[All photos: Danny Burrows]
Laax was blessed with another scorching day of bluebird and the guys and girls put on one hell of a show for the BEO Slopestyle finals. Alek Østreng and Jamie Anderson won, but that doesn't even begin to tell the story of the frankly mindblowing display of snowboarding that went down today...
Shitthebed that was nuts. You'll doubtless have read the report of yesterday's action where we waxed lyrical about this BEO slopestyle course, and it certainly got the level of riding it deserved in today's finals from both the men and women.
The girls had the early start and swiftly set about giving the course a good seeing too. There were several who were putting down some killer 5s and 7s, only to come unstuck on the odd jib that cost them dearly in the end. But to get on the podium you needed to bring your A game for sure, and Jamie Anderson certainly brought that as she applied here inimitable style to the rails and rhythm section, stomped a mean Cab 7 and the patented Anderson switch back 5 finishing off with a little back lip on the underused gap to wall MINI CUoS feature. Enni Rukajärvi was sending it with her patented Finnish depth but could only manage second, while the hometown hero Isabel Derungs turned heads with her booming back rodeos and took the third spot.
If the girls contest was sick then the dude's final was purely terminal in its illness. Seriously, guys were stomping runs that in most other contest would be at the minimum good enough for the podium yet ending up in 8th place. It was that heavy. The amount of doubles, 12s and 10s linked with the more floaty rhythm hits and jibs was insane. Finnish rider Ville Paumola took an early lead with a run that managed to be narcoleptically stylish yet über tech at the same time. The kid is so smooth it's unreal. With guys like Seb Toutant and Mark McMorris coming unstuck on landings and regulation rails it was ripe for someone to claim their first big win and for a while it was looking like Ville could be that boy. But on the third and final runs the level, incredibly, upped itself once more.
Guys got their 12s dialled deep, nailed the rails and 1st place swapped a bunch of times. For a while it was looking like an all-Finnish podium with Peetu in 1st, Roope 2nd and Ville 3rd but then Alek Østreng went ballistic, putting down one of the best back 12s ever in the process, and went into pole position. The other riders knew what was up as they mobbed him. He'd just one the first major title of his career, and he'd done it at perhaps the best slopestyle contest ever.
There was some more cash up for grabs on the Mini end section and, unsurprisingly it was Jamie who bagged the 5k for the chicas and rookie Emil Ulsletten took the cash for the men.
Seriously, the course, the riding level, the sun... I don't think I've ever seen a better slopestyle contest. Pipe today, shit's gonna go down.
Results Women’s Slopestyle Finals
1. Jamie Anderson (USA), Billabong, 93.58
2. Enni Rukajärvi (FIN), Burton, 81.80
3. Isabel Derungs (SUI), Ride, 68.20
4. Spencer O’Brien (CAN), Nike, 65.68
5. Cilka Sadar (SLO), Burton, 59.12
6. Sina Candrian (SUI), Burton, 56.92
7. Kjersti Oestgaard Buaas (NOR), Roxy, 41.52
8. Silje Norendal (NOR), Nike 6.0, 29.80
Results Men’s Slopestyle Finals
1. Aleksander Ostreng (NOR), Forum, 90.08
2. Roope Tonteri (FIN), Burton, 87.92
3. Peetu Piiroinen (FIN), Nike – Burton, 86.70
4. Ville Paumola (FIN), Quiksilver, 85.62
5. Seppe Smits (BEL), Burton, 85.46
6. Janne Korpi (FIN), Kissmark, 82.60
7. Sebastian Toutant (CAN), O’Neill, 82.10
8. Emil Ulsletten (NOR), Nitro, 81.88
9. Torgeir Bergrem (NOR), Volcom 79.40
10. Stale Sandbech (NOR), Oakley, 78.54
11. Sven Thorgren (SWE), Protest, 71.78
12. Nuutti Niemelä (FIN), Smith, 71.38
13. Eric Beauchemin (USA), DC Shoe CO USA, 68.96
14. Christian Haller (SUI), Burton, 67.08
15. Mark McMorris (CAN), Burton, 62.44
16. Brage Richenberg (NOR), Salomon, 76.62