the air former airport Berlin Tempelhof this year.
With less than perfect conditions, the qualification rounds went down on Friday and Saturday. 8 riders bagged tickets for the finals on Sunday, amongst them newcomers like Werni Stock, Colin Frei and Marco Grilc. But in the end, neither them nor shred veteran Stefan Gimpl, who had won the freestyle.ch last year, could stand against the super strong qualifiers from Friday Seb Toutant, Eero Ettala, Peetu Piiroinen and Iouri ‘I-Pod’ Podlatchikov, who had already dominated the final rounds of freestyle.ch 09 two weeks before. Ettala had bagged the snowboard champ title at the Landiwiese this year, I-Pod had convinced the crowd as crossover champ and also Piiroinen and Toutant had made good points with the judges there.
And just like in Zürich, it were again the snowboarders who impressed the crowd most with their tricks, and so next to FMXer Mat Rebeaud and skater Sandro Dias, Seb Toutant and Elias Elhardt made it to the Crossover Superfinals. After a tough fight and a really bad slam by Toutant it was Elhardt, who earned the loudest cheers for his BS 10 Double Cork and was crowned first ever freestyle.berlin crossover champ.
The weather finally got little better for the finals and superfinals on Sunday and the athletes were only battling each other and not the rain anymore. Piironinen had been riding solidly all weekend, after scoring 1st place in the qualification he easily marched through to the super finals, stomping 9s, 10s, corks and double corks almost completely flawless. Biggest surprises of the weekend were probably newcomers Marco Grilc from Slovenia and Werni Stock from Austria. Grilc show super clean tricks from an incredibly versatile bag of different tricks and only lost his chance for the super finals in the last second against I-Pod, who managed to stick a one foot straight air benihana in his very last run after slamming in the in run at the first try.
The fireworks of spins, corks and rodeos that Piiroinen, Toutant, Ettala and I-Pod showed in the superfinals might have gotten a couple of people with solid hangovers from the party the previous night a bit sick in the head. In the end it was the 17 years old Canadian Toutant, who stomped his BS 10 Double Cork and BS 12 Cork just a tiny bit cleaner than Finn Ettala and although some critical observers were complaining that there wasn’t much variation in his trick repertoire, he did pull off some of the most complicated tricks there are in snowboarding so flawless, that he deserved to exchange places with Eero this time in front of Piiroinen, who got third.
Want to see it with your own eyes? Check out the highlights of the
and the Superfinals (the snowboard action starts at 1:38)
and the crossover champs