Mac Forehand boosts out of the quarterpipe on his way to second place. Philipp Ruggli

Event News


Best slopestyle in a while

Birk Ruud and Mathilde Gremaud shine at Laax Open World Cup

By: Adam Herman January 21, 2024

The second FIS World Cup slopestyle stop of the season went down in perfect conditions today at the 2024 Laax Open. To the crowd’s delight, Mathilde Gremaud secured her second gold on home turf, with Eileen Gu a close second and Jay Riccomini in third. The Swiss weren’t so lucky in the men’s contest, which was dominated by Birk Ruud, followed by Mac Forehand and Max Moffatt.

Perfect weather blessed the competitors and crowds of visitors during this year’s Laax Open weekend. And today’s slopestyle final was a spectacle ideal for those who went a little too hard at the Rider’s Club on Saturday night. The quite creative course setup consisted of two rail platforms, a shark fin kicker into two regular jumps, a massive quarter pipe and a small jib section and the end. This course demanded a well-rounded skillset, and it was a treat to watch.



The first round didn’t start off well for the ladies, with Tess Ledeux taking a heavy crash on a huge bio 9 off the shark fin and Rell Harwood going down on the first rail. Mathilde, however, put down her winning 86-point run with ease: a lip 270 on 270 out, switch 270 to regs, left double cork 1080 safety off the sharkfin, right rodeo 900 safety, switch left double 900 safety, alley-oop mute and a k-fed on the last rail. Eileen finished in second, 8 points behind Mathilde with her run of a 270 on 270 out, front 450 out of the donkey, right cork 900 buick, switch misty 900 blunt, double cork 1080 safety to japan, an alley-oop mute air in the quarterpipe and a 270 to regs. Jay Riccomini took third with a pair of 540s and a 720. Both of the runner-ups improved on their scores on the second run, but it wasn’t nearly enough to touch Mathilde’s dominant lead. Another Swiss hopeful, Sarah Hoeffin secured a respectable fourth place.

Swiss eyes glued on Mathilde. Laemmerhirt

Compared to the women’s spaced-out scores, judging in the men’s contest was splitting hairs, with six guys scoring above the 80-point line. Cody LaPlante opened up with an insanely stylish upper section with a nollie 450 on, switch 270 blind 630 out, and a huge nose-butter dub 1260 on the shark, but unfortunately came up short on the first kicker. However, his riding was still one of the highlights of the day, at least for me.

Laax local Andri Ragettli was the first one to put up a solid score with what you could call his safety run, but was upped slightly by Max Moffatt who stomped a very clean run with a beautifully seasoned 270 on front cork 630 on the donkey and a moon boost flatspin 540 on the QP. The boys continued to slay and trade podium spots throughout the second run, but it was Birk who ended up in first with his 450 on pretzel 270, switch 270 continuing 630, huge right dub 1440 safety, left dub 1620 mute, switch left dub 1800, closing with a switch right 720 on the QP and a clean 220 on, front swap, blind 2 out.

Left to right: Mac Forehand in second, Birk Ruud in first, Max Moffatt in third. Christian Stadler

The boys cleaned up their runs in the second round and the podium order shifted almost every run, keeping the excitement high, but it was the Norwegian machine Birk Ruud who came out on top, reclaiming the top spot after a late challenge from Moffatt. We generally agree with the judging, but nobody would bat an eye if the top four places were shuffled around.

Winning runs FIS Freestyle