WSI finals

So this is probably going to be a pretty long post, so if you want to read you can, if not here are the points I am covering:

- Slope finals recap

- Big air recap

-  Judging

- AFP world tour finals Repeat ( not just yesterdays slope finals )

Slope Finals

Yesterday was the AFP world tour finals for Slopestyle and Big air (All though there is one more Big air on the Calendar for this season which is the Jon Olsson Invitational) and it turned out to be pretty decent weather. Definitely not as bad as the day before but still challenging with the gusty winds we were having.

The event ran really smoothly with the event organisers being really proactive with sending slippers through the course to clear snow, the shapers working on the take off and also adding dye to the take off’s and landings for us when needed. So thank you!

I had the curse of dropping first which is never a good thing. On my first run I landed my run from top to bottom and I feel like it was pretty smooth. The only thing I could criticise was the fact that I didn’t go huge on the first jump, but it saying that it wasn’t a knuckle and I rode out clean. My run consisted of a right 270 on the down rail, a right side dub 12 mute, switch 270 back 450 on the high rail, a switch dub 9 safety, and a dub 10 lead tail. I span both ways on the rails and the jumps and each one of my grabs on the jumps were different as well. I got to the top and looked at the score and I had an 80. I figured this would be the case as I was the first to drop and this always happens to the first few people to drop in.

On my 2nd run I did the same run except on the last jump I went to 12 instead of just 10. Everything about this run felt smoother and cleaner and i went massive on the bottom two jumps. I was on the way back up to the start with the biggest smile on my face knowing I had done my job and improved on my first run. I was stoked. But then the scores came in and I improved by only the slightest. I was given an 80.42. I honestly can’t understand why it only improved by this much. But at the end of the day it is a judged sport and its out of my control. I landed my run and I have to be stoked on my performance.

It wasn’t only myself who felt like the scores were a little weird. A few other athletes were also having trouble trying to understand why they got the scores they did. I won’t say who or why, but it was definitely a little confusing in the start gate yesterday.

Photo: Newschoolers.com

Big Air

If we thought slope style was confusing with judging, the big air was even more confusing and I don’t think any one understood. Unfortunately the weather was kind of in and out during big air which kind of sucked but it didn’t stop any one throwing down.

My two tricks in big are were a nose butter dub 12 and dub 12 tail. I’m not to fused about big air because I haven’t done many this season (1 to be exact) but when you get scored weird you just get a little frustrated. My first fun I did the nose butter dub 12 and got a 79.33. I held my grab, landed sweet spot and rode out fine. Definitely not a bad score but people were getting high scored with double 9′s and switch dub 9′s. Kind of confusing when the risk factor of a nose butter is significantly higher than a lot of the other tricks done yesterday.

On my 2nd run I did a dub 12 lead tail. I had just watched Elias do the same trick and he scored an 81.33 for his efforts and I figured it I could land I’d be in the same ball park. Well I landed, held the grab and went the biggest I had all day and for some reason I was given a 59. Everyone at the top was confused by this, including myself. But wait for it, thats not the most confusing part of it. I did a another dub 12 on my last run in the event and I completely missed my grab, I didn’t even come close to grabbing and surprise surprise I was given a score of 63. I’d love to know how an un grabbed dub 12 scores better than one with a grab? Maybe not grabbing is the way to go?

Photo: Freeskier.com

Judging

All in all I thing the judging was a little sloppy yesterday. I have no explanation as to why big air was sloppy but as the judges were right there and should have been able to see everything. But I do have a point to raise about slope style.

This is a platinum event and we have a split panel of judging, I’m not sure how many judges were here but if there was 6, there were 3 in a tower in the first jump and 3 in a tower on the last jump. The first lot of judges score the top half of the course and the 2nd half judges the bottom and the scores are combined.

Now, split judging can work, but its not even close to being Ideal especially at a platinum event. If it is a platinum event, it should be a requirement to be judging off of a live feed and to be sat together rather than being split like that. I’ve done gold events this season where the judges had a live stream to judge off.

The reason I think this needs to happen is because a huge part of slope style is overall impression and I feel like its lost when the judging is split because the top half of the judges can’t see the bottom and the bottom half can’t see the top. Granted they talk to each other and relay information but it is still not the same as having all the judges together in one booth judging.

Another thing that has been bugging me is the lack in consistency from judging. I’m not saying these judges aren’t qualified at all. It just bugs me that the judges after one event will tell you one thing that you either didn’t have in your run that they were looking for, or something you need in your run in order to do well, then you show up to the next event, take what the judges at the previous event have told you, you put it into your run and then it turns out it didn’t matter at this event because these judges are looking for something else. How are we, as athletes, meant to know what to do if we are told different things after each event??

AFP world tour finals Repeat

Now this is a pretty big deal. The Afp world tour implemented a 52 week rolling calendar into its system to accurately represent he best in the field at any given time. Basically the season never really ends and each week the scores are up dated and show who is currently leading.  This is a great idea until you run into the problem we are running into right now.

The afp world tour finals last year fell 1 week later than what they did this year, which means last year’s results from the same event are technically going to count towards your ranking for this season as the AFP awards night is tonight and they will be crowning winners for this season.

If the event is taken out it changes the results but if it is kept in it keeps the results the same as they currently are on the website. But my argument is, regardless if it effects athletes or not, the credibility of the tour is lost if you have two of the same event counting towards the overall title for this year. It seems silly to me to have two World Tour Finals events being in the same calander year as it is meant to the the final event for this season.

We did have a huge afp meeting last night and for the most part I sat back and listened as a lot of the points were things we had already discussed in previous meetings. But this topic came up and there was an over whelming majority who didn’t want to have last year’s AFP world tour finals counting towards this years results. The AFP said they are going to reach out to the athletes that were not at the meeting to find out there perspective of it before they make any decision on what to do. But to me its pretty clear cut, even if the rankings weren’t to change, there just can’t be two of the same events in one season. It sounds ridiculous does it not? I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens. I’m guessing we will find out soon where they are going with it!

Conclusion

All in all this event was a lot of fun. I had a good time riding with all my friends and I managed to put a run together in slope style which I feel is one of the better runs I have done this season (even if the results don’t show that haha) and I made out alive! Congrats to everyone who got on the podium, you guys still absolutely killed it and laid down amazing runs in slope and crazy tricks in big air.

Yesterday marked my last slope event for the northern hemisphere. I have one event left, the JOI big air and then I am done competing for the season. I am looking forward to doing a bit more filming before the season is done and then its time for the Australian season! Can’t wait!

Over and out from an overcast, snowy and cold whistler,

//Russ

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