By Justin Broglio
What a start to the day! I watched Tom Wallisch, during practice, spin switch left 1260 to switch right 1260 again and again like it was nothing. I knew something big was going to happen later in the Men’s Freeski Slopestyle Final. I was right.
Wallisch’s incredible technical abilities and pure style put him in the number-one spot of the day with a 92.83. He had a little trouble with his speed and missed the down-flat-down rail during his first run, but he came back strong in the second run and threw down one of the best Slopestyle runs of the Winter Dew Tour. Closely behind Wallisch stood Alexis Godbout and Josiah Wells at 91.83 and 90.50, respectively. PK Hunder, although he placed sixth in the Toyota Championship, seizes the Dew Cup on behalf of his stellar performances in previous tour stops.
As for the wild-card Wallisch (who didn’t compete at Breckenridge due to an injury, and competed exclusively in Superpipe at Mount Snow), this victory is really something.
"I slowed down a bit on my second run, fixed my mistakes," Wallisch said from the podium. “I couldn't be more stoked to be in this position right now.” Additionally, he spoke well of his buds.
"Alexis totally deserves this after his run," said Wallisch, who travels without a coach and relies on his friends’ input alone to better his skiing."He absolutely killed it today."
Alexis' second run consisted of a myriad of tricks, including a switch lip to inward (pretzel) 270 off the first rail (a combination that no one else was doing today), to a switch misty 900 with a heavily tweaked mute grab. He followed with a right-side 900 with a reverse mute grab before finishing off with one of the cleanest switch 1260s of the day.
Going into the Toyota Championship, Alexis, trailing thirty points in overall tour points behind PK and Bobby, stood in a distant fourth behind Henrik Harlaut. However, it were his astonishing runs (the higher earning 91.83), coupled with uncharacteristically low placements by PK and Bobby, that catapulted Alexis to within 10 points of PK's Dew Cup-winning score of 230.
Brown had a little trouble with the down-flat-down rail during his first run, but later executed a perfect left 900 into switch 1280 (both with beautiful tip grabs). Earning an 82.83, Bobby finished ninth. It’s something of an understatement to say he was disappointed.
Dew Cup-winner PK Hunder, on the other hand, whose 89.00 score earned him sixth-place, had other issues to deal with. During his first run he landed just outside the sweet spot on the second to last jump and was forced to put a hand down in order to maintain balance going into the last hit; something the judges frown on in freeskiing.
"It's my loose ACL," he said after his second run. "I wasn't happy with performance today and I should have done better."