When: Sat 1st of December 2007
Where: Munich, Germany.
Yes, it was a good one. One to remember and one to judge the ones for years to come. I'm talking about the legendary Air&Style Big Air event which celebrated it's fifteenth edition last Saturday! Yes, the event is probably older than a good portion of the screaming, exstatic youngsters that were sitting in the crowd of around 30,000.
There is that saying "Tradition sticks to you just like crazy glue", and the glue of the Air&Style definetely sticks. 30,000 spectators, 3 bands of which 2 are huge, 16 of the arguably world's best snowboarders, and a super sick huge, but smooth and safe kicker followed by either a smaller roller or butter box to down box. Voila, bang! You've got one of the biggest classic contests in Europe. Everyone knew that it would be hard to top last years groundbreaking contest, which saw the most progressional, technical riding ever seen in a contest to date. But, this years comp came close, with people pulling Cab 12's, Sw Bs 10's, Double Rodeo's and Benedek pulling his infamous Double Cork 12.
Things kicked off with the Rookie Contest, where the young guns were battling it out with huge super smooth frontside 10s (Werner Stock), Double Backflips (Jusso Laivisto), Double Bs Rodeo attempts (Daniel Ek), Bs 12 attempts (Mason Aguirre) or styled out Cab 10 Nosegrabs (Tim Humphreys). In the end Tim Humphreys came out as the triumphant winner followed by Werner Stock in second and Mason Aguirre taking third place.
The first round of the main event was set to be a thriller with pretty gnarly face offs in the first round between big guns such as Wiig versus Sorsa, Ruef versus Benedek or Mueller versus Ettala. However, the most thrilling pairing was that of last years rookie challenge winner Mikkel Bang and last years main event winner Travis Rice. It was thrilling indeed as the seventeen year old Norwegian actually managed to edge out Rice with a super smooth steezed out swbs 10 Mute against Rice's attempts of a Double Bs Rodeo. From that point on everyone knew who, apart from the local Benedek, was the crowd's favourite. Another highlight of the first round was Sorsa's stomped One footed Fs 3 with which he was able to kick out Wiig.
The second round was anted up and riders started reaching into the bottom of their bag of tricks. In the end Horgmo kicked out Mattila with a styled out Sw Bs 9, Pearce kicked out Crepel with a perfectly stomped Cab 10, the youngster Bang with no nerves and all smoothness doing a Sw Bs 9 edging out Mr. Ettala and his slightly overshot Double Backflip. Finally Sorsa's One footed Fs 3 was beaten to a pulp by the trick everyone in the stadium wanted to see. Mr. Benedek stomped his Double Cork in his third attempt and proceeded to the Super Final.
The Super Final was really up for grabs, as all of the finalists were legit to win. Horgmo's three runs consisted of a Bs 9, a lofty Cab 7 shifty and a stomped out Cab 10, but he couldn't hold it on the run-out. It is also worth mentioning that he killed the down box with Nollie to Sw Bs Lipslides. The crowd went apeshit everytime that Benedek was about to drop in, but could only watch and witness him bailing at in his first two attempts at the Double Cork. However, the third attempt was all balls out and David was able to land his Double Cork 12. The only problem was that he sketched out in the landing and had to do a little revert to stay on his feet. Probably the most difficult an technical trick of the whole night, which resulted in a thunderous well-deserved roar from the crowd. It was unfortunately not good enough in comparison to the consistant stomped landings of a Sw Bs 10 from Mikkel and the huge stomped Cab 12 from Pearce which earned him the ring of glory for this years event.
Results Snowboard Main Contest
1. Kevin Pearce (20/USA) 286 Points (Cab 1260 / Crail)
2. Mikkel Bang (17/NOR) 281 Points (Switch Backside 1080 / Cab 360)
3. Torstein Horgmo (20/NOR) 277 Points (Switch Backside 900 / Switch BS Lipslide)
4. David Benedek (27/GER) 269 Points (Frontside 1260 Double Corked/Ollie Indy)
5. Heikki Sorsa (25/FIN) 267
6. Risto Mattila (26/ FIN) 261
7. Eero Ettala (23/FIN) 68
8. Mathieu Crepel (23/FRA) 61
9. Danny Davis (19/USA) 267
10. Nicolas Müller (25/SUI) 253
11. Travis Rice (25/USA) 250
12. Chas Guldemond (20/USA) 234
14. Gigi Rüf (26/AUT) 204
15. Andy Finch (26/USA) 189
16. Christophe Schmidt (24/GER) 73
1. Daniel Bodin (23/SWE) 268
2. Chris Burandt (29/USA) 255
3. Daniel Bodin (23/UNOR) 254
Results Snowboard Rookie Challenge
1. Tim Humphreys (19/ USA) 249
2. Werner Stock (20/AUT) 243
3. Mason Aguirre (20/USA) 240