Over on the men’s side of things the Japanese riders laid a beating on the jump and on the podium, reminding us all why they won the FIS Snowboard Park & Pipe Nations Cup trophy last season.
Leading the way was Hiroto Ogiwara, who locked down his first World Cup podium in the form of a victory with a switch backside 1620 melon on his first hit, and following it up with the switch frontside 1620 Weddle on run number two for a score of 171.50. Run three was a victory lap, and Ogiwara made good on it with a massive corked 360 to send the crowd back to the music festival on a high.
Earning a two-jump score of 168.00 – and earning his second World Cup podium in just his second World Cup start – was Kira Kimura, reversing the order of Ogiwara’s same two spins with a switch frontside 1620 frontside grab on run one and a switch backside 1620 weddle on run two.
Finally, rounding out the podium in third place and completing the Japanese sweep was last year’s big air Chur winner Takeru Otsuka, who went switch backside 1620 melon on run one, flipped the script and went backside 1620 melon on run two, and walked away with a 167.50 and his sixth career World Cup top-3.
Despite the rain and the weather-related struggles, the crowd still showed up in a huge way for the 2023 iteration of the Big Air Chur, and even with the steady October precipitation coming down spirits were high as the party turned back to the main musical stage and continued on into the night.