December 5th sees the First 6 Star event in this year’s Swatch TTR as the infamous Billabong Air and Style hits Innsbruck, Austria like a big-air punch to the cahones. This is the comps 17th year and in a year that is gonna be packed full due to the addition of an extra Winter X and of course the Olympics the riders are going to be battling away to get some much wanted Swatch TTR points.
Arguably it was at the Air and Style in ’06 where Herr Benedek and Mister Rice pioneered what has today become the buzzwords of the competition circuit, double-cork. This year with some very progressive new tricks being thrown in the pipe at the Burton NZ Open, the double corks are the talk of the town and could well be the clinching factor and will certainly be seen several times during the competition.
Riders to watch this year are undoubtedly going to include the young Seb Toots (Sebastien Toutant) who at the age of just 17 is sitting pretty at the top of the current TTR leader board. Also making his presence felt back on the comp circuit is going to be Travis Rice who, as ever will be trying to innovate and invert his way to the top with at least 4 double cork variations in the bag. Other double corkers include Eero Ettala (FIN), Tim Humphries (USA), Iouri Podlatchikov (SUI) and coming from recent glory at the Horsefeathers Pleasure Jam young German, Elias Erlhardt. On top of these, there are plenty of current super stars such as Torstein Horgmo and Peetu Piiroinen all with points from the winter’s comps in the southern hemisphere looking forward to reminding the world that they are never to be discounted from any arena of battle.
With such alot on the cards and a roster that would make the residents of Mount Olympus clench their butt cheeks and go running for the nearest cubicle the 5th of December in Innsbruck looks set to explode.
For some epic moments in Air and Style history check out the videos that accompanied our article ‘Kickers That Changed Snowboarding’.
Seb Toots rider profile from TTR
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Peetu Piiroinen rider profile from TTR
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