2010-11 Competition Year in Review: Big Air

May 3rd, 2011 by

Home | Superpipe | Slopestyle | Big Air

2009-10 Big Air Competition Year In Review

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The first big air of the year belonged to AFP 2nd place Big Air finisher Henrik Harlaut. Henrik rode his switch double flatspin 900 all the way to the podium while 2009 Crossover winner Elias Ambühl took 2nd, with his double cork 1080 Octograb. Rounding out the podium was Andreas Håtveit with his double cork 1080 mute to double japan.

Freestyle.CH video highlights. [jacobwester.com]


1) Henrik Harlaut
2) Elias Ambühl
3) Andreas Håtveit

Interesting fact: Ten different countries were represented in the 16-man competition. (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United States)

For full results and recap, click here.

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2010 was the year where double corks/fips became the norm at City Big Airs. So it was fitting that one of the pioneers of the double — Jacob Wester — would win one of these contests. Jacob bested fellow double flip innovator Jon Olsson, Freestyle.ch winner Henrik Harlaut and Russ Henshaw to take the win.

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Jacob Wester on top of the podium.


1) Jacob Wester
2) Jon Olsson
3) Henrik Harlaut

Interesting Fact: This was an all-Swedish podium, something that has never been accomplished as Jon and Jacob were the only two Swede's podium-ing for the longest time. Other notable Swedes include Niklass Karlstrom and Henrik Windstedt.

For full results and recap, click here.

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This marked first time a big air event has come to Hungary's borders. The same event company as London Freeze put on the Budapest Fridge, where Elias Ambühl, the new King of Big Air, took home win with double cork 1080 mutes tweaked so hard you'll freak.

Budapest Fridge highlights. [jacobwester.com]


1) Elias Ambühl
2) PK Hunder
3) JF Houle

Interesting fact: JF Houle, despite a run in with the law the night before, managed to pull himself together long enough to take 3rd place. Impressive.

For full results and recap, click here.

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The big story here was reigning X Games Superpipe gold medalist Kevin Rolland knocked off all the big dogs to take the win. Not known for his big air prowess, the head-to-head, one-jump, no-golden jump format really helped Rolland out as both Håtveit and Ambühl fell against him. Butgive him credit, he did beat Jon Olsson and Aleksander Aurdal, straight up. Congrats to Kevin.

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L-r: Elias Ambühl, Kevin Rolland, Bene Mayr


1) Kevin Rolland
2) Elias Ambühl
3) Bene Mayr

Interesting Fact: For those who are counting, Ambühl is 3-for-4 in big airs for 2010-11 so far. That makes him 7-for-11 since the 2009-10 season, a percentage of 63.6-percent… pretty damn good.

For full results and recap, click here.

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After the 2010 performance of Bobby Brown, Ski Big Air has become THE paramount event at X Games. This year it was Alex Schlopy who stepped up to the plate with massive double cork 1260s, double cork 1620s and switch 1440s. Competing in his first X Games (slope and big air), Schlopy made short work of the jump that SPT built. Nothing will ever touch what Bobby, TJ, Elias and Jossi did in 2010, but Alex Schlopy made his own mark on this fateful night.

Alex Schlopy's road to the Big Air win.


1) Alex Schlopy
2) Bobby Brown
3) Sammy Carlson

Interesting fact: Two days before the big air, Alex wasn't even in the Big Air. But due to a number of drop outs (Tom Wallisch, Simon Dumont, Jon Olsson, PK Hunder) Alex and Gus Kenworthy were admitted as alternates last minute. One man's injury, is another man's gold.

For full results and recap, click here.

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No more 4th place finishes for Russ Henshaw. After his string of podiums in slopestyle, Russ kept the podium train going by winning the Frostgun Imvitational Big Air in Val Thorens. With the grueling two-jump, head-to-head format, Russ' ability to drop right and leftside double corks in succession is what gave him the win. Elias Ambühl couldn't unseat the Aussie, even with his near perfect switch double cork 1260s.

Frostgun Invitational highlights. [DownDays.eu]


1) Russ Henshaw
2) Elias Ambühl
3) Sam Favret

Interesting fact: Fridtjof Fredricsson almost become the first to land a triple (wobble) in competition. But he couldn't quite hold it together on the landing.

For full results and recap, click here.

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This year Jon opted for his old Jon Olsson invitational Big Air over the more recent Jon Olsson Super Sessions video contest. Building a huge Jon-style jump facilitated what could have been called "triple-fest." Russ Henshaw did a triple cork first day and never looked back. Everyone and their mothers were trying triples culminating with Elias Ambühl putting two to his feet in the JOI Big Air finals. With this win, Elias secured the AFP Big Air title, despite the WSI Big Air having not happened yet.

JOI and VAC highlights. Skip ahead for JOI.


1) Elias Ambühl
2) Ole Mustad
3) Andreas Håtveit

Interesting fact: The JOI coincided with Jon's other even, the VAC, a slalom race event. If you don't know by now, Jon is attempting to qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Giant Slalom.

For full results and recap, click here.

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As with the Jon Olsson Invitational, the WSI Big Air represents the zenith in spectator Big Airs. Fireworks, Firedancers, Live Music, TJ Schiller on the mike and some of the best jumpers in the game entertained some 10,000 people in Whistler Village. It took all three jumps, but Bobby Brown put down the goods to win himself a new Chevy Cruze. Polar opposite of Brown, it only took Ashley Battersby her first jump — the first of anyone that night — to secure the women's win. Despite Bobby's win, Elias Ambühl had already locked up the AFP title, but Gus Kenworthy's 11th place got him within striking distance to Simon Dumont in the Overall Race.

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L-r: Vincent Gagnier, Bobby Brown, Henrik Harlaut


Men:
1) Bobby Brown
2) Henrik Harlaut
3) Vincent Gagnier
Women:
1) Ashley Battersby
2) Kaya Turski
3) Anna Segal

Interesting fact: Gus Kenworthy dumped out a big double cork 1440 in qualifiers. thinking he had advanced, he did a backflip second round, only to not advance to finals. Unfortunate for the crowd as it was rumored that Kenworthy would be throwing triple flips for the crowd.

For full results and recap, click here.


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About the author:
Shay Williams is the former Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He now works full-time with Monster Energy, and continues to contribute to freeskier.com, offering insights re: the lives of his Monster athletes.