Max Eberhardt pulled out all the stops for the crowd at the Shred Show Big Air on Saturday night (April 12), landing not only the first triple cork 1440 of the night, but the first one of his career on snow.
“I felt really stoked, I've actually never tried that in my life,” said Eberhardt. “I've been waiting the whole season for the right jump for it and (tonight) it just felt right I guess.”
The slushy conditions earlier in the night prevented most riders from having the speed to attempt a triple cork on the roughly 21-metre (70-foot) jump, but as the sun disappeared over the horizon and the temperature dropped, speed was no longer an issue on the hardened snow.
“I actually almost pulled out of the contest in practice because I kept knuckling the jump,” said Eberhardt. “I didn't really do any practice (after that). I just went into my run and did a (backside 1080) and made the finals with that, so I'm pretty stoked that it worked out.”
Once Eberhardt landed the first triple cork 1440 of the night to score a formidable 95.33, the remaining riders all knew they had to step up in order to be within grasp of the podium. U.S. rider Kyle Mack landed his own triple, as did Canadian Sebastian Toutant, but Mack had the cleaner landing to score 93.67 for second place.
Justin Morgan had been leading through the qualifiers and first round of finals, but his switch backside double cork 1260 stalefish grab was only able to muster third place on his final jump. Rounding out the Canadians in top 10 were Toutant in fourth, Michael Ciccarelli in fifth and two-time X-Games gold medalist Maxence Parrot in 10th, who was unable to clean his landings on both jumps in the finals.
Eberhardt played down the fact that he won the Big Air with a first-attempt trick, crediting his coach's diligence in having the trick dialed in during trampoline training sessions.
“I already know the feeling of (a triple),” he said. “A lot of the tricks I do feel like I've already done them before, even if it's the first time.”
Mack takes Shred Show Slopestyle
Big Air runner-up Kyle Mack had his moment on top of the podium on Sunday after riding to victory with a score of 86.50 at the Shred Show Slopestyle in Blackcomb's Highest Level Terrain Park. Mack impressed judges by finishing his run with a switch backside 1260 and a backside double cork 1080 Japan grab to claim a $15,000 cheque of his own on Sunday.
Toutant also managed to top his Big Air performance by securing second place and $6,000 of prize money with a score of 85.22 in the final, after a stellar run featuring a cab double cork 1260 and backside double cork 1080. Matts Kulisek, also from Canada, placed third.
For full results and more information on the World Ski and Snowboard Festival, go to wssf.com.