Fabian Boesch performs at the Laax Open in Laax, Switzerland on January 19, 2023.
© Lorenz Richard
Snowboarding

Here’s what went down at the 2023 Laax Open

Returning from an Olympic year, snowboarding and freeskiing's best assembled in Laax to kick off a new era in competitive snowsports. Here's a recap of all the action.
Written by Alastair Spriggs
4 min readUpdated on
Europe’s most anticipated snow sports competition has officially come and gone. With 300 of the world’s top snowboarders – as well as freeskiers – descending on the Swiss Alps to kick off the competitive season, the Laax Open 2023 delivered a magnitude of highlight reel riding. Here’s what went down.
Clemens Millauer performs at the Laax Open in Laax, Switzerland on January 21, 2023.

Clemens Millauer Front Blunt 270

© Lorenz Richard

01

Snowboard Slopestyle

The 2023 Laax Open kicked off with a clear-cut victory from one of the most dominant forces in slopestyle snowboarding, New Zealand’s Zoe Sadowski Synnott adding another gold to her wide-spread repertoire. Sadowski Synnott put down a textbook top-to-bottom run, featuring a Front Blunt 450 on the flat bar and a massive Frontside 1080.
Relive all the action from the men's and women's finals in the player below

Women's and men's freeski slopestyle

The grand finale of an exciting week in the Swiss Alps is the freeski contest, new to the calendar for 2023.

Next up in the heavyweight showdown came Austrian megastar Anna Gasser. Linking together a Switch Back Blunt 270 on the waterfall rail into a Flat Cab 900 on the opening jump, her flow through the course was enough to secure second spot. Gasser’s successes were closely matched by Great Britain’s Mia Brookes, who rounded out the podium.
Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle Top 3
  1. Zoe Sadowski Synnott
  2. Anna Gasser
  3. Mia Brookes
Next up came one of the most stacked men’s slopestyle finals in the history of the Laax Open – which, surprisingly, held no Canadian presence. Instead, the world witnessed the next generation, which featured the likes of Australian halfpipe prodigy Valentino Guseli and America’s Luke Winkelmann.
Valentino Guseli performs at the Laax Open in Laax, Switzerland on January 21, 2023.

Valentino Guseli at Laax Open 2023

© Lorenz Richard

Despite showcasing a new era of talent, top spot was earned by Norway’s Marcus Kleveland after finessing the course with trademark creativity and style. His ability to link a Nollie Rodeo 1080 into a Nose Butter Backside 1440 was enough to hold off America’s Dusty Henrickson, who threw down a Front Lip Chicane out on the flat bar and a Frontside Double 1440. Sweden’s Sven Thorgren captured third spot.
Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle Top 3
  1. Marcus Kleveland
  2. Dusty Henrickson
  3. Sven Thorgren
02

Snowboard Halfpipe

Both men’s and women’s snowboard halfpipe finals were cancelled due to unforeseen weather conditions. But with everything said and done, Australia’s Valentino Guseli and Japan’s Kaishu Hirano still found a way to put on a show.
With the cancellation of the halfpipe finals, the results would be taken from the semi-final heats. This meant that Japanese rider Mitsuki Ono would secure the top spot and his first-ever World Cup victory, followed by China’s Wu Shaotong and America’s Maddie Mastro.
Women’s Snowboard Halfpipe Top 3
  1. Mitsuki Ono
  2. Wu Shaotong
  3. Maddie Mastro
Maddie Mastro at the Laax Open in Laax, Switzerland on January 21, 2023.

Maddie Mastro dropping in five

© Lorenz Richard

For the men, Japanese frontrunner Ruka Hirano would deliver a near-perfect score in Laax’s infamous halfpipe to narrowly outweigh Australia’s Scotty James in a high-scoring semi-final heat. Japan’s Yuto Totsuka would complete the podium.
Men’s Snowboard Halfpipe Top 3
  1. Ruka Hirano
  2. Scotty James
  3. Yuto Totsuka
03

Freeski Slopestyle

Last but not least, the slopestyle ski divisions were unleashed onto the infamous Laax course for the first time in history, and it’s safe to say the riders didn’t disappoint despite the unfavourable weather conditions.
Mathilde Gremaud performs at the Laax Open in Laax, Switzerland on January 20, 2023.

Mathilde Gremaud on the flat bar

© Lorenz Richard

Unfortunately, the women’s slopestyle ski finals were cancelled due to near white-out conditions, meaning that final results would rest solely on qualifying scores. Norway’s Johanne Killi would claim top honours, followed by Switzerland’s Sarah Hoefflin and France’s Tess Ledeux.
Women's Freeski Slopestyle Top 3
  1. Johanne Killi
  2. Sarah Hoefflin
  3. Tess Ledeux
While the women’s division came to an unfavourable halt, the men found a narrow weather window allowing hometown hero Andre Ragettli and the other twelve competitors enough time to duke it out.
Fabian Boesch performs at the Laax Open in Laax, Switzerland on January 19, 2023.

Fabian Bösch styling

© Lorenz Richard

Coming off a fourth-place finish at Beijing 2022, Ragettli dropped into Laax with a vengeance, throwing down a Switch Double Misty Double Mute 1260 into a Left-Side Double Cork 1620. The Swiss-born freeskier scored a 79.81 and would secure top spot over America’s Alexander Hall and Norway’s Birk Ruud.
Watch the men's freeski slopestyle in the player below

Women's and men's freeski slopestyle

The grand finale of an exciting week in the Swiss Alps is the freeski contest, new to the calendar for 2023.

Men's Freeski Slopestyle Top 3
  1. Andre Ragettli
  2. Alexander Hall
  3. Birk Ruud
Be sure to download the free Red Bull TV app and catch the Laax Open finals on all your devices! Get the app here

Part of this story

Laax Open

Europe's most prestigious snowboard contest, the Laax Open, expanded by opening its doors to freeski.

Switzerland

Anna Gasser

With a cupboard full of silverware, Austrian snowboarder Anna Gasser is the shining star of a new generation of female freestylers.

AustriaAustria

Mark McMorris

Canada’s snowboarding world champion Mark McMorris is one of the most decorated and successful athletes in the sport’s competitive history.

CanadaCanada

Marcus Kleveland

A regular winner in Slopestyle and Big Air events, Norway's Marcus Klevelend was the first ever snowboarder to complete a quad cork 1800 in competition.

NorwayNorway

Fabian Bösch

A two-time world champion, Swiss freeskier Fabian Bösch has also made a name for himself away from the competition slopes.

SwitzerlandSwitzerland

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

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

Hailey Langland

Hailey Langland is young snowboard Slopestyle and Big Air prodigy from Southern California, USA, who was a World Cup winner at just 14 years of age.

United StatesUnited States

Queralt Castellet

One of the world's very best snowboarders, Spaniard Queralt Castellet is a fierce competitor both on and off the slopes.

SpainSpain

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

Tess Ledeux

One of the most consistent performers on the slopestyle scene, French skier Tess Ledeux is the youngest-ever freeski world champion.

FranceFrance