Air + Style Innsbruck is the most iconic, longest-running stadium big air contest in the world. On Feb. 4, eight of the world’s best female snowboarders competed alongside the men for the first time. This is huge.
Most will agree that this was a landmark moment for equality in snowboarding. Others might argue the "Formula One" position that events like this should be exclusively for the best tricks in the world, and if women can’t compete directly with the guys – tough luck.
One thing’s for sure: Innsbruck Air + Style has been a masculine stronghold for over 20 years. 2017 is the year that all changes — an amazing stride for the snowboarding community as a whole. So, we asked three participating female riders for their take on the new development.
Anna Gasser is one of the most progressive riders in the sport right now — a contender anytime she throws on the jersey. “Big Air is where the guys progress and I think that’s where we’re seeing the progression with girls now — this year all the new tricks went down in big air and then we brought it to slopestyle."
Katie Ormerod was the first female snowboarder to stomp a legit double cork back in 2014 and has continued to further progression to new heights since then. “Girls are pushing it so much these days —progression is going crazy. It’s awesome that we can now showcase what we can do at Air + Style."
Enni Rukajärvi has been on a roll. She’s won her last two slopestyle contests and is one of the most consistent riders on the planet. "We’re hitting the same jumps as the guys and we have been for a good many years — it’s good that we finally get to be here, too."