Mathilde Gremaud performs at the Laax Open in Laax, Switzerland on January 21, 2024.
© Lorenz Richard/Red Bull Content Pool
Snowboarding

Scotty James, Mathilde Gremaud: the unforgettable moments of Laax

The action at Europe’s marquee snow sports competition will go down in history. Laax Open 2024 was one big highlight reel.
Written by Alastair Spriggs
4 min readPublished on
Laax Open is the event everybody looks forward to – and the 2024 edition didn't disappoint.
From intense rivalries, to world-firsts and last-minute heroics, Laax Open 2024 will go down as one of the most entertaining snowsports competitions in recent times. Here’s a recap of all the action...
01

Snowboard Slopestyle: go big or go home

Finals weekend at the Laax Open 2024 kicked off with a fast-paced display of women’s slopestyle snowboarding. Not only was the session laden with Double Corks, but it was characterised by a 'go big or go home' mentality.
Anna Gasser performs at the Laax Open in Laax, Switzerland on January 20, 2024.

Anna Gasser on her way to a podium finish

© Lorenz Richard/Red Bull Content Pool

American veteran Julia Marino led the way with a textbook 5050 to Frontside 360 off in the upper rail section, and a Frontside Double Cork 1080 on the final cheese wedge. Her precision, style, and airtime, would narrowly outweigh German-born Annika Morgan, who threw a huge Backside 1080 – dubbed biggest hit of the day. Austria’s Anna Gasser would round out the podium with a highlighted Switch Frontside Double Cork 900 on the Shark Fin. “Happy to stand on the podium again“, the Austrian snowboarding queen stated after the competition. “Even more happy I landed the run I wanted“.

Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle Top 3

  1. Julia Marino
  2. Annika Morgan
  3. Anna Gasser
Women's podium of the slopestyle contest at the Laax Open in Laax, Switzerland on January 22, 2023.

Anna Gasser on the podium

© Lorenz Richard/Red Bull Content Pool

Next came a men’s slopestyle final that was stacked with underdogs and newcomers. With last year’s champion Marcus Kleveland, amongst other big names, eliminated in the qualifying rounds, the young guns had a chance to shine.
Ultimately, a new generation of Canadian talent dominated the final – following in the footsteps of Mark McMorris and Sebastian Toutant.

Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle Top 3

  1. Liam Brearley
  2. Ryoma Kimata
  3. Cameron Spalding
02

Snowboard Halfpipe: most entertaining in Laax Open history

American football has the Super Bowl, tennis has Wimbledon, and seemingly, snowboard halfpipe has the Laax Open. Seventeen of the world’s top riders went to battle under the lights of Crap Sogn Gion, and naturally, delivered one of the most entertaining competitions in modern day snowboarding.
Scotty James performs at the Laax Open in Laax, Switzerland on January 20, 2024.

Scotty James on his way to victory in Laax

© Lorenz Richard/Red Bull Content Pool

The women’s final saw a dominant performance by Japan’s Mitsuki Ono, following two untimely falls from America’s Chloe Kim – a rider who'd previously won every competition she’d entered since 2017. Ono’s winning run consisted of a lofty Switch Frontside 720, Frontside 900, as well as a Switch Frontside 900 to cap it off.

Women’s Snowboard Halfpipe Top 3

  1. Mitsuki Ono
  2. Bea Kim
  3. Ruki Tomita
Mitsuki Ono performs at the Laax Open in Laax, Switzerland on January 20, 2024.

Mitsuki Ono lighting up the night

© Lorenz Richard/Red Bull Content Pool

Mitsuki Ono finishes first at the Laax Open in Laax, Switzerland on January 20, 2024.

Mitsuki Ono tops the podium in Laax

© Lorenz Richard/Red Bull Content Pool

Next up came the highly-anticipated men’s final, which was best described as a mega session that saw world-first spins and creative trickery, with heavy-hitting riders dropping throughout the startlist. But above all, the Australian duo of Scotty James and Valentino Guseli endured the hammer-fest and rose to the top.
Valentino Guseli performs at the Laax Open in Laax, Switzerland on January 20, 2024.

Valentino Guseli flying high

© Lorenz Richard/Red Bull Content Pool

Scotty James finishes 1st and Valentino Guseli 2nd at the Laax Open in Laax, Switzerland on January 20, 2024.

Scotty and Valentino celebrate their Laax success

© Lorenz Richard/Red Bull Content Pool

In his first run through the icy arena, Scotty James shocked the crowd with a near-flawless performance. Starting things off with his signature Switch McTwist Pull, he then put down a Backside 1260, Frontside 1440, and finished with a Switch Backside 1260. On his heels was fellow countryman Valentino Guseli, who linked together a massive Switch Backside Air, Switch Frontside 1440, as well as a historic, never-been-done-in-competition Frontside 1620. Japan’s Ruka Hirano would claim third place with a run that saw him spin a total of 6120 degrees.

Men’s Snowboard Halfpipe Top 3

  1. Scotty James
  2. Valentino Guseli
  3. Ruka Hirano
03

Freeski Slopestyle: jaw dropping finale

The jaw-dropping Freeski Slopestyle finale opened with a highly-competitive women’s field where two of the sport’s most coveted athletes battled it out for top honours. Hometown hero Mathilde Gremaud set the standard early. Following an aggressive rail section, she threw down a Left Double Cork 1080 on the Shark Fin, into a Switch Bio 900 on the first booter.
Dropping last in a field of eight riders, Eileen Gu rivalled Gremaud until the dying moments. She would throw down a textbook run that included a Switch Left Bio 900 and an Alley Oop Rodeo 540 on the final quarter pipe. However, these timely efforts weren’t enough to overtake the Swiss rider.

Women’s Freeski Slopestyle Top 3

  1. Mathilde Gremaud
  2. Eileen Gu
  3. Jay Ricominci
Last but not least, came the men’s finals, which saw Norway’s Birk Ruud secure the victory with big spins and surgical precision throughout the course. Narrowly behind Ruud came America’s Mac Forehand and Canada’s Max Moffatt.

Men’s Freeski Slopestyle Top 3

  1. Birk Ruud
  2. Mac Forehand
  3. Max Moffatt
Mac Forehand finishes 2nd and Max Moffat 3rd at the Laax Open in Laax, Switzerland on January 21, 2024.

Mac Forehand and Max Moffatt on the Laax podium

© Lorenz Richard/Red Bull Content Pool

Be sure to download the free Red Bull TV app to revisit the Laax Open 2024 finals on all your devices. Sound on, as the commentary from The Bomb Hole Podcast is hilarious.

Part of this story

Laax Open

Switzerland

Anna Gasser

Austrian snowboarder Anna Gasser is the shooting star of a new generation of female freestylers.

AustriaAustria

Mitsuki Ono

Known for her massive spins and clean style, Japanese snowboarder Mitsuki Ono has emerged as one of the rising stars on the halfpipe scene.

JapanJapan

Scotty James

The youngest Australian to ever compete at the Winter Games, Australian snowboarder Scotty James has dominated the halfpipe event for more than a decade.

AustraliaAustralia

Valentino Guseli

Australian halfpipe sensation Valentino Guseli looks set for a big future with some head-turning results already achieved in his young career.

AustraliaAustralia

Mathilde Gremaud

One of the world's very best freeskiers, Switzerland's Mathilde Gremaud was the first-ever female to successfully land a Switch Double Cork 1440.

SwitzerlandSwitzerland

Eileen Gu

Born in the USA but representing China, freeski prodigy Eileen Gu made history in 2021 by winning three medals on her debut at the X Games.

ChinaChina

Mac Forehand

A world champion in Slopestyle at the age of 17, American Mac Forehand is one of the most exciting freestyle skiers in the game.

United StatesUnited States

Max Moffatt

Part of a new generation of elite freeskiers, Canada’s Max Moffatt can be found challenging for titles in big air and slopestyle events.

CanadaCanada