The 11th edition of the infamous freestyle.ch once again graced the shores of Lake Zurich this weekend. We always predicted it would be a heavy hitter final and it didn't dissapoint. The four riders that made it through to the Finals were World Snowboard Tour winner Stale Sandbech, World Snowboard Champion Chas Guldemond, current World Snowboard Tour leader Antoine Truchon and student Pat Burgerner. Seems like a bit of a weighted final against the young home rider but when you consider he is part of the exclusive triples club, the odds sort of weigh out....slightly.
It was Stale that drew the short straw and dropped in first. Bearing in mind it was a two run final, best run counts, you would have thought he would have layed down a safety run before stepping it up on the second hit....not for this Norwegian wunderkinder. He hit the kicker and we were all expecting some kind of double cork variation and we were right UNTIL HE WENT FOR THE THIRD BLOODY ROTATION! It was ridiculous, he went for the third as he was already way down the landed and unfortunately he took a bit of a beating and landing on his back. It was a shame that he didn't manage to land it in his second run either and ended up taking home 4th. Fear not though as we have a whole season of inner-city big air events to come.
Next up was the home favourite Burgener who went for a balls to the wall Switch Backside 1260, which even though he ass checked the landing, he managed to bring home the Bronze for the home crowd. Bearing in mind this wee chap landed the first switch backside triple cork, it was a shame he didn't manage to podium higher. We think he might have finished school now though which means he'll be a more regular face on the tour this season.
It was Antoine who managed to take the silverware on the day with a damn tidy looking Frontside Double Cork 1080 for the Canadians. He had a stormer of a season down-under cleaning up at the Stylewars and taking some respectable finishes in both the Mile High and the High Fives competitions. Antoine seems to be one of the riders that has flown under the radar till now, is he going to get all Peetu Piiroinen on us and explode in a cacophony of medals and trophies? Only time will tell...
Chas Guldemond AKA Chucky G threw down a Cab 1260 with a side order of stomped in his first run and because he was dropping last in Finals, on his second run he knew he already had it in the bag. He did his best imitation of a helicopter come tasmanian devil to get round a Cab 1440 which although he reverted was still pretty darn sick. A lot of people hate on Chas for his Rockstar branded board and his style but coming from first hand experience, he is a lovely genuine guy. Word on the street was that he wasn't a 'good fit' for the DC team which is why he got dropped from their team a few years back but his Rockstar branded board is actually a Signal snowboard dressed up like a Trojan horse and DC must be kicking themselves that they let the guy go.
One criticism of the event would have to be the change up in the format from the Semi's to the Final's. One thing we've always enjoyed about the .ch is the 'style' run and the 'tech' run which makes a nice change from the usual huck-and-hope city events. For some reason they decided not to keep that criteria for the Finals which meant that although hammers were thrown, there was nothing that made your eyes pop out of your face.
Still a cracking event though, plus it gets us super excited for Freeze...