2009-10 Competition Year in Review: Big Air

2009-10 Competition Year in Review: Big Air

2009-10 Big Air Competition. A Year in Review.


Even with city big air jumps becoming smaller, Freestyle.ch showcased the riders' ability to throw double corks on them. Sammy Carlson shows his veteran skills by taking the win over big air innovators Jon Olsson and Andreas Håtveit. Elias Ambühl starts his transformation from small kid with weird clothing to mega-star in the big air world with this podium.
Final Results:
1) Sammy Carlson
2) Elias Ambühl
3) Andreas Håtveit
4) Jon Olsson
Interesting fact: The Freestyle.ch Crossover event, which showcases FMX, Snowboarding and Skateboarding and pits them all together, was won for skiing by Swiss Native Elias Ambühl's double cork 1080.
The Freestyle folks held a second city big air, this time in Berlin. The rainy day made for an interesting jump session, with Henrik Harlaut taking the big win over an impressive field. Big Air Tom (Schiller) regains his form and Sammy takes his second consecutive podium in Europe.
Final Results:
1) Henrik Harlaut
2) Sammy Carlson
3) TJ Schiller
4) Jacob Wester
Interesting fact: This was the one and only time Berlin has hosted a big air and all German/Austrians were shut out of the half Swedish / half American superfinal.
The London Freeze festival was held at the base of the historic Batterseas Powerstation for its second year. Heavy rains (read: typical English weather) pounded the event making for interesting conditions. Australian big air killer Russ Henshaw flexed his double flip muscles to take the win.
Final Results:
1) Russ Henshaw
2) Bobby Brown
3) Andreas Håtveit
T-4) Bene Mayr & Jacob Wester
Interesting Fact: In the history of the London Freeze (three years) it hasn't NOT rained at some point during the even, whether it be finals or practice. Yet the even always goes off without a hitch due to its perseverant organizers.
The fourth stop of the European City Big Air circuit found itself in Barcelona for a one time only stop. Sister event to the London Freeze, the Barcelona event wasn't hindered by rain because it was held in… Spain. Russ Henshaw being from Australia was used to the warmer climate, which no doubt helped him take his second consecutive victory in Europe. Russ was the only competitor in superfinals to throw two different double variations.
Final results:
1) Russ Henshaw
2) Tom Wallisch
3) Elias Ambühl
4) TJ Schiller
Interesting fact: There was some confusion about the results, as Elias was credited with second place for some time, in reality, it was Tom Wallisch, who had arrived only minutes before qualifiers started.
For the last event of Europe's city big airs, the athletes headed to Stockholm, Sweden for a chilly affair at the Peak Performance King of Style. Andreas and Sammy both used double cork 1080s to podium, yet Phil Casabon took things back to a very stylish switch 1080, earning himself a deserved podium spot.
Final Results:
1) Andreas Håtveit
2) Phil Casabon
3) Sammy Carlson
4) Pekka Hyysalo
5) Jon Olsson
6) Elias Ambuhl
7) Simon Dumont
8) Patrick Hollaus
9) Tom Wallisch
10) Simon Ericsson
11) LJ Strenio
12) Jacob Wester
Interesting Fact: Despite its name, this event doesn't have a separate style jump score, like Freestyle.ch. However, this event is the only big air in Europe that didn't require a separate Super Final.
We've always had a contentious relationship with the X Games Big Air… text voting and limited rider lists always left a sour taste in our mouths, until this past year. With 10 riders being culled to five for a 30-minute jam session, the event went off. Four of the five riders threw new double cork variations. Bobby Brown's switch double misty 1260 & 1440 variations were impressive enough to garner a perfect 100 score. TJ Schiller threw the first 1620 variation in competition. Elias Ambühl and Jossi Wells both threw switch double cork 1440s. An unreal night that will live on in ski lore forever.
"It was the most insane, ludicrous, stupid event I've ever seen. And I quit big air." -Mike Riddle
Big Air Results:
1) Bobby Brown
2) TJ Schiller
3) Elias Ambühl
T-4) Jossi Wells & Russ Henshaw
And adding to X Games Big Air was the X Games High Air, held in the Superpipe immediately after Superpipe finals. With six guys competing to see who could go the biggest, it was local boy Peter Olenick's 24 foot 11 inch alley-oop flatspin 540 that was a foot higher than second place Justin Dorey's straight airs. A Guinness record and gold medal, not a bad night for Petey.
High Air Results:
1) Peter Olenick – 24 feet 11 inches
2) Justin Dorey – 23 feet 9 inches
3) Kevin Rolland – 23 feet 4 inches
4) Mike RIddle – 23 feet 1 inch
5) Xavier Bertoni – 23 feet
6) Simon Dumont – 22 feet 7 inches 
Interesting fact: If you stacked Peter on top of himself 4 times, you still wouldn't reach the height that he went this fateful night in January.
Being the last stop of the Winter Dew Tour, the event organizers put five large on the line for a number of skiers to compete in an informal big air. With wind, cold temps and some bad light, the athletes jumped, some throwing double corks, some throwing stylish 900s. But when it was all said and done, Gus Kenworthy (a wild card invite for slopestyle) took home the win at the only Winter Dew Tour Big Air. 
Winner: Gus Kenworthy
Interesting fact: Before the event had started, all the competitors agreed to split the prize money evenly.
The final big air of the year happened in Åre, Sweden during JOSS: the legendary Jon Olsson Invitational. As with the year prior, JOI was a head-to-head format, with the eventual winner being Andreas Håtveit, who beat out Russ Henshaw and Elias Ambühl for the top spot. 
Big Air results:
1) Andreas Håtveit
2) Russ Henshaw
3) Elias Ambuhl
4) Jon Olsson
T-5) Alex Schlopy, Tom Wallisch, Kristoffer Hedwall, Henri Koskalainen 
Interesting fact: With this win, Andreas secured the AFP Big Air Title, narrowly beating Henshaw by a mere 50 points.

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