The Onboard magazine crew arrived today in Laax just in time fort he slopestyle semi finals of the Burton European Open 2011. As our reliable office force already reported Peetu Piiroinen came in first, followed by Mark McMorris and Chas Guldemond. We were on our way up to the venue when we noticed two things that were to become the major challenges of today’s event: clouds and warm temperatures. While the first meant that most of the second half of the event was effected by poor visibility the latter had made the course, though shaped quite well, exceptionally slow.
However, being snowboard pros and all the riders did not seem to mind this too much and tried their best in their two runs each on the course. It consisted of the proven BEO setup a small jib section first followed by a quarter and a line of three kickers. Did we say we arrived just in time? To tell you the truth we were a few minutes late and only saw Chas Guldemond’s solid first run from the chair lift. This wasn’t to be beaten until well into the second run.
A lot of riders struggled with the conditions (add a bumpy course to the weather and slow snow and you won’t be surprised). Ethan Morgan, who just made the cut with his 10th place revealed one of the pro tips for the day: “If you want to clear the knuckle on the second kicker you should do a rodeo!” But even some of the seeded riders, like local hero Iouri Podladtchikov (who took a hard slam after a double back rodeo attempt in his second run) or Norwegian Mikkel Bang weren’t able to stick their runs and failed to qualify for the finals. Others secured their ticket to the finals in their second run, most prominently O’Neill Evolution and Air&Style Beijing winner Seb Toots, who nailed his run over kickers you had to ride by memory rather than by sight.
Once again, though, it was Peetu who stomped the run of the day: He kicked things off with a front 5 nosebonk at the first jib feature, did a 50-50 to gap 180 out over the down rail followed by a massive switch frontside air on the hip. Then he went to business with a cab 9 (if we remember correctly) and a backside rodeo 5 and garnished his run with a smooth back 10. He will be the man to beat on Friday ferr sherr.
Tomorrow will see the men’s halfpipe and the women’s slopestyle semi finals. Unfortunately the weather forecast looks similar to today, but the sun will make a glorious comeback on Friday – just in time for the slopestyle finals!
Results Slopestyle Semi-Final Burton European Open 2011
1. Peetu Piiroinen (FIN) – 62,6 / 84,9
2. Mark McMorris (CAN) – 68,3 / 84,75
3. Chas Guldemond (USA) – 82,5 / 29,7
4. Sebastien Toutant (CAN) – 44,85 / 80,15
5. Roope Tonteri (FIN) – 79,3 / 37,55
6. Sven Thorgren (SWE) – 75,1 / 78,5
7. Seppe Smits (BEL) – 77,15 / 34,4
8. Christian Haller (SUI) – 76,95 / 55,95
9. Roger Kleivdal (NOR) – 76,8 / 39,7
10. Ethan Morgan (GER) – 76,4 / 24,05