Four skiers. Head-to-head. Reality TV-style. The first annual skier big air event went off tonight at Buttermilk Mountain. It was Simon Dumont vs. Jacob Wester vs. Charles Gagnier, battling it out two-by-two on a 60-foot gap/stepup jump.
Unlike the pipe and slopestyle contests (that we’re all used to: 20 people pre-qualify, 10 are eliminated in qualifiers, 10 compete on live TV), this big air show had reality TV written all over it. Judging was performed in three parts:
1. Situated at the bottom of the big air next to Sal Masakala and Jumper star Hayden Christensen, Mike Douglas picked which skier he thought had the better jump, while they stood in the spotlight waiting.
2. Fans around the world texted in their favorite jump.
3. If there was a tie after the first two judging processes the decision went “upstairs” to Josh Loubek who made the final decision.
The first head-to-head battle was Charles Gagnier vs. Jacob Wester. Jacob dialed in a pretty good kangaroo flip with a shaky landing, and Gagnier put down a switch 12 octo with an equally shaky landing. Douglas and the fans chose Gagnier, and he moved on to the finals.
The second head-to-head battle was Jon Olsson vs. Simon Dumont. Dumont stomped a massive misty 10, and Jon put down a large kangaroo flip of his own. Douglas chose Jon. The fans chose Dumont (68% in favor), and the final decision was left up to Loubek. He moved Jon on to the final.
It was double flip versus switch 12. A tough judging decision, for sure. Charles went first and landed a switch 12 octo with a bit of a splash on the landing… but for all intents and purposes, it was solid. Jon stomped an absolutely perfect kangaroo flip; one of the most stomped kangaroos I’ve ever seen him throw.
On their second runs, Gagnier went for the switch 12 octo again, but seemed to loose some speed jumping to switch on the in-run and under-rotated. Jon, feeling he had the contest won, threw a flat 5 double grab (japan/nose) that oozed style. It was a nice stylie trick to end the show.
Douglas chose Jon. The fans chose Jon. Who knows what Loubek was up to. And the win went to the big air master himself, Jon Olsson.