When: Fri 11th of January 2008
Where: Laax, Switzerland
Greetings from Laax, webworld.
This is now the fourth year that Burton have held the European Open in the fine Swiss resort that will be our home for the next week. And for those of you who don't know, Laax is renowned for being one of the most snowboard-friendly resorts in Europe, if not the world. Hell, they've been having snowboard contests here for something like 20 years and were amongst the foremost to embrace the sideslide and invest in serious facilities to, basically, allow us to have more fun than is probably good for the abstemious types we are. With this kind of shred-loving pedigree it's unsurprising that when the BEO rolls into town the Laax massive rolls out the red carpet in the best way that a resort can: by constructing a mighty fine slopestyle course and, as ever, the geometrically perfect uber-moster-shit-the-walls-are still-going-up superpipe.
Anyone familiar with the BEO will know that each year there is a theme to this event. This year's is BEO Airlines, and so the park is replete with landing lights, those dudes who tell the planes where to go, arrows, and a couple of tail sections that would make the cast of Lost feel at home. And so, with this backdrop, today was the time for the groms to show what they were made of.
Today's conditions were far from perfect – flat light, constant snow flurries and more than a little ice – and this served to separate the boys from the, err, boys. And girls, of course. The set-up looks banging for slopestyle shennanigens: a donwn box or rail leads into a small step up to a skate-style quarter, that sends you down another box and into the quarterpipe. After this, it's three kickers in a row to show you can back up your jibbery with some park pokery.
Slopestyle Girls Youth: 1 Bernard Emma Claire FRA 2 Rusin Katarzyna POL 3 Trespeuch Chloé FRA
Slopestyle Girls Juniors: 1 Bonnaud Alicia FRA 2 Norendal Silje NOR 3 Maeland Kari Opsal NOR
Slopestyle Boys Youth: 1 James Scott AUS 2 O`Connor Seamus USA 3 Ravnjak Tim-Kevin SLO
Slopestyle Boys Juniors: 1 Toutant Sebastien CAN 2 Stone Zak CAN Collingwood CAN 3 Piiroinen Petja FIN
More tomorrow, and we'll even have a real life, living and breathing, proper photographer in the name of Pat Vermeulen by then. Sweeeet.