Flachauwinkl, March 18, 2016: You should always leave them wanting more, so the Spring Battle 2016 ended with perfect bluebird, spring-like temperatures and a crazy trick level. For seven days, nearly 100 snowboarders and freeskiers tried to film their best run at Absolut Park Flachauwinkl and win their share of the 60.000 US-Dollars of prize money. During the last two days, the riders could even step up the trick level on the challenging and creative slopestyle course thanks to perfect conditions. The snowboarders Billy Morgan and Jess Rich as well as freeskier Alex Hall finally won their categories.
The British triple cork machine Billy Morgan Billy Morgan beat his competitors with a cab 270/270 out at the rail followed by a fs 540 melon, a cab double cork 900 double mute at the quarter as well as a fs double cork 10 tailgrab and a bs triple cork 1440 nosegrab at the kickers. The US-American Alex Hall showed a sick run with a switch right-on pretzel at the rail, a switch up to flatspin 720 out at the quarter, a leftside 9 reverse tail as well as a switch right double cork 10 safety and a switch left double cork 14 safety at the kickers. Jess Rich from Australia convinced the judges with a switch fs blunt 270 at the rail, a cab 180 bs Miller at the knuckle, a bs 180 tailgrab at the quarter, and a switch bs 540 Melon to bs 720 Indy at the kickers.
Last year’s winner Seppe Smits, the New Zealander Carlos Garcia Knight, the third in the WST slopestyle ranking Katie Ormerod, and young guns like Leon Gütl, Leon Vockensperger, and Maxi Preissinger were ripping, too. For sure, there were some top-level freeskiers as well: The Swiss style master Kai Mahler, the US-Americans Tim Ryan, Matt Walker and Nicky Keefer as well as Absolut Park team riders Dennis Ranalter and Daniel Walchhofer.
A unique contest format
For the second time, the Spring Battle combined a unique slopestyle setup with the innovative contest format of a follow cam jam session. This means that riders can team up, film each other’s runs during jam sessions of four hours as often as they like, and each hand in the best run for judging at the end of the week. Head judge Andy Lehmann outlines the advantages:
„First of all, it’s a benefit for the riders because there is no pressure. They only have to build pressure for themselves before filming their runs, but the rest of the week is super relaxed, they can hang out with their friends, do the things they like, think of new tricks and learn new things.“ The multi-day jam session format pushes the riding level and the creativity and all riders get the chance to show their full potential.
Snowboarder Seth Hill traveled all the way from the USA to be a part of the Spring Battle and is super stoked: „The film format is awesome. You have the time to do the run that you want. I think it’s unique, it’s different to any other contest, which adds an element to why this place and why this event is so awesome.“
A whole week of Spring Battle
For the first time, the Spring Battle took place for a period of seven days, but still wasn’t lacking in variety — from sunny skies to fog and strong winds, the riders got their share of all kinds of conditions. Andy Lehmann’s highlights were „the good weather days, and luckily we had four of those. Still, the riders made the best of the bad weather days and filmed as much as possible, were skateboarding at the Chillhouse or went to the spa or the sauna. Until today, all the riders are stoked and will probably come again next year.“
Absolut Park Manager Seppi Harml is more than happy about the event, too: "It has been the second time we had a follow cam jam session at the Spring Battle and it worked out really well. The riders’ feedback was even better than last year. I am already looking forward to next year’s event. Thanks to everyone who has been part of Spring Battle 2016!".
The Spring Battle is an International Level Event on the World Snowboard Tour and part of the Association of Freeskiing Professionals.
|FREESKI MEN||SNOWBOARD MEN||SNOWBOARD WOMAN|
|1. Alex Hall (US)
2. Tim Ryan (US)
3. Kai Mahler (CH)
|1. Billy Morgan (GB)
2. Carlos Garcia Knight (NZ)
3. Seppe Smits (BE)
|1. Jess Rich (AU)
2. Katie Ormerod (GB)
3. Aimee Fuller (GB)