We’re more than glad to have made our way to Westendorf for the Shred Down Austrian Masters Slopestyle finals last weekend because it was a seriously chill contest with super awesome vibes.
Westendorf is a whooping 1:15 hours drive away from Munich, which makes it perfect for day trips (but we of course opted for staying the whole weekend caus it's just a really sick place to hang out). It is also the birth place of the Shred Down Austrian Masters, the Austrian slopestyle championships, which is a cooperation between Boardplay Projects, the legendary Ästhetiker crew and the n.asa.
The weather couldn't have been any better for the first riding day on friday, where the riders who qualified at the n.asa tour battled it out in the first part of the comp. 35 boys and 7 girls from five different nations tore apart Westendorf's rail line with Jacky de Jong from the Netherlands being the youngest shredder at 8 years old and the legend that is Martin Gimpl leading the age group at 36.
The format was a jam session in which every rider could drop in whatever order they wanted. Legends and groms rode side by side and everyone got two runs from which the better one counted. On saturday both the jib line and the kicker line results were added up to nominate the winners. At the end of the first day it was local hero Simon Pircher who wowed the crowd with a switch 50/50 switch backside 360 out, cab 270 to tailslide 270 out. And for the cherry on top fresh powder fields were waiting for everyone on the way down to the valley.
It wouldn't be Austria if there wasn't a giant Schnitzel-fest involved, so friday night everyone gathered at the Alpenrosensaal for just that. For additional entertainment and a bit of a history lesson the crew showed a movie about the highlights of the last 16 years of the contest. Mone Monsberger and Gogo Gossner went through hours and hours of footage to throw out a super-sick flick.
Fortunately saturday's weather left nothing to be desired and everyone was greeted by sunshine and spring-like conditions. It was time for the kicker session and the so called "Big Mama" was ready to be hit by the contestants. Even though the spring slush made it a bit tricky to estimate the speed that needed to be gained, it didn't stop anyone from absolutely sending it.
Roland Tschoder tore apart the Big Mama and threw down a maaassive Double Backflip which secured him the trophy of Best Trick.
Again it was Simon Pircher, who just all around bossed it with a super smooth back 7 to frontside 9 tailgrab. Seppl Ramsbacher came in second and Maxi Preissinger scored third. FYI, this is already Simon's second Austrian Masters title!
The ladies were lead by Bettina Wildauer who went supersmooth on the kickers, followed by Lea Baumschlager who totally bossed the jib line and Franzi Herberg, who sent it just as hard.
In the rookies section it was Max Preissinger (yep, he managed to podium twice, way to go Max!) who nailed a front 7 to back 7 combo that put Moritz Amsuess and Noah Viktor in second and third place.
Young gun Betinna Wildauer managed to get second with a back 3 and Natalie Weissenbacher now holds the title of Austrian Masters Rookie Girl 2015.
But this wasn't it, because one of the truly sick features of the Shred Down Austrian Masters is the legends comp, where guys over 30 can show the kids what they're made of. Seeing 9-year olds jam-sessioning alongside the legends just showed again why this event is still as relevant as it used to be and made clear once again why snowboarding is such an awesome sport.
Peter Sandner took home the well-deserved win with a styled out front 3 to back 5, Christian Scheidl and Martin Gimpl came in second and third.
Apart from gear stuff, the overall winners qualified for the WSF/TTR World Championships 2016 in Yabuli/China, so Simon and Natalie are in for an adventure next season.
And what would a contest be without a proper afterparty to let loose? Right, nothing, which is why saturday day night saw the contest party with Zuzee and Buzz from the Waxolutionists and an overall amazing time. As Falco once put it: If you remember it, you weren't there.
Next up are the Austrian Masters Halfpipe finals in Kühtai on 13th&14th of March 2015, don't miss it!