When: Sun 23rd of September 2007
Where: Zurich, Switzerland
Yo. This would have gone up last night had it not been for the overzealous Zurich traffic wardens who decided to remove tow our car away from our seemingly fine parking place.
Yeah, those bastards. But even this wasn’t enough to dampen our spirits after yet another great edition of the Freestyle.CH. The sun blazed the entire weekend, the riding across all the sports was first rate and even the food was pretty OK. Which for an event such as this, doesn’t happen so often.
Yesterday was the snowboard big air finals and after the spin-fest of the qualifiers and Crepel’s crossover efforts the previous night, we thought to be in for some dizziness. Now, that fact that it didn’t actually happen is kinda cool and kinda not so. I dunno what to think. It was pretty dope that not a 10 got put down in the final as everyone knows that slower spins generally look better and way styleyer, but then you come to expect 10s and even 12s at contests these days, with the boys leaving the sub 900 rotations for the style jump or, often, film.
Still, that’s not to say that the riding in the final wasn’t good. The tech spins of Risto Matilla and Antti Autti were getting the crowd chanting their names, Gigi Rüf put down well nice fs 3s and super cabs and, despite having troubles landing from time to time, Markus Keller managed to put down, for me, the best trick of the contest – Keller-styled fs9 that you’d be hard pressed to find a better example of. We were thinking for sure one of the Finns had done enough to merit a spot in the super final, but then we’re not the judges, who didn’t think so.
But the guys who most successfully married the tech jump with their style were Andreas Wiig, Reto Kestenholz and Stephan Maurer, and it was these three that got the nod to head into the event-closing tri-man-off. Wiig, like Keller, had seemed to be having trouble with the landing but just as he’d found them, getting into the super final with a sick slow spun corked switch bs 7, and a perfect switch backside 9, he decided to up the stakes in order to try to bag the Freestyle.CH title on his first attendance. Going for the frontside double cork 1080 was a pretty bold move on this fairly small kicker, and while he got his feet under himself a couple of times he couldn’t manage to land. Then Wiig looked to be putting down one über styled corked 5, but something just went wrong on the landing and he ate a face full of snow. Shit happens, as the big sign by the ramp said.
Local hero Reto Kestenholz had the crowd stoked all weekend long, but in the final he looked to have taken off wrong and while he landed his bs 7 fine, the grab was missed. Again he missed the grab on his bs 3 attempt, but again the landing was fine and that counts for a lot in contests. He didn’t look to stoked, but nevertheless it was good enough for second place.
So in the end, the title went to Stephan Maurer who’d been riding consistently well over the 3 days. The Swiss rookie bagged a perfect switch backside 7 with no thought of a hand anywhere near being down on landing, and rode out perfect. Jump 2 gave the crowd what they wanted with a perfect laid out backflip to cement his first ever win at the contest. Cue champagne fight on stage and lots of happy people. We were happy too, at that point.
Then we broke down the stand and Mel and Sarah from Rome went to get the car so we could make a sharp exit. Hahahahaha. Yeah, right. “The car’s not where we parked it." Damn. Enter 3 hours of hanging around on site as the cleaners swept up the dregs. But, hey. Even that couldn’t bring us down. Another successful event in Zurich and lucky thirteen for the organisers, see you there next year.
Super Final Results 1 32 Maurer Stephan SUI Zizers 1985 BURTON 579 2 19 Kestenholz Reto SUI Thun 1978 ZIMTSTERN 473 3 11 Wiig Andreas NOR Olso 1981 NITRO 282
Final Results 1 32 Maurer Stephan SUI Zizers 1985 BURTON 695 2 19 Kestenholz Reto SUI Thun 1978 ZIMTSTERN 686 3 11 Wiig Andreas NOR Olso 1981 NITRO 664 4 4 Keller Markus SUI Chur 1982 NITRO 652 5 1 Autti Antti FIN Rovaniemi 1985 FLOW 641 6 10 Taniguchi Takato JPN Nagano 1981 ALLIAN 625 7 6 Mattila Risto FIN Helsinki 1981 FLOW 622 8 8 Rüf Gigi AUT Au 1981 BURTON 574