For five days, international and national snowboard and freeski pros cruised through Absolut Park Flachauwinkl, tried different tricks and combos on the challenging setup and filmed each other - all with the goal of filming the best run in their category at the Spring Battle. Snowboarders Lyon Farrell and Yuka Fujimori and freeskiers Colin Wili and Johanne Killi performed their tricks with style, skill and precision, and secured much of the 130,000 US-Dollars in prize money.
The slopestyle course this year consisted of three rail setups, a turbo knuckle and two jumps. The setup was equally challenging and innovative: While the two kickers offered enough airtime for massive corks and spins, the riders could get creative at the knuckle and on the rails.
The Swiss freeskier Colin Wili beat his rivals with a Left 270 Pretzel 270, a Blindside Switchup Pretzel 270 and a Superfet on the rails, a Switch Right 900 Nose Tap over the Turbo Knuckle and a Left Double 1260 Safety as well as a Switch Right Double Misty 1260 Mute Grab on the kickers. In second and third place followed Oliwer Magnusson from Sweden and Andri Ragettli from Switzerland.
Snowboarder Lyon Farrell from the USA impressed with a 50-50 Frontside 180 Noseslide to Pretzel and a Frontboard 270 out on the rails, a Tailslide 270 on the Waterfall Rail, a Front 180 Butter Switch Backside 540 Tailgrab on the Turbo Knuckle, as well as a Frontside Double Cork 1080 Frontside Grab and a Backside 1620 Melon on the kickers. The Japanese Kaito Hamada won silver and Mikey Ciccarelli from Canada won bronze.
Freeskier Johanne Killi from Norway performed convincingly with a Switch Right Tails 270, a Left on B270 and a Left 270 on the rails, a Right 360 over the Turbo Knuckle and a Left 900 tail as well as a Switch Right 540 Japan on the kickers. Last year's winner Sarah Höfflin won silver and the Norwegian Sandra Eie bronze.
In the snowboarders' category, the Japanese rocked this year's Spring Battle and secured the first four places: Yuka Fujimori showed an impressive run with a Frontside 180 in Cab 180 out and a Lipslide 270 out on the rails, a 50-50 Frontside 180 out on the Elephant Rail, a Butter 180 Backside 360 out on the Turbo Knuckle and a Frontside 720 Mute Grab as well as a Backside 900 Mute Grab on the kickers. Asanuma Hinari took second place, Rina Yoshika third and Mao Aizawa fourth.
The top runs can be seen in the Spring Battle Prize Giving Show, which is already available on YouTube. ORF Sport+ will also broadcast the show on Sunday, 24 March 2019 at 8.15 pm.
Stale Sandbech, Torgeir Bergrem, Seppe Smits, Roope Tonteri, Alex Hall, Fabian Bösch and Oscar Wester were also present and raised the bar at the Spring Battle, even though they didn't make it into the top four with their runs.
Like the three years before, the Spring Battle 2019 was held in the Follow Cam Jam Session format popular with the riders: The runs are not judged directly on site, but the riders get together in teams, film themselves as often as they want in sessions lasting several days and submit a video of their best run to the judges.
|Snowboard Men||Freeski Men||Snowboard Women||Freeski Women|
|1||Lyon Farrell (USA)||Colin Wili (SUI)||Yuka Fujimori (JAP)||Johanne Killi (NOR)|
|2||Kaito Hamada (JAP)||Oliwer Magnusson (SWE)||Asanuma Hinari (JAP)||Sarah Hoefflin (SUI)|
|3||Mikey Ciccarelli (CAN)||Andri Ragettli (SUI)||Rina Yoshika (JAP)||Sandra Eie (NOR)|
|4||Judd Henkes (USA)||Joona Kangas (FIN)||Mao Aizawa (JAP)||Margaux Hackett (FRA)|