Men's Freeski Slopestyle
In the Men’s Freeski Slopestyle final on Saturday, the 16 qualified riders hailed from Austria, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, as well as the United Kingdom and the United States. The perfectly sculpted Snowpark Stubai Zoo provided the backdrop for world-class Slopestyle riding, offering a plethora of rails, jib obstacles, and a section featuring tall jumps for big airs.
Amid perfect weather conditions on the glacier, Birk Ruud dropped in as a top contender and previous 2019/20 FIS World Cup champion in the Big Air discipline. In October, the 21-year-old from Oslo had already claimed third place in the season’s first FIS Freeski Big Air competition.
Saturday provided a chance for Ruud to demonstrate his well-rounded Slopestyle skills. On his very first run in the final, Ruud stomped a perfect routine including switch left double 1620 mute grab, right double 1440 safety grab. In the rail section, he finessed a left 270 lipslide to 450 out, right 450 disaster to forward, switch on backslide and highly technical switch left 450 disaster for 87.60 points and the win ahead of Canada’s Max Moffatt in second place.
“My day’s been really good. My practice wasn’t that good, but I managed to lace up and find my inner focus in the comp. I’m super happy. Really stoked to see all the boys out there killing it. It’s amazing,” said Monster Energy’s Ruud upon winning the FIS Freeski Slopestyle World Cup event in Stubai. “I’m going to celebrate this one and then get focused on the next one. There’s always a competition coming up, so I got to keep my head on straight and stay grounded.”
Saturday’s win marks the second World Cup Slopestyle victory in Ruud’s career. The Norwegian began competing at the international level at a young age. In 2016, the rookie pro won Freeski Slopestyle Gold at the Winter Youth Olympics at Lillehammer. Since then, he has emerged as a top competitor and claimed the 2020 FIS World Cup Big Air Crystal Globe trophy. Ruud also has four X Games medals (2 gold, 2 silver) to his name.
Also claiming a podium spot, 23-year-old Monster Energy rider Ferdinand Dahl from Norway took his technical bag of tricks to the downhill course. A selection of highly advanced rail tricks, including a blender switch left 270 lipslide to 270 out into a right-side superfed on the S-rail combo earned Dahl a score of 86.06 points on his second run for third place. This marks the ninth podium of Dahl’s World Cup career.