The men's snowboard slopestyle final served as the conclusion to Dew Tour Breckenridge 2015, and for the third time in four years, it was Mark McMorris riding away with the victory.
Chas Guldemond entered the week as the defending champion on men's slopestyle, but he nearly failed to qualify for the final. Issues on both of his runs in the semifinal relegated him to the last chance qualifier, where he finally put down the run he wanted to earn himself a transfer spot into the final. On his first run of the final though, Chas went down on an attempt at a switch double wildcat - a trick that has become a staple for him since he unveiled it for the first time at last year's Dew Tour. On his second run, Chas landed the switch double wildcat, then pulled out a surprise on the next jump with a cab 1440 - adding an extra half-rotation on his standard cab 1260. It had the looks of a massive run until he washed out on a backside triple cork 1440 attempt on the final jump.
Among the riders to successfully land the triple cork, the cleanest ones were done by Staale Sanbech (grabbing indy) and Mark McMorris (grabbing mute). Stale's first run featured a cab 270 hardway, frontside 450 on, switch backside double cork 1080, cab double cork 1260, frontside boardslide to 270 out, frontside 1080 and then the triple. That run earned him a 90.0 and put him into the lead until Mark dropped in for his run. Mark's run went like this: backside 270 to 270 out, cab 270 hardway, cab double underflip 900, frontside double cork 1080 tailgrab, frontside boardslide to 450 out, switch backside 1260, backside triple cork 1440. With that run, Mark posted a giant score of 94.4 and took over the lead from Staale after the first set of runs.
Staale was unable to improve on his second run after a miscue on the landing of his switch backside double cork 1080 forced him to revert, while Max Parrot - who was sitting in 4th after his first run - over-rotated on a switch backside double cork 1260 and would have to keep his first-run score as well. By the time the lineup made its way back to Mark, he had clinched the slopestyle victory and was able to enjoy a victory lap. Meanwhile, Staale's first-run score held up to garner him 2nd place.
"To come into finals and be able to drop last, watch everybody ride their first run, then land the run I really wanted to do is icing the cake," Mark said. "Waiting for everybody to drop and then having a victory lap is like a dream come true. I'm very thankful."
The podium was rounded out by Darcy Sharpe, who had just won snowboard streetstyle two nights before in Downtown Breckenridge. A creative rider, Darcy was one of only two riders (Mons Roisland being the other) spinning a fronside 1080 off the toes during their run.
"I wouldn't say it's a goal [to be creative], but I'd say it comes across in the way I like to snowboard," Darcy said. "I think it's fun doing things differently and doing things that feel good."
It's been one memorable but busy week for Darcy. On Friday, he competed in slopestyle semifinals and placed second, then competed in the streetstyle contest that same night, winning the event for the third year in a row. "I'm really happy," Darcy said of the last few days. "It's been amazing. It's been really tiring as well, going from practice to the slopestyle qualification to the streetstyle that same night, with the altitude included. It's been hard, but it's been fun for sure. No complaints... other than maybe my body."
Silverthorne, Colorado's Red Gerard provided a few highlights of his own. The diminutive shredder put down a great second run, capping it off with a bit of a surprise when he turned his last jump into a frontside 1260 tailgrab. The 15-year-old had by far the best run out of everyone's second runs, and his 80.40 landed him in 5th place overall.
See Mark McMorris' Winning Run:
1. Mark McMorris, 94.40
2. Staale Sandbech, 90.00
3. Darcy Sharpe, 87.00
4. Max Parrot, 82.00
5. Red Gerard, 80.40
6. Mons Roisland, 74.20
7. Chas Guldemond, 45.20
8. Tyler Nicholson, 44.80
9. Mike Ciccarelli, 36.00
10. Yuki Kadono, 30.00
11. Sven Thorgren, 28.60
12. Kyle Mack, 20.80