Old heads fondly remember the days when the EUROPEAN FREESKI OPEN in Laax was the biggest freeski contest in Europe. It’s been seven years since the last EFO, and now freeskiing is finally returning to Laax in a big way: In 2023, the Laax Open includes a FIS World Cup slopestyle event.
From 18–22 January 2023, the Laax Open returns to the slopes of the Crap Sogn Gion. In addition to snowboard slopestyle and the famous night halfpipe finals, this year’s Open also features a Freeski World Cup slopestyle.
Snowpark Laax is already well known as one of the best in Europe, and the Laax Open slopestyle course aims to maintain that reputation. Featuring a lofty pro kicker line combined with a creative rail setup, expect nothing less than one of the premiere slopestyle events of the season—as long as the fickle January weather plays along.
The slopestyle course in Laax is looking as proper as ever. Jesper Tjäder gives it a go through the rail section. Photo: Ruggli
Who to watch
The creme de la creme of international contest skiers are on hand to battle it out in Laax. On the men’s side all eyes are on Birk Ruud, who’s won every World Cup contest so far this season. Will Laax be the place where Birk’s streak is finally broken? Skiers like Alex Hall, Max Moffatt, Mac Forehand, Jesper Tjäder, Evan McEachran and Colby Stevenson will be aiming to do just that.
On the women’s side, French favorite Tess Ledeux currently leads the field ahead of a pack of veterans like Johanne Killi and up-and-comers including Kirsty Muir, Lara Wolf and Olivia Asselin.
The cream of the crop has turned out for contest skiing's big return to Laax. Photo: Ruggli
Austria's Lukas Müllauer and Matej Švancer will be looking to bring home some hardware. Photo: Ruggli
Most of all, the focus is on the extremely talented squad of Swiss freeskiers who will be looking to rack up the medal count for the home team. On the women’s side, that’s the triple threat of Mathilde Gremaud, Sarah Hoefflin and Giulia Tanno. For the men, Andri Ragettli will be gunning for gold in his home park, backed up by the ever-consistent Fabian Bösch, style master Valentin Morel, and the Wili brothers Colin and Thierry.
This is Andri Ragettli's home park. He won't settle for anything less than a podium finish. Photo: Ruggli
How to Watch: Laax Open Livestream
Snowboard slopestyle finals, snowboard halfpipe finals and freeski slopestyle finals will all be watchable via free livestream on the Laax Open website.
To watch the freeski slopestyle qualifications on Thursday, try this link from Swiss broadcaster SRF. (You need to use a VPN to watch from outside Switzerland – good luck!)
Other options to livestream the finals include SRFzwei (Switzerland), Swiss-Ski (Switzerland), ViaPlay (UK), and skiandsnowboard.live (USA). On TV, you can tune in on SRFzwei (Switzerland), ORF Sport+ (Austria), or Eurosport. Click here for a full list of streaming and TV viewing options.
Adrien Vaudaux is one of Switzerland's many rising young talents. Photo: Ruggli
When to watch: Laax Open Schedule
Men’s ski slopestyle qualifications are planned for Thursday, 19 January, while the women’s semifinals will follow on Friday, 20 January.
Both men’s and women’s ski slopestyle finals will go down on Sunday, 22 January. Keep scrolling for the full Laax Open schedule.
2023 Laax Open Full schedule (all times CET)
Wednesday, 18 January
9:30–14:00 Snowboard halfpipe training (Crap Sogn Gion)
10:30–12:45 Men’s snowboard slopestyle qualifications (Crap Sogn Gion)
20:00–21:00 Delinquent Habits (base area, Rocks Resort stage)
21:00–22:00 Knuckle Mag release (Indy Bar)
21:30–00:00 DJ Laralove (Indy Bar)
Thursday, 19 January
8:15–10:30 Women’s snowboard halfpipe semifinals (Crap Sogn Gion)
09:00–14:00 Men’s freeski slopestyle qualifications (Crap Sogn Gion)
10:30–14:30 Men’s snowboard halfpipe semifinals (Crap Sogn Gion)
14:30–16:40 DJ FADER (Galaaxy)
17:00–18:00 Panel Talk: Women in Action Sports with Alba Pardo (Rocks Lounge)
19:00–00:00 Vernissage: AIR Photo Exhibition by Gian Paul Lozza (Riders Hotel)
Friday, 20 January
08:30–11:45 Women’s freeski slopestyle semifinals (Crap Sogn Gion)
10:00–14:15 Snowboard halfpipe training (Crap Sogn Gion)
11:30–14:45 Women’s snowboard slopestyle semifinals (Crap Sogn Gion)
14:45–16:30 DJ FADER (GALAAXY Satellite)
17:00–18:00 Autograph session with Andri Ragettli & Anna Gasser (Rocks Resort)
19:00–20:30 Live concert – Churchhill (base area, Rocks Resort stage)
20:30–23:30 DJ Stylewarz (Indy Bar)
22:00–04:00 AJ & Dean Proffitt (Riders Club)
Saturday, 21 January
08:30–10:45 Snowboard halfpipe training (Crap Sogn Gion)
10:00–20:00 DJ Set (GALAAXY Satellite)
12:30–13:15 Snowboard slopestyle training (Crap Sogn Gion)
13:00–21:00 Day-Party DJ NUTS CUTS (GALAAXY Hangar)
13:00–22:00 DJ Set (base area, Rocks Resort)
13:15–14:45 Men’s & Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle Finals (Crap Sogn Gion)
15:00–15:15 Awards ceremony (GALAAXY Satellite)
16:30–17:30 Snowboard halfpipe training (Crap Sogn Gion)
17:30–19:00 Men’s & Women’s Snowboard Halfpipe Finals (Crap Sogn Gion)
19:15–19:30 Awards ceremony (GALAAXY Satellite)
20:00–21:00 Live concert – Cari Cari (Rocks Resort stage)
22:00–23:00 Live concert – MoTrip (Rocks Resort stage)
22:00–04:00 SYNCCITY (Riders Club)
Sunday, 22 January
09:00–17:00 DJ Set (GALAAXY Satellite)
12:30–13:15 Freeski slopestyle training (Crap Sogn Gion)
13:15–14:45 Men’s & Women’s Freeski Slopestyle Finals (Crap Sogn Gion)
15:00–15:15 Awards ceremony (GALAAXY Satellite)
Visit OPEN.LAAX.COM for more information, videos and results from the 2023 Laax Open.
Gen Fujii of Japan styles out during training. Photo: Ruggli