Californian droughts be damned – with one last triple cork, that was it for the first outing of Shaun White‘s take on the Air + Style series. After an evening of battling it out on Pasadena’s finest scaffolding, Yuki Kadono walked off with the top spot, obliterating the competition with a back triple 1620, switch backside 1260 and a switch backside triple cork 1620.
Say what you like about ‘spin to win’, Yuki’s last hit was truly impressive, especially considering that the run in and landing were looking pretty icy and bumpy by the time the finals rolled around, plus he grabbed melon rather than the these-days ubiquitous mute.
Talking of mutes… Mark McMorris made the finals but just missed out on the podium, only managing to score 58.65 overall. Still, the amount of hangtime he can get off of his backside triple 1440 these days is ridiculous – check out how much he has to stall his rotation by at the end (0.41). Seb Toots threw the same trick but managed to come away with 70.13 points for second, whilst Stale Sandbech struggled to put down clean triples but stomped a flat backside 1440 for third place.
Which meant that overall it was Stale who walked away with the first place crown for the tour overall (he only needed to place in the top five at this stop to do so) as well as the bizarrely-title ‘Ring of Glory’. Cheers Shaun.
For the style vs. air naysayers, once again Sven Thorgren was impressive, throwing his signature cab 1260 roast beef nose double grab combo, enough to land him in fifth. Unfortunately the UK’s Billy Morgan managed to nail himself in practice, a savage knuckle putting him out of competing. But, there’s always next year – this after all has been one of the more exciting and followable tours of this multi-world champ age of competitive snowboarding. See ya in Beijing…