On December 17th, 2016, the FIS Snowboard World Cup took to Copper Mountain in Colorado for the Men’s Big Air competition.
FIS Snowboard World Cup Men’s Big Air
With yet another exciting installment in the FIS Snowboard World Cup Men’s Big Air competition series, the tour made its way over to Copper Mountain in Colorado to showcase the remarkable talent of the men’s professional snowboarders competing there. This event took place on December 17th, 2016, and was truly an international event bringing in professional snowboarders from Canada, Norway, Denmark, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland, Italy, Russia, Spain, South Africa, and more. The FIS Snowboard World Cup Big Air events tend to be tons of fun for the competitors, judges, and fans as well due to their all-inclusive international overtones, and for the fact that pushing the envelope and testing the boundaries of what is possible within the sport of big air snowboarding is all part of the game at these competitions.
The Copper Mountain Men’s Big Air event is going to be one of the last tour stops of 2016, and in this way it is a major stepping stone leading into the monumental competition lineup that is in store for the 2017 season. The Canadians definitely dominated the 2016 FIS Snowboard World Cup Copper Mountain event, with the first place victory and second place runner-up finishes brought in by Canadian professional snowboarders. Three out of the top five finishers at this event turned out to be Canadians, which definitely cast an impressive light on the training programs and conditioning of the Canadian men’s big air snowboarding athletes. Copper Mountain is certainly a favorite resort among professional snowboarders, and it is a venue that tends to cater more to the stylistic preferences of snowboarders as well. In this way, it is no surprise that it was chosen as the location to host one of the last high profile men’s professional big air events along the 2016 FIS tour progression to serve as the lead in to the 2017 competition lineup.
In terms of the overall design and construction of the big air section at Copper Mountain, it had its specifications augmented just for the 2016 FIS Snowboard World Cup Men’s Big Air event. Copper Mountain is a resort that is constantly working to provide its guests and professional competitors with amazing terrain features, such as halfpipes, rail sections, kickers and gaps, and massive big air jumps. For this competition, however, the talented designers at Copper were tasked with creating a big air section that would dwarf what riders what normally be used to seeing on the mountain. They delivered in a major way, bringing to life a simply gargantuan big air jump section for the athletes to compete on. In order to provide snowboarding fans around the world with accurate and helpful information concerning the results of the 2016 Snowboard World Cup Men’s Big Air competition, the winner and top finishers at the event will now be covered here.
1st Place – Max Parrot – Canada:
Leading off the 2016 Snowboard World Cup Men’s Big Air competition at Copper Mountain, CO was Canadian snowboarding star, Max Parrot. Max has already been having an extremely successful season, and in this way an additional first place victory at Copper is basically icing on the cake for his great 2016 record. Max was competing at this event with the rider bib number of three, and represented Canada with flying colors beating out the second place runner-up finisher by an outstanding margin of more than twelve whole points. That is by no means a small or limited margin, and demonstrates quite clearly Max Parrot’s ability to dominate the competition, and to push the limits of what people believe is possible to achieve in big air snowboarding.
With his first place victory at this competition at Copper Mountain officially in the books, Max Parrot was able to put up a simply incredible final scoring total of 188.75 points overall. At this level of scoring it is no surprise that he was able to win the entire contest, and in light of his first place victory it should also be mentioned that Max earned a combined total of 1,000 World Cup points as a result of his first place victory. Max Parrot made 1080 spinning grab combinations looks relatively easy at the Copper Mountain contest, and even debuted some newer combinations that were so complex it would take some time to unpack the entirety of the combos.
Max is a big air snowboarder who is especially partial to cork-style spinning, making his grab and spin combinations that much more visually impressive for the judges and spectators. To back that statement up, and to demonstrate just how much Max Parrot innovates and pushes the boundaries of big air snowboarding, it is important to remember that he was actually the first professional snowboarder to ever successfully land a triple cork maneuver in a World Cup competition. Parrot’s first place finish at the 2016 Snowboard World Cup Men’s Big Air event at Copper Mountain is yet one more milestone in his illustrious career.
2nd Place – Sebastien Toutant – Canada:
Finishing in second place at the 2016 FIS Snowboard World Cup Men’s Big Air competition at Copper Mountain was yet another Canadian professional snowboarder, Sebastien Toutant. This is a snowboarder who has a very well-rounded skillset, although big air competition has been his primary focus for quite some time now. Sebastien Toutant’s World Cup ranking has taken a major boost as a result of his second place finish at Copper Mountain, given that along with his runner-up podium status he was awarded a total of 800 World Cup tour points at the conclusion of this competition. Toutant finished out the Men’s Big Air event at Copper Mountain with a final scoring total of 176.00 points overall, which was a very high score considering he beat out the third place podium finisher by a margin of almost nine points.
This was a big air competition that saw significant point margins between the top podium finishers, which reflects the fact that each of the podium finishers at this event had much different riding styles which earned them highly variable scoring profiles. Sebastien Toutant is a bog air snowboarding professional that loves to incorporate a lot of straight flipping into his combinations, and this is one of the main reasons he is so fun to watch as well as being a high scoring athlete in these contests. Competing with the bib number one at this event at Copper Mountain, Sebastien Toutant was able to land most of his trick combination attempts including multiple backflip-grab combinations. Although every competitor brings their own style and riding preferences to the table, Toutant’s propensity for vertical flipping combinations makes him a huge crowd pleaser in these events, in the best possible sense.
Riding with an effortless and carefree style, yet maintaining his focus throughout the competition, Sebastien is one of those snowboarders who is able to effectively balance having fun and enjoying the sport with strict training, competition, and discipline. This is one of the reasons that he has become such a formidable force within the world of professional big air snowboarding, and a reason that the FIS Snowboard World Cup Men’s Big Air competitions are becoming so popular around the world. With the momentum that Sebastien Toutant has been able to generate in his career toward the final segments of the 2016 FIS Snowboard World Cup Men’s Big Air league standings, he will definitely be one of the major contenders as the 2017 season prepares to get underway.
3rd Place – Ryan Stassel – United States:
Representing the United States on the podium at the 2016 FIS Snowboard World Cup Men’s Big Air competition at Copper Mountain, Colorado, Ryan Stassel was able to take third place and round out the top three finishers. Although Stassel was not able to come very close in terms of unseating Sebastien Toutant for the second place runner-up position, he was able to put up an impressive final scoring total nonetheless. By the conclusion of the competition, Ryan Stassel ended up with a final score of 167.50 points overall, and due to his third place finish he also earned a combined total of 600 FIS World Cup points at the same time.
Providing a much needed boost to his overall World Cup rankings, this third place finish was a fantastic way for Ryan Stassel to wrap up his 2016 competitive season with the FIS Snowboard World Cup standings. Competing with the bib number of thirteen, Ryan Stassel devoted many of his big air launces at this event to hitting cork-spinning grab combinations. Executing a range of grab combos including Japan airs, Method grabs, and double tail grab maneuvers, Ryan Stassel was able to show off an impressive repertoire at the Copper Mountain FIS World Cup event.
Ryan’s third place finish at Copper represents one of his best competitions of the entire season, with some of his other season highlights including another third place finish at Alpensia Resort in South Korea, and a top five finish at the Big Air event in Milan, Italy. Copper Mountain was actually the best performance of his season, not counting Alpensia, but even that event was overshadowed by his tremendous riding at Copper. It marks Stassel’s third podium finish within his FIS World Cup statistics, and judging by his intense performance, it will likely not be his last podium finish either.
4th Place – Max Eberhardt – Canada:
Taking fourth place at the 2016 FIS Snowboard World Cup Men’s Big Air competition at Copper Mountain, Colorado was a third high ranking Canadian snowboarder, Max Eberhardt. Max was handily bested by Ryan Stassel, with eight points separating the two competitors and their final scoring totals, but that didn’t stop him from relishing fourth place and the significant World Cup points allocation that came along with it. As a direct result of taking fourth place at this FIS World Cup Big Air competition, Max Eberhardt was awarded a World Cup points prize of 500 points. Although only half of the first place allocation of World Cup points, it is still a substantial addition to his already decent World Cup standings.
Max Eberhardt competed at this event under the bib number of seventeen, and was yet one more Canadian snowboarding pro to look absolutely great out on the jump at Copper. Max Eberhardt is definitely a snowboarder who does what he can to differentiate and distinguish his own riding style from that of his many Canadian compatriots in the FIS Snowboard World Cup, and he manages to ride with a style and personality that few in the league are able to emulate or embody. His spinning big air combinations, while perhaps not as ambitious as some of his fellow competitors, are some of the smoothest and cleanest executions in the entire World Cup lineup.
Fluidity and polish go a long way in terms of scoring highly in the FIS Big Air events, as it is not only about throwing massive combos but being able to land those combinations confidently and cleanly. Even though Max Eberhardt has yet to take home a first place finish in an official FIS Snowboard World Cup competitive event, he has already taken home first in a major qualifier for the league at Mammoth Mountain, California. At the finals of that competitive event at Mammoth in 2016, Max was able to finish fourth again there too and earn himself a total of 500 additional World Cup points. Carrying a range of sponsorships, Max Eberhardt can definitely expect to see some heightened attention from even bigger sponsors now that he has taken home his second top five finish at a major FIS Snowboard World Cup Men’s Big Air competition.