The Battle Begins; Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle

The Dew Tour is serving up a smorgasbord of competition today at the iON Mountain Championships. Already this morning the energy on the mountain is palpable—and there’s no doubt it will continue to grow as the day’s events draw near.

The excitement surrounding the Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle Qualifier is especially high for one unambiguous reason: Shaun White. The sovereign of snowboard has captivated the world with his insane next-level pipe prowess. In fact, that prowess earned him the top spot at yesterday’s Snowboard Superpipe Qualifier for putting up this run. Although a decorated slopestyle rider, it’s been years since he’s competed in the discipline.

“I don’t think it really matters whether it’s slopestyle or halfpipe,” says White. “I want to do as well as I can.” In an effort to make good on that statement, White brushed the dust off his slopestyle skills while training on his private slopestyle course in Australia.

If White ends up competing in slopestyle at Sochi, Eric Willet and Chas Guldemond will likely compete along side him. Both with four top-three finishes at past Dew Tours, Guldemond and Willet are definite podium contenders this year. Guldemond especially has been earning big results, finishing second at last year’s iON Mountain Championships and taking home the win at the 2013 U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain.

With a surplus of strong international contenders, it’s imperative the U.S. athletes bring their A-Game this week. Topping the list of foreign threats is Mark McMorris. Last year at Dew Tour, the Canadian slopestyle sensation took home a double win for outstanding big air and slopestyle showings. As the first to complete a backside triple cork 1440, McMorris is no stranger to pushing the limits and reaping the rewards.

Lastly, expect a strong performance from the Norwegian trifecta—Torstein Horgmo, Gjermund Braaten and Staale Sandbech. Frontrunner Horgmo is an undisputed trailblazer who has made significant contributions to the sport’s progression, which includes landing the first switch backside triple cork in competition. Horgmo has proven he’s not afraid to take risks when the pressure’s on.

Tune in to the live stream today at 12:15pm ET to watch McMorris, Horgmo, White and the rest of the best battle it out at the qualifier. 

All of today’s events can be watched in real-time on Dew Tour Live. The schedule includes:

Women’s Freeski Superpipe Final at 11:15am ET
Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle Qualifier at 12:15pm ET
Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle Final at 4:00pm ET
Men’s Freeski Superpipe Qualifier at 7:00pm ET

Schedule subject to change. Please check the SCHEDULE for any updates.