[All photos (including the ones on the other Brits blogs) Alex Roberts]
So, after battling with technology for the last few days I'm now back in Munich, plugged into the cybersphere once more and, frankly, loving it. Now I've had time to reflect on the slopestyle finals seems as good as any to post a review so without further ado...
The course was on the back side of the amusingly named Crap Sogn Gion (it's not that bad... buhdump tisch) and was looking good despite the rather solid landings. A mellower box line could be taken at the top or you could man up and take on the rails proper, both of which led you into the double kicker line to finish off with. Perhaps because the kickers seemed in better shape, or there wasn't such pressure to huck your best trick ever, the standard of kicker riding was higher than in the big air with many a trick being stomped. Being that the domes and dryslopes of the UK breed rail riders like particularly horny rabbits the metal sliding was up to scratch too, so all in all the show was a good un to watch.
In the women's finals, Posy Dixon showed off her considerably lazy-styled skills on the boxes and rails polished off with a bs 3 followed by a straight air all stomped to take her first British slopestyle title. Hot on her snowboard booted heels were Lucy Passmore and Laura Hill respectively with some nice box riding and straight airing being enough to secure second and third.
Now, for the guys the first thing that's got to be mentioned here are the two kids that qualified into the main men's final. Sparrow Knox danced his way down the rails and then adopted the kind of speed tuck Mads Jonsson would be proud of to get the speed to send his diminuative frame over the first big kicker. Bs 3 no less. Props, Spazza, and next year he may very well have more of a say in the outcome of the seniors as he'll then have been riding for the grand total of THREE years. Jesus... Then there was Jamie Nicholls. I had the pleasure of watching his qualifying run and it went like this: gap-bordslide on the flat down rail; 270 on-270 off the picknic bench with a tail slap thrown in for good measure; fs board-to-board-to fakie on the flat box; solid cab 5 off the medium kicker; bs 7 off the bottom big hit. All stomped perfect. Jamie qualified for the final in first place, which is unprecedented in British snowboarding's long history.
With the seniors being given a harsh reality check, they had to step it up or face the horror of being put on their arses by a 13-year-old. For the most part, they were put on their arses by a 13-year-old. Jamie's final runs didn't quite match up to the perfection of his qualifier and it would have been interesting to see how the judges would have scored if it had. But it wasn't to be this year for the boy Nicholls and he had to settle for second as Ryan Davis made up for a poor showing (by his standards) in the big air to win the slopestyle. Starting by gapping cab 270 on the flat-down, he frontflipped off the whoopdy-whoopdee thing, front boarded the down bar and then put down the cab 5 to front 5 combo on the kickers to perfection. Nelson Pratt, whose time on the podium we thought had arrived, was made to pay for his missed grab on the bs 7, but his stylish rail riding and fs 7 were still good enough for third.
So that was that. I have the internet again and that makes me happy. That is so very, very sad.
1st – Posy Dixon
2nd – Lucy Passmore
3rd – Laura Hill
1st – Ryan Davis
2nd – Jamie Nicholls
3rd – Nelson Pratt
For more stuff and things, go to www.aimseries.com