Today, 1st of February, was the kick off of the 20th anniversary of the Air & Style. We’re not really sure why it is the 20th as there have been 24 in total and this is in fact the 19th year of the event.
Anyway that is irrelevant, as hitting up the booter in Innsbruck’s Bergisel Stadium, the birthplace of the event, back in 1994, was a star studded regiment of snowboarding’s old troopers. They included the likes of past winners Grilo, Haakonsen, Jamie Lynn, Brian Iguchi and the man who drew the loudest hoorah from the crowd, three times winner Stefan Gimpl. Also present was Michi Albin a regular at this years revival sessions – a legend for sure. Man, in fact if I was to list all the blasts from the past, yours brains would pop with historical overload. Suffice to say the lineup was EPIC!
Joining them on the jump were the young guns of the present, warming up for the main event tomorrow. They spiced up the session with a bit of flipping and multiples on the degree dial. But the name of the game on this Friday evening was style not dubs, trips or ro-ro-tations.
So at the end of two Style Sessions, in which there was a fair few bails but also some fine stuck tricks Marko Grilc was heading home with a $10,000 cheque and excuse to blow 10% at the bar tonight for a faultless 5.
Perhaps the best story of the night though was from Beckna (Thomas Eberharter) who said that at the top of the jump Jamie Lynn had high-fived him on his method. He was rather taken aback, as you might expect, and Steve Grüber, who was also present at the story telling said that he would have just packed up his board and driven home after such a complement.
In short this was Air & Style in full circle, with visitations from snowboarding’s past heroes and ex-victors of this icon event.
Saturday will see the main event unfold; below are the head to head draws from today.
Saturday February 2, Billabong Air & Style Innsbruck-Tirol 2013:
Yuki Kadono vs. Petja Piiroinen
Clemens Schattschneider vs. Maxence Parrot
Sebastien Toutant vs. Jørn simen Aabøe
Eric Willet vs. Ethan Morgan
Niklas Mattson vs. Eric Beauchemin
Seppe Smits vs. Sage Kotsenburg
Ståle Sandbech vs. Ulrik Badertscher
Mark McMorris vs. Victor De Le Rue
Antoine Truchon vs. Matthias Weißenbacher
Roope Tonteri vs. Emil Ulstetten
Gjermund Bråten vs. Sven Thorgren
Peetu Piiroinen vs. Aleksander Østreng