The Burton European Open slopestyle finals wrapped up this morning in Laax, Switzerland. We now have a new female TTR World Tour point leader, and a new Finnish kid stepping up to make his name known. What, exactly, is going on up in Finland anyway? The country is as small and flat as a penny, but has been consistently producing some of the world's best snowboarders since ... forever.
Let's start with first place in Men's Slope. Roope Tonteri, 18, from Finland, barely edged out countryman Peetu Piiroinen for the win. Oh, what's that you say? Never heard of him? Don't worry, you will. Tonteri pulled a cab 14 on the final hit of his final, winning run. It was a follow up trick to a backside double cork 12.
While third place finisher Chas Guldemond was the first person to pull a 1440 in a slopestyle competition in 2008, we're pretty sure this is the first time anyone's pulled a cab 14 in a major competition. (We're saying "major" because undoubtedly there are some regional competitions up in Scandinavia where they're pulling them all the time, we just have no record of it yet.) So that happened. And let's just be clear here, for those who don't follow trick progression that close: A cab 1440 is four total rotations, going off the jump, and landing, switch.
Interestingly, Tonteri got a lower overall trick score (48.70) on his winning run than Piiroinen did on his second place run (50.05). The new TTR Live Scoring System is set up to score every feature and jump in a run individually, and then an overall flow score is added to that total, resulting in a total run score. It's a new system, and it's turning out to be a pretty cool, more fair way to judge a contest. So, even though Piiroinen's backside double cork 10 to backside rodeo 9 nosegrab to cab 1260 mute netted a higher trick score than Tonteri's cab 9 to backside double cork 12 to cab 14, Tonteri had such good style through the course, and capped it off with such a new trick, that his flow score (37.60 to Piiroinen's 36.00) pushed him to the top of the point board.
In the end, the difference between first and second came down to .25 of a point. Tonteri has two World Rookie Champion titles under his belt already, but this is his first TTR 6 Star event win. "I was just pushing it today trying to do my best," Roope said after the finals, "I still can't quite believe it, it all feels pretty unreal. I'm going to head to the rest of the 6Star TTR events and try to stay in the Top 10, so I can get invites to the events next year."
Seb Toutant and Mark McMorris came in hot off first and second place finishes in the O'Neill Evolution TTR 6 Star slope contest, but some sketched landings kept them from repeating their success here.
On the women's side, Switzerland's Sina Candrian stomped a front seven in her first run, giving Jamie Anderson a run for her money. Anderson scored higher in the rail section, accumulating more overall trick points (though, it should be noted, not more flow points) with a run that also included the always popular massive backside 180 Japan. With the win, Anderson has now moved into the top spot on the women's side of the TTR World Tour scoreboard. Anderson won both the 2007/2008 Burton Global Open series and TTR World Tour titles. Asked if she was going for another TTR title, Anderson replied,"Yes, it's definitely my goal. I would love to win the TTR World Title again. Well, see if its meant to be, I'm gonna do my best and ride strong and hope to do well."
The Burton European Open wraps up tomorrow with Men and Women's Halfpipe. Check back in for full coverage right here.