Despite not a snowflake to fall yet this year in Beijing, the 7th Red Bull Nanshan Open again proved it is possible to hold a world-class snowboard event with a little bit of man-made snow and a lot of hard work!
This year’s 4-star TTR competition not only boasts its largest field of competitors to date, but also its most diverse, with competitors from 13 different countries in attendance. The park was in top shape as parkshapers Tommi ‘Mellow’ Marsh and Marco Huang joined forces for the third year in a row to build China’s cleanest, smoothest, and largest park. The riders were utilizing the features like kids in a playground, and were definitely enjoying themselves as they took to this brand new park setup!
Thanks to perfect weather on day one, last year’s crowd favourite Freddy Austbo was not affected by the wind and ranked first of the qualifiers with a run consisting of a BS900 off the large kicker, Cab720 off the second, a Switch 540 up the wave and a FS360 off it. Not quite enough? He also chucked in a small 180 at the end to make sure he ticked all the boxes!
As the 12 qualifiers from the previous day’s competition took to the Quiksilver Nanshan Mellow Park for day two of the 7th Red Bull Nanshan Open, feelings were mixed as the wind that plagued last year’s event threatened to dampen yet another Nanshan Open. However with this year’s improved setup and some solid tucking down the in-run by the riders, enough speed was gained in practice to be able to utilize the smaller of the two kicker lines and the competition was on!
Today saw an even larger crowd than yesterday cheering the riders, and proved just how popular this sport is finally becoming in China! With yesterday’s field of 24 riders narrowed down to just 12 for the best-of-two-runs Finals, the pressure was definitely on to throw down on the competition’s last day.
After the morning session, some radical riding and some heavy deliberation from the judges, the results really were too close to call. Markus Keller and Tyler Chorlton ended up in a dead tie for 4th place, and thus 5 riders would advance through to the Super Finals. Markus and Tyler joined Atsushi Ishikawa, Freddy Austbo and Kalle Ohlson for the afternoon’s showdown.
An obvious crowd favourite at the 6th Red Bull Nanshan Open, Freddy Austbo unfortunately failed to place highly in last year’s event, unable to gain enough speed against the wind. This year, however, things would be different, and as the winds increased in the afternoon Freddy morphed into the ultimate aerodynamic machine, becoming one of the few competitors to comfortable clear both kickers. “I’m so stoked. This year I didn’t use Kalle’s wax and bought my own instead, so I was actually able to get some speed! I can’t wait to celebrate at karaoke tonight…" Freddy took home first place and 500 TTR points with a winning run consisting of a BS540 off the first hit, a Cab540 off the second, a BS180 up on to the wave box and a Cab540 off. Freddy finished his run with a rock-and-roll to fakie on the wallride and will definitely be rock-and-rolling the mic tonight!
Returning for his third year at this event, Atsushi Ishikawa grabbed 471.15 TTR points with a close second place, ranking one place higher than at last year’s Open and only just missing out on a perfect run. “I wanted to get first.. but I will come back and try again next year!" We hope to finally see Atsushi in the center of the podium then!
Kalle Ohlson should speak better Chinese by now. This is his fourth year in a row to this event, and he is another competitor to place well here in the past with a second place at the 5th Red Bull Nanshan Open. Kalle rode solidly all weekend, going huge over the kickers and stomping almost all of his tricks, however losing speed after a huge BS720 at the start of his Super Finals run meant he struggled to complete the rest of the course. Kalle ended the competition in a respectable third place, gaining himself 450 TTR points. Haibucuo Kalle!
Honourable mentions of the weekend would have to be possibly the first double-flips ever thrown on Chinese soil – Tyler Chorlton had the crowd gasping with his amazing signature-move double-front flips, and Anton Gunnarsson joined the club with an absolutely huge double-back flip! Another big-ups goes out to the Chinese riders, with Wanglei placing highest throwing down some super sick BS and FS 720 combos over the kicker lines, and Zhangwei, Lijie (Jay) and Xfox all stepped up with 360 variations over the big kicker. Look out for these guys next year!
With the competition side of the trip over, riders will now get to relax and enjoy the rest of what China has to offer – site-seeing at the Great Wall, some delicious local food and of course, the infamous after parties. Zaijian!
7th Red Bull Nanshan Open Results 1 - Freddy Austbo (Norway), Quiksilver/Nixon/Elm 2 - Atsushi Ishikawa (Japan), Quiksilver/Deeluxe/Flow 3 - Kalle Ohlson (Sweden), Vans/Bataleon/Adidas 4 - Markus Keller (Switzerland), Red Bull/Nitro/Volcom 5 - Tyler Chorlton (Great Britain), Bataleon/Oakley/Vans 6 - Jakob Wilhelmson (Sweden), Quiksilver/Libtech/Level 7 - Yongho Lee (Korea), Salomon/Sugapoint/Electric 8 - Teo Konttinen (Finland), Quiksilver 9 -Werner Stock (Austria), Red Bull/Salomon/Bonfire 10 - Sergey Lapushkin (Russia), Red Bull/DC/686 11 - Matevz Petek (Slovenia), Nitro/L1/Dragon 12 - Filippo Kratter (Italy), Red Bull/Nitro/Volcom