Ok, normally I have tonnes of pics and lots to say. This year, I just watched and enjoyed. Usual location at the GLC tent. For the event itself.
The winner was EASILY...and I mean easily the best run I have ever seen...was Andre Laconday (however you spell it) the run was just plain amazing. From the first big hit with a double backflip to the last big hit, his run was ... AWESOME! Any other judgemnt would have been a favoritism imo. This kid ROCKED this event. BTW has anyone else noticed how much he looks like a spanish bearclaw?
The next best run I have ever seen was the second place Lance McDermot (sorry if its spelled wrong, free beer effects my typing , I also hope I have the right athlete) I will try to post more details tomorrow, and I also plan on trying to steal some footage and pics from friends. But it was a real showcase of big mountain slopestyle riding.
My opinion on his riding was he was number 1 throughout the comp, but he got robbed every time by getting poor scores. His barrell rolls off of the last jump was not getting him any points, which just proves, judged events generally suck ass. In the end, last run, he deserved second, but he never got enough credit in his other runs. Kudos to him, blah to the judges. His backflip on the ramp to a front flip off...awesome. BTW his last run, he didn't bother with the barrell roll. - big ole caveat. I might have this guy mixed up. I am not 100% sure who was doing the barrell rolls. But I am about 90% of the way there. Every time they made me cheer. Hope I am right, but there is that small chance that I was distracted ...
All in all, the video coverage was the best I had seen, you missed NOTHING this year, the jumotron's (two of them) positioning was interesting, I think could have been better but that was a moot point. Overall, EXCELLENT...they have come along way (according to inside contact some media guy from Cali is to thank)
I did watch the "best trick" but it was lacking imo. By the end of it, everyone was doing similar variations. It was good but will get better with time. I think there was two fundamental problems:
1 - I think having the prelims halfway up the mountain was mistake. Half the people watching had to hike up the mountain to see anything and then hike down the mountain to see the last half. The mid point "hit" was not nearly as much fun as the final hit. With the jump on and off being a good step up and a great kicker, the final hit was the best ever for overall tricks. Everything else came off looking flat.
2 - I think, potentially, the problem with this event is the best riders save their tricks (and their bodies) for slopestyle, leaving a "best trick" as second best. The best tricks EASILY occurred in slopestyle, which almost defeats the purpose of best trick, even with the "cheer meter". No I can't do anything close to any of this....I just reserve the right to have an opinion about it. As a fan, this may not be the best way to do this as it doesn't actually showcase the best trick.
Anyways, just my semi drunk take. I have been to this event for...6 (maybe 7) years, since it was converted from joyride. and this was the best rendition of it ever. Media coverage was EXCELLENT, especially the racing FINALLY (btw every other year, this has always been its biggest weakness), the hits were good to great and the riding was equally excellent. Everyone, from the riders, to the hosts, brought their A game. Thats my take anyways.