All photos: Mike Brindley
While everything was kicking off on Friday night as X Games Norway’s slopestyle final got underway. We found ourselves halfway up the hill at Hafjell resort trying our best to snap some of the action from a few angles you might not see in the video highlights.
If you haven’t caught up on the action at this point, it’s worth noting that the riders had a bit of a mixed bag of conditions going into the main event, with sugary snow and slow conditions postponing qualification, and Friday’s bluebird melt quickly making for bulletproof landings once the sun started to go down…
As it did, the first of the ladies dropped for their final runs. Fortunately not needing a skier to help boost speed (as they did for big air) Anna Gasser implemented that cab double under and pipped Jamie Anderson to the post to win gold, carrying on her momentum after taking the US Open win this year too. Julia Marino couldn’t quite manage to retain her title this year, but did hold it down for third place, matching Anna’s cab double underflip but losing out with less technical airs on the middle kickers.
In the men’s, the big story of the day was the sheer quantity of riders who couldn’t stick their best runs – with hard landings underfoot proving particularly tricky, many who were riding at their usual limit-pushing level came up short. Confident with the course from the off, however, Sven Thorgren had a handle on things from the start, coming through with the late win by upping his score on the final run of the night.
“I’m hyped to be able to do it under the most pressure… I was trying to not even care about what position I’d end up in, I just wanted to land that run.” – Sven Thorgren
After illness and a struggle in the big air qualis, it was Stale Sandbech who came back to take second place in slopestyle for the home crowds, closely followed the ever-present threat of Seb Toots. Peep some shots from behind the barriers below: