words: Mary Walsh
photo: Mike Yoshida, Aaron Blatt, and Mary Walsh
The skies were smiling on Sunday, December 14th as Saturday’s powder storm opened up to bright sun, no clouds in sight. The demigods of the slopestyle circuit, who have paid their dues threefold trying to find speed in stormy conditions were treated to the best weather of Dew Tour weekend, a fitting close to this year’s event in Breckenridge.
The drop-in list was as stacked as ever, loaded with Scandinavians and Canadians ready to stake their claim to the podium. Stale Sandbech, Mark McMorris, Yuki Kadono, Sven Thorgren, Chas Guldemond Max Parrot and Darcy Sharpe, riders for whom a double cork is a casual necessity, deftly navigated the double rail line at the top of the course, the two double sets of jumps and the rail island mid-way down the run. Men’s slopestyle competition has been in constant change the past few years, speedily progressing as if toward some sort of trick selection singularity. Double corks, back-to-back double corks, triple corks, back-to-back triple corks. Twelves, fourteens, sixteens. And while the sheer number of revolutions is consistently increasing, the riders who have cemented themselves at the top of the phenomenon are equally as well-versed in style as they are in rotation. While there is always contention about the inherent style in a massive spin, these guys are just so good at snowboarding that they are able to infuse individual notes off of every jump they send, every time. There is the nuance of their grab selection when dipping a double, but additionally on Sunday, the three men that stood on top of the podium each kicked out massive, beautiful methods–the kind anyone, regardless of their inclination toward rails or jumps, contests or video parts, can harbor plenty of respect for–on their last hits of the day. Though these runs were not the ones that landed these guys trophies, of course, they are the ones that showcase the stunner duality of the best in the game.
2014 Dew Tour slope winner, Chas Guldemond was riding well, but wasn’t able to put down a clean run. Slope phenom Yuki Kadono also had trouble with his landing gear, finishing tenth. Sixteen-year-old Red Gerard, no stranger to sending his frame off jumps but new to the Dew, impressed the crowd, as well as the judges and landed a respectable fifth place, much to the excitement of his massive cheering section, including brothers Brendan and Trevor, who were hollering down at the bottom of the course.
Canadian Darcy Sharpe, who had one Dew win to his name already, placing first in Friday night’s Street Style event, came out firing on his first run, linking a 270 on and off on the second rail, and putting down a cab ten, switch back twelve, front ten off the toes and a back ten double, as well. He was given an 87, landing him a second extra-large trophy to figure out how to get across the boarder on Monday.
Stale Sandbech, whose proper riding extends from slow rotated threes to flat spin twelves clenched a very respectable score of 90 on his first go through the course on Sunday. He opened up with a cab 270 hardway on, followed up with a front 450 on in the upper rail line and ticked off a switch back double cork ten, cab double twelve, front ten and a backside triple cork fourteen on the jump lines. Stale was bumped to second place when Mark’s first score posted and wasn’t able to line up his final run score to best his first attempt. Nothing wrong with clenching second in the first contest of the year, though!
Mark McMorris, who has been the Dew Tour slope champ three out of the past four years regained podium gold on his first run, which he put down with his standard flawless consistency. Multiple 270 combinations in the upper rail section, a mellow frontboard 450 out on the battleship rail in the middle section, two doubles, a twelve, and of course the triple 1440 finisher on the last jump. For his first run efforts, Mark was awarded a 94.4, the score that would provide him with a banner start to the 2016 season.
Congrats to Mark, Stale and Darcy and thank you for the triple-method send off to the weekend. Cheers!
First – Mark McMorris, 94.40
Second – Stale Sandbech, 90.00
Third – Darcy Sharpe, 87.00
Fourth – Max Parrot, 82.00
Sixth – Mons Roisland, 74.20
Seventh – Chas Guldemond, 45.20
Eighth – Tyler Nicholson, 44.80
Ninth – Mikey Ciccarelli, 36.00
Tenth – Yuki Kadono, 30.00
Eleventh – Sven Thorgren, 28.60
Twelfth – Kyle Mack, 20.80
Read the full Dew Tour Breckenridge 2015: Mark McMorris, Stale Sandbech, and Darcy Sharpe take the podium in Men’s Slopestyle article on Snowboarder Magazine.