Sven Thorgren wins the 2013 Air & Style Beijing

The World Snowboard Tour kicks off the 6 star season with the Air & Style Beijing!

The first 6 star World Snowboard Tour event of the season just went down at the Birds Nest Stadium in Beijing, China. The Air & Style Beijing again brought some of the world’s best snowboarders to one of the most unique contest venues of the season.

With a heavy field of riders - such as 2012 winner Yuki Kadono,Tim-Kevin Ravnjak, young American Nik Baden, Peetu Piiroinen, Eric Willet, Ulrik Badertscher and Halldor Helgason - the contest got off to a blazing start. Using the same head-to-head format as last year, the riders had to come out swinging right out of the gate. The three run format allowed the riders plenty of chances to throw down, with double cork 1080s and 1260s being stomped instantly. The 12 winners of their head-to-head battle were joined in round two by the four lucky losers, who managed to sneak into the second round with the highest four losing scores.

Air and Style Beijing Kicker© Air and Style Beijing/Air and Style Company/TTR

Rounds two and three saw more amazing action as the riding kept heating up. The trick list was hard to keep up with; every possible double cork, 1080 and 1260 variation was going down. Round two saw some casualties as Gjermund Braaten, Yuki Kadono and Peetu Piiroinen were knocked out.

Round three started with one of the most heated battles of the contest between fellow Americans Sage Kotsenburg and Eric Willett. Sage was able to hold off the challenge from Willet, stomping a crazy 1260 double Japan. Joining Sage in the superfinal were Kim Rune Hansen, Torgeir Bergrem and young Swede Sven Thorgren.

Sven Thorgren stomping a backside 1440 mute© Air and Style Beijing/Sven Thorgren/Air and Style Company/TTR

The battle between the last four riders in the superfinal was intense to say the least. The level of riding was insane and any of the riders could have won with the tricks that were being landed. When the dust settled, Torgeir Bergrem’s backside 1260 landed him in 4th place. Just 0.87 of a point separated Kim Rune Hansen and Sage Kotsenburg, with the judges deciding that Sage’s cab double cork 1260 japan was slightly better then Hansen’s switch backside 12. Taking home the coveted Air & Style Ring of Glory was Sven Thorgren, who stomped a backside 1440 on his way to becoming the 2013 champion.

Sage Kotsenburg, Sven Thorgren, Kim Rune Hansen© Air and Style Beijing/Air and Style Company/TTR