The legendary Air & Style returns to Innsbruck's Bergisel stadium in just under four days time and preparations are well underway to get the venue prepped and the 50m high big air kicker constructed in time to host one of the most impressive rider fields we've seen in a long, long while. Whitelines are going to be at the event and will be bringing you coverage of all of the action as it unfolds. Needless to say, we're frothing.
2013 is a pretty special year for the now-legendary big air contest, marking a double decade of boundary-pushing snowboarding. To celebrate the occasion, this year’s Air & Style will be a two-day shebang, and in addition to the main event on the Saturday, Friday sees the inclusion of the burn Style Session with legendary riders such as Terje Haakonsen, Gigi Rüf, Devun Walsh, Jamie Lynn, Bryan Iguchi, Mike Basich, David Benedek and Wolle Nyvelt (and many, many more) dropping into the behemoth of a kicker (it's 30m from the takeoff to the sweet spot apparently!) to compete in a purely style-based contest. Expect plenty of big floaty backside 180s, methods and shifty-shiftys. It's gonna be ridiculous. There really aren't many (if any) contests in the world today that are so engrained in snowboarding's heritage that they can attract such a varied and remarkable line-up.
On Saturday it's the Air & Style proper with the world's best riders all showing up to throw down at the final World Snowboard Tour big air event of the season. Riders confirmed include winner of the Beijing Air & Style Yuki Kadono, Mark McMorris, Stale Sandbech, Sebastien Toutant, Maxence Parrot, Roope Tonteri (all of whom have stomped triple corks) and many, many more. Following the 2013 X Games in Aspen where the Big Air event was dominated by triple cork variations, there's little doubt we'll be seeing riders go for the triple dip in Innsbruck as well.
Riders will compete in a series of head-to-head battles in Round 1 with each of the 24 riders taking two runs - the rider with the highest single run score from each pairing advances. An additional 4 spots in Round 2 are open to the highest scoring 'lucky losers'.
The 12 battle winners from Round 1, and the 4 lucky losers make up a field of 16 riders that pair off and battle head-to-head for the 8 spots available in the Semi Finals. Each rider gets 3 runs, and their best run counts.
Round three sees the top 8 riders go head-to-head, narrowing the field to just 4 Super Final riders. In this, each of the 4 riders gets 3 runs to put up the highest one run score they can, and these scores determine the riders final rankings, with the winner taking the Air & Style Ring of Glory.
The Air & Style is the final Big Air event in the World Snowboard Tour calendar and the last chance for riders to change their ranking positions before the Big Air champion is crowned for 2012/2013. The championship title is still within grasp for the top 10 riders so it's going to be a very interesting one indeed...
- Start height 50m
- 42° steep and 75m long inrun
- Drop height 19m/landing height 16,5m
- Gap 8m
- Flight distance 30m
Full Rider List:
|Saturday||Riders burn Style Session||Friday|
|1||Peetu Piiroinen||13||Petja Piiroinen||1||Terje Haakonsen||13||Iika Backstrom|
|2||Yuki Kadono||14||Ulrik Badertscher||2||Ggi Rüf||14||Bryan Iguchi|
|3||Seppe Smits||15||Sage Kotsenburg||3||Devun Walsh||15||Fredrik Evensen|
|4||Staale Sandbech||16||Sven Thorgren||4||David Benedek||16||Fredrik Austbo|
|5||Niklas Mattsson||17||Mathias Weißenberger||5||Werner Stock||17||Michi Albin|
|6||Mark McMorris||18||Ethan Morgan||6||Danny Davis||18||Marius Otterstad|
|7||Eric Willett||19||Torgeir Bergrem||7||Arthur Longo||19||Stefan Gimpl|
|8||Antoine Truchon||20||Jorn Simen Aaboe||8||Marko Grilc||20||Christophe Schmidt|
|9||Sebastien Toutant||21||Eric Beauchemin||9||Jamie Lynn||21||Thomas Eberharter|
|10||Roope Tonteri||22||Victor De Le Rue||10||Mike Basich||22||Elias Elhardt|
|11||Clemens Schattschneider||23||Maxence Parrot||11||Sani Alibabic||23||Wolle Nyvelt|
|12||Gjermund Braaten||24||Emil Ulsletten||12||Max Plötzeneder||24||Steve Gruber|