Perhaps unsurprisingly given how frickin' good we all know they are, the Finnish team made up of Peetu Piiroinen, Janne Korpi and Ville Uotila took the big cheque at the 10-year anniversary Wängl Tängl in Mayrhofen yesterday. Check the report and photos...
The Wängl final was blessed by near nuclear bluebird conditions that gave everyone a chance to break out their best wifebeaters and enjoy the next-level synchro shredding, between lapping the kinked mini pipe and ripping the small line. In fact, though this has nothing to do with the contest, we must give our fist of nuff respect to Peetu's manager, Ilmo, who was crushing the pipe on a fish - head high backside airs into inverted front 7s into switch alley-oops. On. A. Fish. Follow @s4ni on Instagram to see the banger.
But media minishredding aside there was a contestival going down that demanded our attention and, as the qualifiers did, it rocked. It was even a little easier to keep up with what was going down as the number of teams had been chopped down to 8, which would then be whittled down further to wrap up as a head-to-head battle for first, and a losers' playoff to see who'd take third and fourth.
The riders had fine-tuned their synchronised sending and upped their techness which resulted in a mind-mashing barrage of riding to behold. Most teams opted to have two riders tandem or machine gun the kicker line while the other would stunt out on the jibs or throw in something creative into the mix, but from time to time there'd be a team who'd launch into some crossfire off the side hits, which though flirting with carnage was sick to see. There was more than one near mid-air collision - we're sure Peetu and Janne missed each other by a gnat's pube down low - but miraculously everyone ended the day in one piece, which is a testament to how darned good these cats are on a stunt plank. Either that or they're taking Lady Luck out for long walks at sunset, but it's probably the former...
The final four teams were as unexpected as they were expected - by that we mean that while we'd anticipated the improbably-named Team Triple Cock and Team Off The Wall (Arthur Longo, Kalle Ohlson & Eric Willett) to be amongst it at the business end of the contest, the other two teams were composed of lesser-known names who'd fought through the qualification rounds, yet there was little doubt they fully deserved their place in the end game.
In the fight for third it was Off The Wall versus The Collective (comprised of Boris Bühler, Max Buri and Tor 'Batman' Lundstrom), and though Arthur Longo has style for miles, Willet was dialling the big spins and Kalle was getting creative, the rookies won this showdown. These boys had been slaying it all event and were sending 7s, back 10 dubs and double backies all over the shop.
The battle for first went down between the tri-helmeted experience of the Finns and the youthful exuberance of Adrian Krainer, Clemens Schattschneider and Mattias Weissenbacher of Team YMCA. These youngmen should also have bagged an award for the best team outfit - each dude was in matching cut-off shorts and tees with their team name emblazoned on the back. Their riding was even better. So consistent over the last few days, they kept up the tempo for the finals and blew minds. The future of Austrian freestyle looks bright, but they were to be denied by the three heavyweight Finnish members.
If you'd asked us last week who we thought would win the Wängl Tängl, we'd have looked at the start list, stroked our chins for a second and said: "The Finns." Everyone knows Finnish riders are machine-like creatures who're technically gifted and feel no pressure, ever, so the Triple Cock win was not unexpected. Keeping the rotations mellow by their standard (we didn't see a 12 in the whole event) Peetu and Janne looked determined to land in the Red Bull end section with their gargantuan back and front 10s respectively, and they also had more than a few heavy crossfire transfers. Deserved winners for sure.
There were also some individual awards handed out. Most Impressive Rider went to Mathias Weissenbacher, Best Line to Ville Uotila and Arthur Longo & Kalle Ohlson took home Best Jib.
All that was left was to pop the Champag... erm... Prosecco (irrelevant fact: strangely enough, given how often he wins things, Peetu Piiroinen is remarkably crap at opening the bubbly) and that was that for the 2012 Wängl Tängl. Awesome weather, awesome riding, awesome fun. Show us a radder contest on the planet and we'll show you a flying schnitzel.