All Photos: Huggy
Words: Laura Austin
The first ever F.I.S. Big Air competition in Denver was more about who could land than who could throw the best trick. But that doesn’t mean the riders didn’t put on a good show for the thousands of people who were willing to pay $45 for a ticket to watch the event. The rider lineup was interesting. Because the event was put on by the FIS you needed FIS points to compete… plus the X Games are simultaneously going on in Aspen so it was hard for the bigger name riders to do both. The crowd didn’t seem to mind though, they just seemed stoked to see the riders huck themselves off the 14 story jump. The field of competitors was predominantly European, with names most Americans probably couldn’t pronounce… with the exception of a few riders. One of which had the last name Macho. I believe the crowd broke out into Village People’s “Macho Man” at some point. You gotta love America.
24 competitors narrowed down to 12 for the finals. Another uniquely named euro Rocco Van Straten from Holland won the event with a backside double cork 1080 on his final jump earning himself a score of 27.9 out of a possible 30. Canada’s Zach Stone took second. And a crowd favorite, Michael Macho took third. All and all the event was a success. Apparently the crowd ended up being around 14,000 people. And I have to admit, the venue was pretty cool with the jump set between Denver’s Romanesque city and county buildings. I can only imagine how sweet it would have been had our sports best big air riders been in attendance.