Shinji Osada Wins WSI Big Air

Shinji Osada Wins WSI Big Air

The World Ski and Snowboard Festival officially got underway last night with the Big Air contest under the lights. Always one of the most watched events of the entire season, the crowds came in hordes and by the time the last skier dropped, there wasn’t an inch of standing room within ear shot of the jump site.

Thirty guys and five girls were invited or qualified on Friday for the night’s event, with some really big names making the field as legit as it has been in years. Not to the mention, the jump was probably bigger than it has ever been, allowing every skier and their uncle to throw a double flip. Watching this event unfold, it was clear that double flips are the new switch 10, though luckily, with dozens of potential variations.

Each skier was given two runs to do whatever trick he or she wanted in an attempt to make the 10-person finals. Warm, spring temperatures made for a mushy landing that put many a rider ass over tea-kettle.

After the first two runs (60 jumps), the format changed for the finals. Like last year, each rider had to throw a 5, then a 7, then 9 then whatever they wanted to.

Final’s List

Jacob Wester
Austin Ross
TJ Schiller
Colby West
Ian Cosco
LJ Strenio
Kris Atkinson
Mike Mertion
Shinji Osada
Erik Hughes

Surprisingly, the slushy landing poached about half of the 540 tricks from the competitors. But after the 5 contest, it was game on. Obviously the most excited part of the contest were the final 10 “do anything” tricks that saw more doubles than rigged game of c-lo.

After about three hours of intense competition, fireworks, flame dancing and a live band on the main stage, the approximately 15,000 people in attendance were given the results: Third place, LJ Strenio. Second place, Jacob Wester. And first? Shinji Osada, straight from Japan with a STOMPED switch 14. Ironic, in a wave of double flips, a switch 14 took the cake, like a TJ Schiller US Open moment.

On the girls’ side, superstar Roz Groenwood took top honors with a massive 1080 that made all girl skiers proud, and all guy skiers jealous. Like last year, the girls put on an impressive performance that garnered much-deserved attention.

WSI is officially going off. Masters today, pipe finals Tuesday. Stay tuned!

Men’s Top Three

1. Shinji Osada
2. Jacob Wester
3. LJ Strenio

Women’s Top Three

1. Roz Groenwood
2. Maiko Hara
3. Megan Gunning

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