The Nike Open Dew Tour dropped in on Breckenridge last week in what proved to be an incredible day of riding from both the guys and the girls. The level of snowboarding was off the hook, with doubles being thrown down as standard. It is amazing too see how much riding has progressed in recent years, if you had taken the podium runs of a contest only five years ago they would have struggled to even make it past qualification today.
The course at Breckenridge was top drawer with most riders commenting that it was one of the best set ups they had seen at a competition. Fist up was the choice of a down bar or, as most favoured, a down flat down kink, followed by an up gap down bar. Next up were a series of four kickers with a wallride hit in between. The course was perfect for riders to demonstrate their all round abilities, it was certainly not a case of throwing a couple of bangers off the kickers and being done with it.
Under blue skies, it was the girls who had first usage of the awesome Breck park. As was the case all day, the level was through the roof, with the likes of Sarka Panchocova throwing huge frontside rodeo 5s to make it into third place. Jamie Anderson was, as usual, ridiculously smooth and consistent, nailing a variety of tech rail tricks but in the end missed out on a podium finish to Enni Rukajärvi who pulled a series of front and back 5s as well as being super smooth on the rails, a back tailslide 270 being the highlight. In first place, though, was Spencer O'Brien, whose winning run was a frontside boardslide, frontside lipslide, backside 540, switch backside 540, 5050 180 out, switch backside 180 and a frontside 720, sick!
On to the men and the riding standard went through the roof. With four doubles in the space of a few runs it was clear that the guys would have to stomp their tricks cleanly if they were to have any chance of making a podium finish. Torstein Horgmo, the defending champion, usually dominates this event but fell on a super technical run that would almost definitely have seen him podium had he managed to land it. Instead, this paved the way for Canadian Charles Reid to make it into third place with a run that included a switch backside 12 and a double rodeo 9, a run that only a couple of seasons ago would have guaranteed a first place finish. Seb Toots, whose warm up run you can see here, pulled a double corked 10 out of the bag to earn him a massive 96.00 points and a second place finish. Usually that would have been enough for the win but Gjermund Braaten was in unstoppable form, who hammered out a switch back tail 270, cab boardslide front board to fakie, switch back double cork 10, cab double cork 9, front 180 switch wallride, switch backside 180 off, back double cork 10 and front double cork 10 to storm into first place.
So concluded an absolutely incredible slopestyle event. The Nike Open Dew Tour at Breck really set the benchmark for what is set to be an incredible season of competition. Apparently, if riders aren't consistently throwing down double corks and 1080's then there really isn't much point in showing up.