Maxence Parrot’s latest triple cork jump was worth $15,000, as he pulled out the trick to win The Monster Energy Shred Show’s Big Air contest on Saturday night (April 20) in the big finale for the World Ski and Snowboard Festival.
The 18-year-old from Bromont, Que., stomped a triple cork 1260 on his first run of Saturday’s 10-man, two-run final, earning a score of 96.50 from judges that held up for a victory in the 5-star TTR World Snowboard Tour event.
Parrot, who earlier this season won the 6-star O’Neill Evolution big air comp in Switzerland with a triple cork, said he made up his mind during practice sessions the day before to go for it again.
“I knew I had the airtime to do it, so I was like ‘Let’s go all in — last or first,’ ” said Parrot. “I guess it worked. I stomped it first try and got first, so I’m really stoked.”
The Canadian slopestyle team member’s winning trick drew the biggest roar of the night from the thousands watching in Skiers Plaza.
“Whistler is nuts,” said Parrot. “The crowd was insane.”
Norway’s Kim Rune Hansen (93.25) and American rider Justin Morgan (90.25) — the top qualifier for finals — also hit the podium Saturday. Hansen took home $6,000 for the runner-up finish and Morgan grabbed a cheque for $4,000.
“Max is a frickin’ machine these days,” said Hansen. “He’s riding so well, so consistent and I’m so happy for him to put it down.”
Hansen earned his runner-up score on a double cork 1260 on his second jump in the finals and the 24-year-old was beaming with excitement as soon as he landed.
“I was really happy. I’ve been kind of struggling with landing a lot this season and it was just so nice to land one, no hands down or nothing,” he said. “It felt good.”
Light rain fell on competitors at times during the night, but riders had no complaints about the conditions or the jump after Saturday’s festivities wrapped up.
“I thought the jump was perfect,” said Morgan in a release. “It was such a good jump for progression. All night, everyone was having fun, I was having fun — it could not have been better.”
Sage Kotsenburg (87.00) was just off the podium in fourth place, while Whistler-based rider Darcy Sharpe, the defending champion, made the finals and placed eighth. The other riders making it to Saturday’s final from the 30 competitors in the qualifier were Matts Kulisek, Carlos Gerber, Emil Ulsletten, Eric Willett and Nicholas Julius.
It was the second year that The Shred Show has received a 5-Star designation from the TTR World Tour, but the event saw more top-level talent come out this year than ever before. Parrot said that was reflected in the quality of the competition right from the first jump Saturday.
“The level was pretty high tonight,” he said. “Even in the quallies, (guys threw) switch 12s and it was kind of crazy. Everyone should come here — the big air is always fun, there’s a good crowd and that’s what makes the hype.”
Though the victory will actually count towards 2013-14 point totals on the TTR World Tour, Saturday’s win put a cap on an excellent season for Parrot. He also won a silver medal in slopestyle at the Winter X Games in January to go along with several other top-10 finishes in 5- and 6-star events.
“I have had a pretty good season and I’m pretty stoked on that. To (come to) this last contest of the year and win it, I couldn’t be more happy,” said Parrot, who now turns his attention to next season. He’ll have a great chance to represent Canada in Sochi for slopestyle’s Olympic debut and will spend the summer working towards that goal.
“The Olympics are kind of a dream for me … I want to put all of my efforts (towards) it.”