The weekend's FIS World Cup Big Air event was historic for a couple of reasons. There was the fact that Turkey hosted a FIS event for the first time, with a massive Big Air ramp built in downtown Istanbul. Also (and more importantly), it marked the first appearance of Women's Big Air on the FIS circuit - with American teenager Ty Walker taking the gold.
Women's Big Air is nothing new, of course, having taken place at events such as the Burton US Open in the past. However, it's been absent from recent blue riband events including the X Games and the Air & Style, and has never appeared on the FIS calendar until now.
While men's champ Seppe Smits chucked a cab double cork 1260 and a backside double cork 1080, Ty took top spot with frontside and backside 7s
Perhaps this is just a case of 'about damn time' - or maybe it has more to do with the potential for Big Air to join slopestyle, halfpipe and snowboardcross in the next Olympics. After snowboarding's Sochi success story, you can be sure that the IOC and FIS will want as many people flinging themselves off the money booter as possible should it feature in a future Games.
Whatever the reason, we're stoked. For so long, Big Air has been the testing ground for the kicker tricks that are now standard in men's slopestyle, so it's bound to lead to progression in the women's field too. Also, for anyone complaining about the recent Beijing Air & Style going "full rotard" (©Todd Richards, X Games 2014), here's a chance - at least for now - to see those much-missed slower spins of Big Airs gone by. While men's champ Seppe Smits chucked a cab double cork 1260 and a backside double cork 1080, Ty took top spot with frontside and backside 7s.
Big Air has been the testing ground for the kicker tricks that are now standard in men's slopestyle, so it's bound to lead to progression in the women's field too
By the way, if you've watched the video and are wondering why Sina Candrian's clearly superior 7 didn't win, it's because the best two runs counted, and Ty did just enough to get her nose out in front. We reckon Sina's going to be the one to watch in this discipline though - her spins are as smooth as they are massive, and she even put down a 1080 as part of her Olympic run.
Time will tell if the other, competing tours follow suit, but for now we say congrats to Ty and all the riders who threw down in Turkey.