Laax Open 2021 | Slopestyle and Halfpipe World Cup kicks off in Switzerland

We're out in Laax, bringing you the latest news, live streams and more from Europe's biggest freestyle comp

After last week’s FIS World Cup opener with the Big Air in Kreischberg, Austria, Slopestyle and Halfpipe get underway in the Swiss freestyle mecca of Laax. Almost 200 riders from 25 countries have made it out to Switzerland in what’s often dubbed the best comp of the year among riders and fans alike.

All events will be LIVE STREAMED HERE and you can get the full schedule and list of viewing options on the Laax Open website.

Slopestyle Finals Results

Even with conditions dropping off a little, riders still threw down for the finals and threw a couple of upsets into the mix.

In the women’s category, Zoi Sadowski Synnott (NZL) was clearly in the lead after the first run, ahead of 2-time Olympic champion Jamie Anderson (USA). In the second run, the wind died down and the ladies were able to step things up from their previous runs.

However, none of the women managed to beat Zoi’s score, who went into her second run as the penultimate rider of the finals. As Jamie Anderson was still waiting for her final run, Zoi tried to top her own score from the first run, but failed. Then it was Jamie Anderson’s turn,  who bagged the highest score of the day with 84.35 points in the last minute and thus, her 5th LAAX Slopestyle title, which left her almost lost for words: “I’m so happy! In the second run, I decided to risk everything and it paid off. A big thank you to the LAAX hosts and the FIS Snowboard Tour!” Bringing in third place is delighted Australia’s Tess Coady.

“Mattsson is the first Swedish Slopestyle winner in LAAX since Chris Sörman, who claimed victory at the first Open in 2005”

Swede Niklas Mattsson opened the men’s final with a clean, technical run that earned him 84.28 points. This laid the foundation for his first Slopestyle World Cup victory, as none of his competitors were able to knock him off the pedestal and beat his score. Incidentally, Mattsson is the first Swedish Slopestyle winner in LAAX since Chris Sörman, who claimed victory at the first Open in 2005. In second place, Leon Vockensperger (GER) surprised and celebrated his first World Cup podium: “I can’t believe I am standing next to my idols on the podium right now, it‘s incredible.” Norway’s Marcus Kleveland completed the podium in third place.


  1. Jamie Anderson (USA)
  2. Zoi Sadowski Synnott (NZL)
  3. Tess Coady (AUS)


  1. Niklas Mattsson (SWE)
  2. Leon Vockensperger (GER)
  3. Marcus Kleveland (NOR)
(Credit: Ruggli)

Halfpipe Finals Results

The women started the action on the 200 metre-long Superpipe. The 2020 Youth Olympic Games gold medalist Mitsuki Ono was in the lead after her first run with plenty of amplitude in front of her 2 Japanese teammates. Defending champion Queralt Castellet from Spain and top favourite Chloe Kim from the USA failed to make their runs, promising exciting second runs with the two top favourites in the back. Castellet went all-out again, but crashed once more at her 1080 attempt on the second hit. Last but not least, Chloe Kim showed nerves of steel, delivering the best run of the evening, which judges awarded with 89.75 points. This pushed her to the top of the line at the last minute by a clear margin. An incredible performance from Chloe, who celebrated her comeback here with her third LAAX OPEN title after almost two years absence. Japan’s Mitsuki Ono (76.50 points) and Sena Tomita (75.75 points) completed the podium with young German, Leilani Ettel finishing finals in a strong 5th place.

“An incredible performance from Chloe, who celebrated her comeback here with her third LAAX OPEN title after almost two years absence”

In the men’s finals, it was the story of the duel between Scotty James and Yuto Totsuka, showing some of the highest riding levels in the history of halfpipe snowboarding. At first, Ruka Hirano (JPN) showed a phenomenal run, giving him the first lead with 88.25 points until defending champion Scotty James (AUS) took it from him with a technically challenging run (93.75 points). However, Scotty’s biggest rival Yuto Totsuka (JAP) was still waiting for his turn. The 19-year-old Japanese snowboarder showed a high-calibre run that put him in 2nd place just behind Scotty (90.25 points).

In the second run, no other rider was coming close to the two leading scores. So now, it came down to the second run of Scotty and Yuto to win the title. Scotty could not top his score. Yuto, on the other hand, took his chance and stunned the judges with a run, the likes of which the world has never seen: frontside 1440 frontside grab on the first hit, followed by a combo that Yuto landed for the first time today – Switch frontside 1260, frontside grab into switch backside 1080 Weddle – and a backside 1260 Weddle and frontside double 1260 frontside on the last two hits. After three 2nd place finishes in a row, Yuto Totsuka finally took his first LAAX OPEN win. Ruka Hirano (JPN) completed the podium in third place and Germany’s Andre Höflich surprised with a very strong performance, just missing the podium in 4th place. The three Swiss were not able to use their home advantage and their best was David Habluetzel in 6th place.


  1. Chloe Kim (USA)
  2. Mitsuki Ono (JPN)
  3. Sena Tomita (JPN)


  1. Yuto Totsuka (JPN)
  2. Scotty James (AUS)
  3. Ruka Hirano (JPN)
Totsuka Yuto (Credit: Laemmerhirt)

The Course

Laax sits right in the crosshairs for pretty much every rider with freestyle in their sights and this year’s course builds on the success of previous seasons. The slopestyle course has six features, including a pretty original mohawk/bowl/whale tail style hit we’ve already seen the rider’s getting creative with.

“Scotty James is currently odds on favourite to take the win, which would make him the first-ever snowboarder to take the title three times”

The Olympic-sized superpipe (the only one in the world in permanent operation) sits in all its glory at Crap Sogn Gion mountain, sizing up at 200 metres long and 20 metres wide with 7 metre-high walls. Scotty James is currently odds on favourite to take the win, which would make him the first-ever snowboarder to take the title three times (although he’s already sat in pretty esteemed company with other two-time winners Kelly Clark, Kevin Pearce, Peetu Piiroinen and Iouri Podladtchikov.

(PC: Laemmerhirt)

Covid Complications

Of course, the ‘C-word’ continues to cast a pretty thick cloud over the world and certainly increases the uncertainty of how international events will go ahead this year. Switzerland remains one of the few central European nations with an open travel corridor to several countries as well as keeping their resorts operational during the 20/21 season. It’s too soon to know how the rest of the competition season will pan out, but Laax has been praised for its detailed approach to Covid-19 safety measures.

Even so, a few of the big-hitting names will no longer be competing in the event as a direct/indirect result Covid complications. Lyon Farrel and Kyle Mack both had to pull out of the comp prior to reaching Switzerland after receiving positive Covid-19 test results.


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The Canadian team, including Mark McMorris, Max Parrot and Seb Toots have also had to pull out of the slopestyle after two members of the team received positive test results.

Shaun White, who was originally confirmed to compete in the halfpipe event decided against travelling, as he wrote on his Instagram account: “Because all the variables travelling during Covid, I decided to stay in the US and focus my efforts on X games!

We’ll be keeping this page updated throughout the competition with rider results, live streams and more. Stay tuned!

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