This Saturday Beijing will host a snowboarding event so huge it could dwarf the Great Wall itself. The Oakley Air & Style event takes place on December the 8th in the famous Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium with the focal point being the colossal, temporary structure taking centre stage of the Arena.
With the drop in at 50 metres above level and a gradient of 42° leading to a 30 metre leap, it takes the bravest and most competent of riders to even attempt hitting this must see event of the snowboarding calendar.
With Oakley teaming up with the Air & style event for the 3rd season running, the 24 competing riders will battle it out for a share of the prize money as big as the kicker itself, holding a massive $100,000 in the purse. Hoping for a shot at pocketing this prize, the rider criteria will be based upon TTR ranking, invitation and wild cards.
It goes without saying that an event of this profile, Ulrik Badertscher will be determined to defend his title after winning last year’s with a backside 1260 Rodeo Indy. However, with a field that resembles the “who’s who” of snowboarding, the competition will undoubtedly be the one of the most challenging events of this year.
All 24 riders will battle it out head-to-head in the first round, with the best 12 riders and four “lucky losers” advancing to round two, to hopefully make it to the four man Super Final. With three runs each, the four finalists will get their chance to showcase the best technically insane runs, with only their highest scoring run to count.
After coming first in O’Neil’s Pleasure Jam in Austria, Eric Beauchemin and fellow podium qualifier, Werner Stock have their sights set high as they join the other high profile riders to try and take this immense event by storm. Joining them will be the current World Snowboard Tour Number one, Finland’s Roope Tonteri and last year’s Number one Peetu Piiroinen.
Whilst several TV channels will show re-runs of the event, the die-hard boarding enthusiasts will be tuned to the live feed on the internet. If there’s ever an event not to be missed outside of the Olympics, this is it!