The biggest of big air has come and gone in Val d’Isere bringing yet another week of incredible tricks and even more audacious partying.
When it comes to skiing, there is little more impressive than watching the pros take to the skies and flip, spin and grab their way towards the top spot of the podium at the world’s biggest big air competitions.
Frostgun 2016 was no exception as the crowds gathered in their thousands to watch the best freestyle skiers and boarders hurl themselves off the biggest of kickers at the bottom of the world famous Face de Bellevarde in Val d’Isere.
After the pros dazzled the streets of Val with their tricks outside the legendary Dick’s Tea Bar, grinding rails and pulling backflips off the kickers on the purpose built street circuit in the centre of the town, the partying began in earnest. La Folie Douce hosted the official opening party of the event, as TooManyLeftHands entertained the crowds at the world famous party venue. With the beats pumping and the tables full of ski boot clad dancers, it’s hard not to get into the party mood.
Wednesday saw the start of the competition in earnest, as the snowboarders took on the Big Air. With the kicker leading off the exceptionally steep run in on La Face de Bellevarde, the takeoff to landing from the kicker was taking riders over 30m in distance. A staggering jump that ensured that the competition would without doubt provide the buzzing crowds with a complete spectacle.
After a strong field competed across two semi finals and then a final, it was Italian Emiliano Lauzi that reigned supreme, securing the win and pocketing a cool $15,000 US. Not bad for an evening of spinning through the air! His backside double 1260 mute particularly impressed the crowds and judges en-route to victory.
Norwegian Gjermund Braaten took home second place while 18 year old Frenchman Sébastien Koninjenberg finished in third place, giving the home crowd something to cheer.
Snowboard Big Air results:
1 - Emiliano LAUZI (ITA)
Backside Double 1260 Mute
Frontside 1080 Melon
2 - Gjermund BRAATEN (NOR)
Backside 1260 Melon
Frontside Double 1080 Melon
3 - Sebastien KONINJENBERG (FRA)
Frontside 1080 Indy
Backside 1260 Mute
The skiers had their turn on Thursday to take on the Big Air and show off their skills. With Canadian Vincent Gagnier in the field, fresh off a victory in Boston’s Fenway park earlier in the week, it would take a special performance for any of the other riders to challenge for the victory.
In the end it was the Canadian who took home victory on the slopes of La Face, beating out a strong field that contained former X-Games winner Alex Schlopy, 18 year old French sensation Gaëtan Carlier and Les Arcs very own Jules Bonnaire.