When: Sun 13th of January 2008
Where: Laax, Switzerland
Day 3 of the BEO saw the senior slopestyle pre-qualifiers and qualifiers go down, with a bluebird powder day for those not competing.
After it had snowed through the night and most of yesterday, it happened: the inevitable, and what everyone had been waiting for. I have to admit that I was a little sceptical when first looking out the window in the morning. I mostly saw greybird, but greybird in the valley is no indicator as to how it is up on the actual mountain. While on the gondola my prayers were answered, and sure enough we entered the clouds and exited to find the vast expanse of the Laax resort bathed in the sun’s rays. Oh, what bliss! Bluebird!
My condolences go out to all the riders riding in the slopestyle pre-qualifiers today. I briefly talked to couple unknowns after taking a short but super fun tree run, and sure enough you could see their faces were stricken with torment. They knew all too well what was happening to the powpow, while they would be waiting their turn for their two heat runs, and possible two more in the second heat. But then again, they also knew that they were at one of Europe’s biggest contests. Secondly, they were presented with a gnarly slopestyle course. I won’t get into the details, as we have already written about it in our first posting of this year’s Burton European Open.
All of the riders in the pre-qualifications were giving it their all and showing at times some more than up to par snowboarding, as the pow was getting slashed, assbombed or abused in any way that is possible with a snowboard. The jibstacles on the course entrée were being properly worked with 270 on and danish out combos, as well as super steezed stock fs boardslides, nose and tail presses and the like…The QP was ridden with the respect it deserved as it was basically a wave of ice, but as an obstacle it still produced some nice straight airs, slashes and the odd spin. The unknowing kickers were next in line, and were massacred with an array of Fs and Bs 9’s as well as all the other rotations switch or regular.
The key to doing a good run however was stomping your trick over the first kicker. Any little sketching out in the landing would diminish your speed making it almost impossible to clear the second booter without knuckling it. It was the element that really showed who was on top of they’re game today. At the end of play it was Canada’s Sebastien Toutant – aka Toots – who ranked first followed by Tim Humphreys from the US and Finn Joel Lahti. Toots taking first was not such a surprise as he has been feelin’ it in the last two weeks placing first in the QP qualifiers at the O’Neill Evolution Jam in Davos, and winning the Junior Slopestyle here at the Burton European Open two days ago. The seven remaining riders to qualify all came from the countries of surprise, surprise Finland, another surprise, Norway and Canada.
1. Sebastien Toutant CAN 2. Tim Humphreys USA 3. Joel Lahti FIN 4. Jaakko Ruha FIN 5. Roger Kleivdal NOR 6. Tore Holvik NOR 7. Jason Dubois CAN 8. Ville Uotila FIN 9. Kim Andre Eliassen NOR 10. Zak Stone CAN
Pipe qualifiers tomorrow, stay tuned bizzles.