The first round of the men’s freeski slope finals saw Swiss skier Elias Ambuhl take the lead as the only rider to score in the 90s after a solid run that included a double cork 12 and a switch right double cork 1080.
With three rails and three jumps, you had to be both technical and have good amplitude to impress the judges.
“It was crazy after the first run,” Ambuhl said. “I had a really good score and I was just waiting down here and I was super nervous because everyone was on top and I just waited.”
He was trailed by 16-year-old wildcard Nick Goepper, who was flawless in his tricks and stomped all his landings.
The biggest threat in switching up the podium came in the form of Bobby Brown, who did just that in Round 2 after falling on his first run and coming back strong in his second.
“I tried to have nothing going through my mind just because I didn’t want to stress myself out,” Brown said. “So I went out, did my run and I was stoked.”
The run resulted in the highest score of the day, a 93.75, and as the last skier to go, he took home the win.
He started things off with a frontside switch up, then a switch 270 on backside switch up to 270 out, and finally a switch on to 630 out at the top of the course. He always impresses in the air, and he did just that with a switch double rodeo 9 Japan, a left double cork 12, and a switch right double cork 9.
Brown’s win bumped Ambuhl into second with his first-run score of 91.75 and Goepper stepped it up on his next run to finish third with a score of 88.25.
Goepper will be one to watch in the future, after throwing down in his second run with a lipslide 270 on the down rail, 540 switch up on the flat down box to cork 630 out on the up box. He was solid on the jumps with a left 9, switch right double 9, to right 12.
“This is my first big finish of my career, and the third pro event that I’ve ever done, so I’m really, really excited,” Goepper said.
Alexis Godbout was the overall points leader in freeski slope coming into the Killington stop of the Winter Dew Tour, but a knee injury forced him to miss out on the finals and Brown wasted no time in taking over the lead in the Race for the Dew Cup. He’s heading into the Toyota Championships in Snowbasin hungry for the chance at the first Dew Cup of his career.