KLEVELAND’S CREATIVITY SHINES THROUGH IN MEN’S WIN
The men’s podium saw three of the most distinctive riders in all of snowboarding grabbing a piece of the podium, with perhaps the most original of them all Marcus Kleveland leading the way.
The reigning slopestyle World Champion, Kleveland has made a habit out of showing off abilities on his board that are simply incomprehensible to even the best of his peers, and Sunday at the Laax Open was no exception.
Kicking things off with a hardway 270 on to switch on the first rail, Kleveland then put it into high gear with a cab 270 on to corked 620 out on the big tube, before going switch backside 1260 melon on the first jump, a mind-bending frontside double cork nollie 1080 on the second, nosebutter back 14 Indy on the third jump, before finishing it all off with a frontside lipslide to fakie and a cab 9 Indy off on the butterbox for a score of 83.61 and the win.
“I’ve been to Laax so many times and never stood on top of the podium,” Kleveland said when the results were in, “So to finally be on top of the podium here today feels incredible. Like I said, I’ve been here so many years and it’s almost a nostalgic feeling coming back here every year, and to land a run and get the win is pretty special.
“I had a really good time riding this course all week. Even when the weather wasn’t good it was still fun to ride this course, so I’ve just been having a blast and enjoying riding, basically, and I think that shows in the riding. I think we all had fun riding today.”
Second place behind Kleveland with a score of 82.45 went to Dusty Henricksen for his second career World Cup podium, as the 19-year-old put down a second run that started with a gap to front lipslide pretzel 270 out, switch back boardslide to front flip weddle, cab 1260 nose grab, frontside 1440 Japan, backside triple cork 1440 weddle, and finally a back bluntslide 270 up to frontside todeo 540 Indy down on the butterbox.
Finally, in third place for what was, incredibly, his first slopestyle World Cup podium in almost a decade, was Sven Thorgren of Sweden. With a switch backside tailslide 270 out on the elbow rail, cab 180 on to nollie backside rodeo 540 out on the canon rail, cab 1260 nosegrab, frontside 1440 tail grab, and backside 1620 melon through the jumps, and then a cab 180 up to backside double rodeo 900 melon down, 28-year-old Thorgren would earn a score of 80.23 and a return to the slopestyle top-3.
With the Laax Open done and dusted we take a one week break while the X Games are going on, and then it’s on to Mammoth Mountain (USA) for a big week of slopestyle and halfpipe World Cup action at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix from 01-04 February.