It’s game-on here at Whistler Blackcomb. Between April 12-16, the famed mountain town plays host to the AFP World Championships; the skiing events mark just one small part of the World Ski and Snowboard Festival (WSSF) which carries on through the 21st. On the docket: Saturday night big air in Whistler Village, Sunday’s slopestyle qualifiers on Blackcomb, Monday’s slope final and the annual AFP awards dinner to follow—where the various 2013 world champions will be crowned.
While Friday’s slopestyle practice session was a bit of a wash on account of weather, the sun cleared this morning, granting competitors their first crack at skiing the course from top to bottom. The consensus? This slopestyle course is among the best of the year.
“The course is huge,” said Nick Goepper. “All the jumps are really big, all the rail features are really big and scary… it’s definitely going to test the cahones of all the competitors out here.”
“It’s one of the sickest courses we’ve had all year,” added Jossi Wells. “It’s on par with an X Games course. It has sick flow.”
Also commenting on the course’s flow and overall feel was Matt Walker: “It reminds me of the video game Skate 2, this level called the Fun Track (surely something many of you can relate to). It’s curvy, and it’s in the trees—sort of hidden—and there are drops in between features… so you, like, come around a corner and it’ll be kind of flat, and it drops into a big jump, and then it might level out for a second, then turns, and drops into another big jump… It’s really good flow in this course. Sick jumps, smooth rails… it’s one of the top couple courses of this season.”
Terrain Park Manager for Whistler Blackcomb, Brian Finestone, was pleased to receive so much positive feedback. “We decided to run all of our slope courses on the left side of the park this year,” he said. “There’s a bit of a dog leg in the course, but that gives it more character. We did a guinea pig event of sorts earlier this year with The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series, and we got an idea from that as to how the flow went. Then we just decided to build on it… make it bigger, better, more badass for WSSF.”
Stay tuned as we’ll continue to bring you coverage in the days to come. For more information on WSSF, visit wssf.com, or follow @WSSF on Twitter and Instagram. For information on the current AFP rankings, visit afpworldtour.com.