Words: Pat Bridges
Made for TV snowboard showcases like the Dew Tour expose millions of viewers to the abilities of our sports’ top talents, yet what gets displayed on the screen is often far from the best that thee riders can produce. Snowboarding takes a back seat to Sunday football and in turn the start times for these events is less than ideal.
Such was the case for the first slopestyle finals of this Dew Tour Season. Despite sunny skies the 2 pm start at Breckenridge assured that the course the riders had been practicing on all week would be icy and shaded, which it definitely was. In turn the competitors who finished in the back of the pack in the semi-finals had a distinct advantage as they would have access to a course that had yet to be shrouded in shadows.
This was just the break that newcomers Eric Willet, Sage Kotsenburg, and Tyler Flanagan needed to overtake early favorites Chas Guldemond, Mikkel Bang, Halldor Helgason and Torstein Horgmo. The double cork revolution that has defined the halfpipe scene as of late has been in effect in slopestyle for several seasons already, yet Tyler Flanagan took top honors without the requisite multi-cork. Kotsenburg, Willet, Helgason and Horgmo all threw a number of double cork variations but it wasn't enough to usurp Flanagan’s finesse in the air and flair on the jibs. From top to bottom Flanagan's run consisted of a cab 270 on the down rail followed by a cab 900 to backside 1080 to frontside 1080 on the triple jump line to a backside 270 on the down box and a 50-50 frontside 180 switch 50-50 on the up rail to gap barrel to finish things up. Just typing that sentence is ridiculous. Congratulations to all of the top finishers including the womens podium of Jenny Jones, Sarka Pancochova and Jamie Anderson.