The Absolut Park just wouldn’t be the same without its contests. They are a great platform for rookies and pros alike. And to make sure that all snowboarders and freeskiers are sure to get their money’s worth, we will be organizing our traditional Shuttleberg competitions again this year.
International and national pro snowboarders and freeskiers were riding at Absolut Park Flachauwinkl for five days to battle it out and film some firstclass runs at Spring Battle — one of the last events on the 2017 contest schedule. Snowboarders Emil Ulsletten and Yuka Fujimori and freeskiers Quinn Wolferman and Sofia Tchernetsky convinced the judges with stylish, technical and clean tricks and finally won their categories.
Norwegian Emil Ulsletten showed an impressive run with a gap boardslide 270 on the double kinked rail, a blunt 270 on the down rail, a frontside 540 frontside grab on the spine, a switch backside triple cork 14 mute grab and a cab 1080 nosegrab on the kickers. Quinn Wolferman from the USA beat his competitors with a transfer 450 270 out on the double kinked rail, a nosebutter 540 in the quarter pipe, a rightside 270 on the down rail, a bio 9 reverse Japan switch right in the spine, a double 9 safety grab and a left double misty 10 safety grab on the kickers. Japanese Yuka Fujimori was far ahead of the other girls with a switch boardslide on the down rail, a noseblunt lipslide on the down rail, an indy air on the spine, a frontside 360 frontside grab and a backside 720 mute grab on the kickers and the 14-year-old Canadian Sofia Tchernetsky was throwing it down, even though she was the only female freeskier to hand in a run. US-American Grant Giller pleased the crowd with a stylish line on a fishtail board.
The slopestyle course featured a double kinked rail, a down rail, a transfer rail, a quarter, a spine, and two kickers this year. The obstacles were demanding and riders kept commenting the sitze of the huge kickers with their 22 and 24 meter tables, but the setup left room for creativity and a lot of airtime for massive corks and spins. The course was supposed to be challenging, because the World Snowboard Tour had upgraded it to a WST Elite Level Event, and in the Association of Freeskiing Professionals it was ranked as an AFP Gold Event. For the contestants, more tour points and a higher price money were on stake this year: 70.000 US-Dollars were distributed to the top four riders in all categories — even though the event felt more like a relaxed jam session with friends than a nerve-wracking contest.
For the third time, Spring Battle went down as a follow cam jam session: This means that riders team up, film each other’s runs as often as they like during the jam sessions, and each hand in the best run for judging at the end of the contest.
"I wanted to come here a long time, but this year is my first time to do Spring Battle, and I’m really happy to be here. The follow cam session is really fun, It’s not like a real contest — I don’t like contests so much, because there is only two runs, but here you can try any trick and have fun at a contest — it’s really nice! ", said Japanese snowboarder Yuka Fujimori excitedly.
Sofia Tchernetsky was equally enthusiastic about the format: "The format is really encouraging, I’ve never done a competition like this — with filming instead of formally two runs and being judged and then finals — you just have to throw it all down for a video and you have so many opportunities to do that and get your best run possible, that’s great."
Swiss freeskier Kai Mahler was taking competing at Spring Battle for the third time in a row. Will he come again? "Definitely. It is always nice, every year. Until now, weather has always been good, at least for a couple of days, and it is sick here."
Belgian snowboarder Seppe Smits, who is on the podium for the seventh time in a row at Spring Battle, tells us why he comes back every year: "I guess the contest here is really fun, and we’re all staying in the chalets as well, so all the riders are just hanging around together. And I don’t feel so much pressure at this contest. For some reason the weather is always nice, so it’s just really fun to end the season with a good contest."
Spring Battle is part of the World Snowboard Tour and the Association of Freeskiing
See more clips at our YOUTUBE Cannel!!
|Freeski Men||Snowboard Men||Snowboard Women||Freeski Women|
|1||Quinn Wolferman (USA)||Emil Ulsletten (NOR)||Yuka Fujimori (JPN)||Sofia Tchernetsky (CAN)|
|2||Gus Kenworthy (USA)||Brandon Davis (USA)||Tess Coady (AUS)|
|3||Eirik Sateroy (NOR)||Seppe Smits (BEL)||Hanne Eilertsen (NOR)|
|4||Ethan Swadburg (USA)||Kaito Inamura (JPN)||Nora Frisvold (NOR)|
|5||Lyon Farrell (USA)||Noah Wallace (USA)||Andrea Straume (NOR)|
Flachauwinkl, 6th of January 2017. In spite of freezing cold and half a metre of pow, nearly 40 riders met at Absolut Park to start contest season with Jib King on Three Kings Day. The shapers had done a great job and the Jib Park was perfectly groomed for the freeskiers, who showed creative and diverse runs to win the titles.
The judges wanted to see fluent and stylish, clean lines rather than spin-to-win, that’s what Josh Absenger insisted on during the riders meeting in the morning. Thanks to a selection of eleven obstacles, the Jib Park offered many options to show individual runs. Like last year, there were three different categories to be judged: boys under 15, women and men. All contestants had two runs to prove their skills — for the ladies and the boys, the better run was counted for the result, while the men had to make tit to the finals first. For all winners, fine prizes sponsored by Tigas Base were waiting.
At first, the men’s qualification was on: From the beginning, the trick level was high and the guys were destroying the park until the best eight were announced for the finals on the stairset. All of the finalists had four runs, in which they had to show two different tricks. Sam Baumgartner won the Jib King title with a sick fs switch up sideflip to fakie on the concrete ledge and a switch lip 270 on the downrail. Gideon Mayer made second place with a lip 270, 270 out on the doublekink rail and a switch lipslide to fakie on the downrail. The third place was reached by Maj Stirn with a onefoot slide change leftside 360 out on the concrete ledge and a frontside switch up pretzel 270 out on the doublekink.
Nina Ruster convinced the judges with a rightside 360 safety on the jib kicker, a beautiful 270 on the downrail, and a stylish blindside 450 off on the flatrail. Second and third place went to two Absolut Park teamriders: Stefanie Mössler with a 360 mute, a lipslide on the downrail, and a railslide pretzel 270 off, and Regina Rathgeb with a 360 safety grab, a 270 on the downrail, and a fs switch up fakie on the waterfall tube.
Moritz Happacher was the best in the boys under 15 category, showing a stylish cork 540 on the jib kicker, and a switch lip 270 followed by a backfoot slide on the dropdown rail. Michael Rohrmoser followed on the second place with a cork 5 safety, a switch lipslide pretzel 270 out on the downrail, and a switch up 270 out on the flatrail. Luis Resch made third place with a rightside 360, a slide 270 out, and a switch up 270 out on the dropdown rail.
All freeskiers gave the finger to the probably coldest day of the last five years and celebrated the freestyle scene’s first meeting of the year with creative tricks on a high level. Stefanie Mössler summed up the day: “It was great again, because it’s a different flair and atmosphere up here after some snowfall. The weather wasn’t perfect, but it doesn’t have to be for jibbing. We had perfect snow conditions and the park was shaped well and we had a blast.“
|1. Sam Baumgartner||1. Moritz Happacher|
|2. Gideon Mayer||2. Michael Rohrmoser|
|3. Maj Stirn||3. Luis Resch|
|4. Max Heider||4. Philipp Strubreiter|
|5. Fabio Doberauer||5. Filippo Kreindl|
|6. Julius Gerhardt||6. Laurin Hafner|
|7. Nik Podrepsek||7. Felix Steindl|
|8. Ziga Kovacic||8. Manuel Lerchbaumer|
|9. Johannes Fritzenwallner||9. Simo Peltola|
|10. Jonas Seiwald||10. Nico Huber|
|11. Michael Plutke||11. Nic Biembacher|
|12. Julian Soucha||12. Christian Lanner|
|13. Raphael Wöhrer||13. Stefan Heiss|
|14. Tim Van Dyck||14. Elias Gwehenberger|
|15. Matthias Krallinger||15. Daniel Lindmoser|
|16. Patrick Ertl||16. Sebastian Pichler|
|17. Kevin Klima|
|1. Nina Ruster|
|2. Stefanie Mössler|
|3. Regina Rathgeb|
|4. Patrizia Holzmann|
Flachauwinkl, January 7th, 2017. The second day of the Jib King started with sunshine and bone-chilling cold. Despite -21 degrees Celsius, about 20 snowboarders showed up and were more than motivated for the first snowboard contest of the season at Absolut Park. Again, the Jib Park was in perfect shape and the eleven obstacles invited the riders to show individual runs.
Creative, stylish and technical tricks were what the judge team around Teo Ivancic wanted to see, and there were three different categories to be judged: women, men, and boys under 15. All contestants had two runs to prove their skills — for the ladies and the boys, the better run was counted for the result, while the men were battling to qualify for the finals on the stairset.
The men were the first to show their runs: From the beginning, the level was extremely high and the guys showed creative and super-stylish tricks on different obstacles — for example a kicker, a downrail, a flatrail, a dropdown rail, and a waterfall tube. The best eight made it to the finals, where they had four runs each. Again, versatility was key, because the best two different tricks counted for the final results. Even though the weather changed to clouds and strong winds before the finals, the snowboarders pushed it to the max, making spectators, judges and speaker Henry Jackson “wow“ a couple of times. Jeremie Unterberger won with a cab 270 fs boardslide on the downrail and a 50-50 fs 360 out on the concrete ledge. Konrad Sonne got second with a bs 270 bs boardslide on the downrail and a bs 180 gap switch 50-50 on the doublekink rail. On the third place followed Felix Reicher with a cab 180 gap on the doublekink rail and a cab 270 gap fs boardslide on the doublekink rail.
The ladies, too, destroyed the freshly shaped Jib Park led by Klara Dinold, who won the title Jib Queen with a bs 360 indy on the kicker, a bs boardslide on the downrail and a bs lip slide on the waterfall tube. Georgia Nicholls-Austin landed second place with a bs 360, a 50-50 bs 180 out on the downrail and a switch bs boardslide on the flatrail. Tinkara Tanja Valcl got third showing a fs 360 on the kicker, a bs boardslide on the downrail and a fs lipslide on the waterfall tube.
Jan Vogrin convinced the judges in the rookies category, showing a backflip, bs boardslide on the downrail and a 50-50 fs 360 out on the flatrail.
Not only fame, but also sick prizes sponsored by Tigas Base were waiting at the prize giving at Chillhouse for the top-ranked in each category. Afterwards, everyone headed to the Après Jib Party in the village for some well-deserved beers.
Rob Lane from Scotland, who got fifth, was excited: “It was really fun, good to ride with some friends again that I met last year. The park is amazing, they build it so professionally and they are people who really care about what they do.“ Jeremie Niederberger was happy, too: “Riding was good and the setup was perfect, but it was a really cold day today.“ It was indeed! But those motivated riders gave the frosty temperatures the cold shoulder and got a breathtaking mountain view in return.
|1. Jeremie Unterberger||1. Jan Vogrin|
|2. Konrad Sonne||2. Anej Hrzenjak|
|3. Felix Reicher||3. Linus Hannibal|
|4. Patrick Gruber|
|5. Rob Lane||Woman|
|6. Philipp Lessacher||1. Klara Dinold|
|7. Arturs Cukunde||2. Georgia Nicholls-Austin|
|8. Philipp Jank||3. Tinkara Tanja Valcl|
|9. David Wall||4. Kaili Randmae|
|10. Alex Bernhofer||5. Karlotta Killias|
|11. Kristaps Pipars|
|12. Michael Auer|
|13. Freddy Klatschow|