The first 6 star TTR event of the season, the Oakley & Shaun White Air and Style Beijing is gearing up to take over the Olympic 'Bird's Nest' stadium in downtown Beijing for the second time . This year's event is stacked with a field of heavy hitting international pros who are all looking for their first win of the season, and hope to rack up a load of highly coveted TTR points.
Sixteen of the world's best riders have been invited to compete in the massive stadium event that hopes to attract over 20,000 spectators. Sebastian Toutant will attempt to maintain his title, but determined riders like Torstien Horgmo, Halldor Helgason, Mark McMorris and others will be gunning for the top spot and will undoubtedly be spinning to win in the Big Air contest.
As an ambassador of the sport, Shaun White will not be competing in the event, but will be onsite to encourage and support the riders.
The event is sure to be a wild one and is not to be missed. If you can't make it over to Beijing in time for it, don't worry- you can catch all the action on the live webcast at www.air-style.com.
Just days before the first highlight of this snowboard season the riders list for the "Oakley and Shaun White present Air & Style Beijing 2011" is set. National Stadium, the Olympic stadium in Beijing, China (aka the BirdÃÂ´s Nest) for the first time will house Asia's second edition of this 6Star Contest of the TTR World Snowboard Tour. On course toward Beijing's famous architectural icon are 24 of the world's best snowboarding athletes, with lots of enthusiasm and loads of Triple Corks in their luggage.
Obviously, their opportunity to compete in the world's most famous stadium and the hopes of winning the Air & Style title and its accompanying 1,000 TTR points is attracting freestyle snowboardingÃÂ´s high-flying elite. Nowhere are the levels of competition and performance higher than among the 12 seeded riders on the "Top 16 Riders List" of the Air & Style.
Titleholder Seb Toutant (CAN), last yearÃÃÂ´s runner-up Seppe Smits (BEL) and the Billabong Air & Style Innsbruck 2011 winner, Mark McMorris (CAN) will be challenged by none other than Norwegian super star and Winter X Games Big Air Gold Medallist, Torstein Horgmo, who after two years of Air & Style abstinence is making his return. Halldor Helgason (ISL), Nils Arvidsson (SWE) and Mikkel Bang (NOR) are always good for surprise performances.
Also, Billabong Air & Style 2009/II winner Marko Grilc (SLO), the US boys Eric Willett and Sage Kotsenburg, German hopeful Ethan Morgan and Ulrik Badertscher (NOR) are always threats for top results.
Riders and spectators alike will certainly enjoy the extended Air & Style contest format, as it brings even more tension from round one on. In the qualification round 12 riders compete for four spots in the Top 16 main contest, where they meet the 12 seeded riders. The qualifierÃÂ´s riders list contains some big names with Gjermund Braaten (NOR), Jamie Nicholls (GBR), Roope Tonteri (FIN) and Staale Sandbech (NOR), but it also introduces some exciting and promising newcomers like 15-year old Yuuki Kadono (JAP).
In true Air & Style fashion, DJs and the live musical acts of "Chang Chen-yue" and "MC HotDog" featuring "FREE 9" will bring the expected 20,000 spectators to full raging party mode, and keep them there for hours on end!
Friday December 2 14.00 Riders Draw / Press Conference
Saturday December 3 15.00 Doors open 16.30 Contest starts /Qualification + Main Contest
19.00 Oakley Rookie Challenge Round 1
19.30 Main Contest Round 2
20.15 Oakley Rookie Challenge Final
20.25 Main Contest Super Final Top 4 riders
21.00 On stage: Chang Chen-yue, MC Hotdog, Free 9
21.15 Winners Press Conference
Top 16 Main Contest
1. Sebastien Toutant CAN
2. Mark Mc Morris CAN
3. Seppe Smits BEL
4. Halldor Helgason ISL
5. Torstein Horgmo NOR
6. Nils Arvidsson SWE
7. Mikkel Bang NOR
8. Eric Willett USA
9. Ulrik Badertscher NOR
10. Marko Grilc SLO
11. Sage Kotsenburg USA
12. Ethan Morgan GER
13. Gjermund Braaten NOR
14. Jamie Nicholls GBR
15. Staale Sandbech NOR
16. Torgeir Bergrem NOR
17. Roope Tonteri FIN
18. Kevin Backstram SWE
19. Petja Piiroinen FIN
20. Yuki Kadono JAP
21. Markku Koski FIN
22. An Taehwan KOR
23. Clemens Schattschneider AUT
24. Charles Reid CAN
Gracing the pages of the December issue of Transworld Snowboarding is a Burton ad of Shaun White doing a textbook handplant. The photo was shot by legendary photog Blotto, and is a throwback to the old days when ads were shot in a "tight crop" format. Burton recently released a behind-the-scenes video of the making of the ad and it's pretty dang interesting. Blotto and crew spent the day at Northstar-at-Tahoe getting shot after shot of Shaun head-banging and hand-planting on a quarterpipe.
Tight crop, tight pants, tight handplant- What could be better?
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For this edition of Moody Monday, we get into the Halloween spirit and bring you you six super scary ski and snowboard slams caught on camera. Nothing like a few death-defying crashes to start your Monday off right. From rail-bails, pipe face-plants, massive avalanches and exploding ankles, these videos are sure to spook you.
PMS #1: Darrah's Leap of Faith
PMS #1: Darrah's Leap of Faith from peepshow on Vimeo.
Darrah Reid-McLean slams hard while filming for Peepshow Films in Minnesota. We're pretty sure her scream was heard around the world.
Shaun White's Face Slam
Shaun had a little face time with the lip of the superpipe during his practice run at Winter X Games. He slams so hard that his helmet explodes off his head and then flips backwards into the bottom of the pipe.
Tanner Hall's Ankle Blowout
Tanner Hall comes up short and explodes on the landing of Chad's Gap. His fall was so explosive it was like his boots were packed with dynamite.
Bridgett Mead Falls Thousands of Feet in AK
Pro ski racer Bridgett Mead loses a ski during a race and crashes down thousands of feet of rocky terrain in Valdez, Alaska. Seriously scary.
James Siever's Rail-Bail Head Smash
James Sievers from Steamboat Springs, Colorado bails off a rail and busts his head. His smashed up, bloodied head is a good reminder to wear your helmets kiddies.
Three Skiers Trigger Massive Avalanche
Avalanches are super scary. These three skiers trigger a massive slide and get swept down a mountain for thousands of feet. "There's no outrunning the monster."
Happy Halloween! Go get spooky.
Pierre Luc-Gagnon got the better of Shaun White once again as he won the Dew Tour Championships in Las Vegas this past weekend. With the win PLG earned his third overall Dew Cup Title.
The rivalry continues for these two as they have squared off in three finals this year. PLG holds the advantage over White with two wins on the Dew Tour but Shaun won the big one at X Games 17.
PLG's winning run of a kickflip body varial 540, 720, switch heelflip 360 and a nollie heelflip indy 360 earned him a 92.00, just enough to hold of White's 91.50.
"I'm so excited to win the Dew Cup again," said PLG following his win. "This is what I'm working for all year. I'm glad it's over, I've been nervous all day. Now I get to relax and stop growing gray hair."
Bucky Lasek who sat in second place in the overall standings coming into the event finished in third in both the championships and the over Dew Cup standings.
Skate Vert Final Results
1.Pierre-Luc Gagnon 92.00.
2. Shaun White 91.50.
3. Bucky Lasek 88.50.
4. Pedro Barros, Brazil 84.50.
5. Andy Macdonald 83.50.
The overall Vert Dew Cup comes down to the last event of the season in Las Vegas as the three-headed vert monster which includes Bucky Lasek, Pierre-Luc Gagnon, and Shaun White battle it out for the title.
Defending Dew Cup champ PLG has the overall season lead with 190 points over Bucky Lasek heading into the Dew Tour Championships in Las Vegas this weekend.
Lasek is eight points behind with 182. If Bucky comes out on top in Vegas he'll collect his fourth Dew Cup. "I just fell short on one last trick before I was going to bring my last three tricks that were new and technical," he said after finishing third in Salt Lake.
Not too far behind sitting in third with 172 points is Shaun White, who collected his first and only vert Cup in 2007. In order to secure the Cup this year, he needs to win in Vegas and PLG must finish third or lower.
"I'm not out here to beat Shaun, I want to win," Gagnon said. "Whether he gets second or third, I'm just trying to win the contest. I just got to worry about what I want to do. I can't stop the way Shaun or Bucky or anyone is skating. All I can do is better myself to skate better at each event. If you start worrying about other people, it throws your focus off."
White said winning the Cup this season would be unreal.
"Just coming off these pretty heavy snowboard seasons, they take their toll on me," White said. "It's a whole different set of tricks and style of competing. So when I show up here it's extremely refreshing, but it's still frustrating. I got to relearn old tricks, I got to make up new tricks. I got to put it all together and hope to win. But the goal obviously is taking the whole Cup."
Watch the drama unfold on Sunday, October 16 on the ramp above the pool at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino or live on NBC.
Photos courtesy of Alli Sports.