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Burton European Open, Laax – World Snowboard Tour 6Star event with great powder days

Last week the World Snowboard Tour 6Star Burton European Open took place in Laax, Switzerland. Though having its ups and downs, mainly because of challenging weather conditions, it still was an impressive event with high-level riding. The very first qualification day had to be rescheduled due to bad weather, though this gave all riders and fans the opportunity to enjoy a nice day of hitting some powder. Let’s relive the highlights of last week’s 6Star event in Laax…

On Tuesday everything was set for the Men’s and Women’s Sopestyle and Halfpipe Qualifications, as well as the Men’s Halfpipe Semi-Finals.
After Wednesday’s competitions going according to plan, the weather changed again and all Slopestyle contests on Thursday had to be cancelled. Fortunately all men could put down their runs in the Semi-Finals, which made it possible to take the Semi-Final scores as final results. This made Torstein Horgmo (NOR) winner of the 6Star Burton European Open Slopestyle competition. His winning run featured a Backside 180 out, a Backside 180 on to Switch 50-50 to Cab 360 out, Switch Backside 900, a Frontside 1080 Double Cork Mute, a Backside 1080 Double Cork and a Frontside 270 on to Switch Frontboard to Regular earning him 91,5 points. He was joined on the podium by Mark McMorris (CAN) and Sebastién Toutant (CAN). Thanks to his second place and the 942.30 World Snowboard Tour points that came along with it, Mark McMorris moved up to the top spot in the World Snowboard Tour Slopestyle Ranking.

The Women’s Slopestyle competition unfortunately had to be cancelled. But the organizers found a satisfying solution – the prize purse was evenly split over the starters field.

Friday’s Halfpipe contests were dominated by the youngsters. 16-year-old Arielle Gold took the top spot in the Women’s competition, displacing the current leader of the World Snowboard Tour Halfpipe Rankings, Kelly Clark (2nd) and Ellery Hollingsworth (3rd). Arielle’s winning run featured a Backside Air, a super smooth Frontside 540 Stale, Backside 540, Frontside 720 and a backside 900 on her last hit.

In the Men’s Finals all eyes were on Japanese wunderkind Ayumu Hirano. Only 14 years old, but he already makes his runs look effortless and absolutely stylish. Ayumu earned his 87, 60 points and the win with a massive Backside Air, a Frontside 1080 Tail Grab, a Cab 1080 Nose Grab, a Double Cork 1080 Double Grab and a sheer perfect Hakkon Flip 720. Joining Ayumu on the podium were Swiss Iouri Podladtchikov and American Scotty Lago. The latter moved up in the World Snowboard Tour Halfpipe Ranking and is now in the top spot.

On Saturday, the last day of this year’s Burton European Open, the focus was all on snowboarding’s future – it was on with the Burton European Junior Open, a World Snowboard Tour 3Star event. The Juniors had a perfect bluebird day and showed the crowd impressive runs. Star of the girl’s competition was 12-year-old Chloe Kim of USA, winning both Slopestyle and Halfpipe, earning herself a near-flawless 99.17 points in the pipe. In Slopestyle she was followed by Finnish Henna Ikola and Japanese Miyabi Onitsuka. In Halfpipe joining Chloe on the podium were Finnish riders Emma Laine and Elli Pikkujamsa.
Similarly the boys didn’t fall short on the crowd’s expectations, stomping spectacular Halfpipe and Slopestyle runs. This year’s Slopestyle winner was Marcus Kleveland (NOR), followed by Jake Pates (USA) and fellow Norwegian rider Isak Ulstein. The top spot on the Halfpipe podium took Jake Pates (USA), joined by Australian Luke Staveley and Slovenian rider Tit Stante. Additionally, all three winners – Jake Pates, Marcus Kleveland and Chloe Kim – were awarded with an additional prize – a ticket to the Burton US Open 2013.