Out of the infamous Birds Nest in Beijing, the legendary Air & Style set-up reared up through the smog as the battleground for the best snowboarders on the planet. The first event of the Air & Style season kicked off on Saturday with some unbelievable riding from the top 32 invited riders. Even amongst the difficult visibility conditions, we saw some never-been-done tricks and an overall level that hasn’t yet been seen in Big Air competition until now.
After the qualifying rounds on Saturday with thousands of Chinese fans watching 32 become 16 under the floodlights, the new 3-attempt structure allowed more progression and forced the riders to attempt at least 1 different direction of spin. Monster riders Sebbe De Buck and Tor Lundstrom unfortunately became unstuck in the qualies, but stuck around to skate and take in all that Beijing had to offer for the rest of the comp.
Top 8 faced off in a final that saw Darcy Sharpe
(CAN) heading into a super round of hot shots, and laying down the now almost mandatory triple backside cork 1440 Mute, alongside a seriously smooth double cork 1260 Nosegrab that saw him jump into 3rd place on the podium behind Markus Kleveland in 1st and Seb Toots in 2nd. Keep your eyes peeled for the young Canadian, going into the 2nd event in Innsbruck, Austria and followed by the ultimate final round in LA in the coming months.