It was a showdown over the weekend! The second and final big air World Cup competition of the 2021/22 season went down Steamboat in Colorado.
Who came out on top?! And made history! Su Yiming made history by becoming the first Chinese rider ever to win a big air World Cup with a mind-blowing performance in the men’s contest.
Japan’s Reira Iwabuchi climbed to the top of a World Cup podium for the first time in two seasons with the women’s win! Stomping a frontside double cork 1080 indy on her first hit, and then rising to the occasion on her third and final run to stomp a backside 1260 melon to leapfrog Anna Gasser into top spot with a two-jump combined score of 178.25.
“I was super nervous before I dropped for my third run,” said Iwabuchi before the awards ceremony, ”I couldn’t breathe before I started. But I’m so happy to land the double 10 and the back 12. I haven’t landed those two runs together in finals before so I’m so stoked. The women are getting to another level before the next Olympics, so I’m just doing my best.”
As mentioned, all-time great Gasser would have to settle for second behind Iwabuchi, after opting for what is considered by her lofty standards to be something of a safety combo, with a backside double cork 1080 melon and her patented cab double underflip 900 weddle grab giving her a score of 148.00.
Third place on the women’s side was Annika Morgan, who made a bit of history both for herself, with her first career World Cup podium, and for German snowboarding, by earning the first-ever women’s big air World Cup podium for her nation. Stomping a super stylish cab double underflip 900 and a backside 1080 melon, Morgan finished with a score of 132.25 and a place in the record books for her efforts.
Su Yiming laid it down and mark his named! Stomping a backside triple cork 1800 indy and a frontside 1800 tail grab for a score of 155.15, Su became the first rider ever to land 1800s two ways in FIS competition – announcing to the world that he is very much in the medal conversation come time for Olympic competition on his home soil at Beijing 2022.
Second place behind Su went to Austria’s Clemens Millauer, as the 26-year-old put down a backside double cork 1620 tail grab and a switch backside 1620 nose grab that were both oozing in style for a score of 139.50 and his first World Cup podium in just over three years.
Rounding out the men’s podium in third place was Mons Roisland (NOR), as the burly Norwegian came out of the gate hard with a frontside triple cork 1800 tail grab that would win him the men’s “Best Trick” award on the day. Paired with his backside triple cork 1440 indy on run two, Roisland would finish with a score of 134.00 and his sixth career World Cup podium.
What’s the next World Cup event…with the Olympics just around the corner. The Copper Grand Prix will go down on December 9th with qualifications and finals on the 11th. Pipe time. It set’s to go off…