Words: T Bird
Photos: Steve Marentette
I gotta hand it to these contests kids, man. I really do. With the way the weather was in Calgary, Alberta, Canada today, there’s absolutely no way I would’ve ridden. A translucent ice blue crust covered the mountain, scouring winds, and -1º (ok, Centigrade…but, still, it was cold). It was just a plain ol’ shitty Canadian weather day, but the men and women competing in the slopestyle event at the Canadian Open gladly dropped in and hucked their carcasses onto the cement. (Well, the women didn’t do it “gladly,” per say…there were some who were very vocal in their disdain, but that’s just how it goes.)
Regardless, the Canadian Open slopestyle course was the best it could’ve been in the location on the makeshift ski resort that it was on. I know that’s unclear, but that’s about all I can say. (Read: It would be better in Whistler…just sayin’.) Still, the folks at Planet Snow Design set up a pretty rad rail section and three poppy but short jumps for the contestants to try to win $7,500 (for both men and women first place finishers) on.
Remember what I said about Kelly Clark last night? Yeah, she’s unstoppable. The same can be said about Jamie Anderson on the slope course. She’s undefeated at the three BGOS stops this far, and though this may sound very similar to my sentiment in last night’s pipe write-up, some chicks better step up unless they want Jamie to continually take money out of their pockets. Maybe it would be beneficial to all of women’s snowboarding if we put it in those terms more. (Read: You’re competing for money.) Jamie blew away the competition with front threes, back 180s, and a switch back five. No other girl spun on every jump. The fact that Jamie did should’ve garnered her the win even if she had fallen. Maybe there should be a new slopestyle rule that no one can win with a straight air in their run (unless it’s a quarterpipe or hip, of course). Germany’s Silvia Mittermüller got second place, and Vermont’s own Ty Walker took third. Oh yeah, and Ty is thirteen.
The men got underway in similar conditions and the smaller jumps pretty much prohibited any double corking on the course, but personally, I liked it. It was refreshing to see a slopestyle run with a frontside five in it for a change. The biggest spins landed all day were a handful of tens, but for the most part, it came down to who landed their tricks the cleanest and with decent style. That man was Peterborough, New Hampshire native and snowboardermag.com Seasonal Sibling Sam Hulbert. It was about time that Sam took home a win, and his switch back nine, front ten, and back seven did just that for him. Congrats, Sam. Second place went to Canadian Zak Stone. A few years back at The Launch I first saw Zak ride, and he’s a damn pleasure to watch. Good methods, good rail tricks, and style. Damn good style. Hulbert nudged him out by about two points. Third place went to Francis Bourgeois, a French Canadian rider who is slowly working his way up the slope ranks. Great. Just what we need. Another French Canadian slopestyle ruler. All kidding aside, Francis rode real well and deservedly took home third place.
And that’s all from Canada. Stay tuned for more coverage from the Burton Global Open Series when we head to tratton in early March for the 29th annual US Open. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go knowingly make up captions that are absolutely false so kids can call me out in the comment boards some more.
1. Sam Hulbert
2. Zak Stone
3. Francis Bourgeois
1. Jamie Anderson
2. Silvia Mittermüller
3. Ty Walker (yes, she is thirteen)