While the women’s slopestyle event was stunning, the halfpipe was somewhat less than thrilling.
(Cover photo: Eddie Perlas/ESPN Images)
When the livestream started for the ladies, and Halo video game “athletes” departed, the first runs through the pipe were at an end. But to be honest, it didn’t seem like we missed much.
It was a huge pleasure to see the slopestyle competition of the ladies including solid grabs and controlled rotations, the show was simply not on the same level in the pipe. Witnessing it at 2am sitting in front of a screen in Europe was a little painful.
Photo by Gabriel Christus/ESPN Images
Maddie Bowman, back from knee injury, wasn’t even trying to grab her skis and claimed first place. Yes she threw back to back 900s. Yes there was the first switch 900 by a female freeskier but it didn’t have event the beginnings of a grab and barely reached the coping.
If you compare the evolution in halfpipe skiing between men and women, it appears as if the ladies are following a few years behind the progression of the dudes; in the pipe however, they are going different direction. When a few years ago men were skiing high with sick grab but low rotation, many girls and especially the winning ones, were going low, without grabs, but spinning a lot. It’s a sad way to go and hopefully something can change, because ladies are definitely able to ski well. They just proved it in slopestyle.
Hopefully some girls try to clean up their runs, with a little more amplitude and a focus on grabs. Ayana or Brita do it to a point, but only at the beginning of their run. Please can we stop the pin spin, the many feeble jumps that make the skiers go lower and lower, finishing pathetically under the coping.
All this is my point of view, so let’s hear yours…
X Games are over for the women, but the men’s Big Air and Slopestyle are looming.
1. Maddie Bowman (89.00)
2. Ayana Onozuka (85.00)
3. Annalisa Drew (83.00)