Despite flat light making for challenging conditions, four scores cracked into the 90-point range with incredible level of riding in men's snowboard slopestyle final at Dew Tour Breckenridge Olympic qualifier. As the top 12 riders returned to the four jump and three rail section course, the world's best put on an aggressive preview as to what to expect in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Each rider took three runs during Saturday's final, but it was only their best scores that established the standings at the event's end.
Kicking off the final was the 12th place qualifier, Mark McMorris. McMorris has steadily dominated Dew Tour in recent years, but this week has working his way through a bit of rough riding. McMorris' first and third runs included spills on the course, but his second run was the first to include a stomped triple cork and it took place on the first set of jumps proving confidence in his ability. Though, McMorris' best score was an 82.33 that resulted in an eighth place finish, he did not appear too bothered as he has already been named to the Canadian Olympic team.
For others, though, the Olympic dream was weighing heavily. However, Red Gerard, who was in the thick of contending to lock in a U.S. team spot, assured that it was not factoring into his approach.
"It's best not to think about it," Gerard casually said, "it's just a regular day."
Gerard qualified second coming into the final, and by the end of day he finished as the second highest American and fourth overall with a score of 91.
The top qualifying American was Chris Corning, and by way of that placing and previous Olympic qualifier finishes he was officially confirmed to the U.S. team. Corning's second run earned his best score of 95, but he nearly stepped it up on his final attempt. His best run was made up of a front 270 to front board, back 270 boardslide 270 out to fakie, switch backside 1260 grabbing melon, front 1080 grabbing melon, 50-50 backside 180, cab 1260 grabbing nose and a stomped backside triple cork 1440 also grabbed melon.
"Being on the Olympic team… it is a crazy feeling. We've worked so hard to get here—all of my support, and my family," acknowledged Corning at the end of the event.
The top snowboarder of the day, though, was Max Parrot. Parrot competed in his seventh Dew Tour slopestyle event, and was pleased to tell all that winning this event has been on his checklist for quite sometime. Checking off a proper win with an incredibly high score of 97. Parrot's second, and best, run was complete with a hard way 270 to front boardslide, back 270 boardslide 270 out to fakie, switch backside double cork 900 grabbing mute, backside 1260 grabbing mute, switch boardslide 270 off the Toyota feature, cab double cork 1260 grabbing indy and a front triple cork 1440 grabbing mute.
"I've been doing Dew Tour for seven years, and in the past I've always tried to push it with runs that are a little bit too hard," admitted Parrot. "This year I really took a step back and thought that every single trick I would do, on every feature, had to be something I felt comfortable with. That's what I did, and it put me on top—I'm super happy about that."
Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle Final Results
1.) Max Parrot (CAN), 97
2.) Chris Corning (USA), 95
3.) Mons Roisland (NOR), 92
4.) Red Gerard (USA), 91
5.) Judd Henkes (USA), 87
6.) Darcy Sharpe (CAN), 86
7.) Brock Crouch (USA), 84.33
8.) Mark McMorris (CAN), 82.33
9.) Stale Sandbech (NOR), 69.33
10.) Tyler Nicholson (CAN), 63
11.) Nikolas Baden (USA), 32.33
12.) Emil Ulsletten (NOR), 27