Today marked another bluebird day of practice here at Copper Mountain, Colorado for Dew Tour. Athletes and teams from around the world made their way here to compete for the win and as an added bonus of a chance to make it to the Beijing 2022 Olympics.
The slopestyle course saw some minor changes between yesterday’s practice and today, but the offering this year is still giving plenty of room for different approaches among the athletes.
The rails section is great for fostering some diversity in line choice and trick selection, with lower and smaller features being conducive to trying new tricks and putting more attention on the ability to have technicality where it could otherwise be difficult.
The women especially have been throwing down on the rails during practice, keeping up the momentum of progression we’ve seen over the last couple of years in the contest scene. Darian Stevens, a US Team member, notes in regards to women’s skiing, in particular, it’s “definitely way different than the last Olympic year- there were a lot of 5’s in that era, and now it’s a lot of dubs, and 9’s and 10’s. People started doing really sick runs and raising the bar for each other.”
Super Pipe is also expected to be just as exciting as slopestyle, with returning names like Colorado locals Alex Ferriera and Birk Irving. Noah Bowman is also back at Dew Tour this year with hopes of defending his winning title from last year, and we can expect to see plenty of big spins out of the stunt ditch- with or without some celebratory pole swings.
With Olympic hopes on the line, there is certainly added pressure to perform well, but regardless of Dew Tour being a qualifier, athletes are all trying to ski the best they can and hopefully secure a position on the podium by the end of the week. A few athletes have stated their excitement for being at Copper Mountain for this contest. Unlike many other competitions, Dew Tour has a vibe that feels a lot more relaxed and fun, allowing everyone to really ski at their best level. Practice for the slopestyle course is serviced by a chairlift, which makes a huge difference to the energy of the course. “It spreads everyone out enough that it feels like lapping a park with your friends normally does, which is nice. When it gets crowded at the top of the course, and you have to wait a really long time to be able to drop, it can get pretty stressful and affect how you ski,” Stevens says. With two solid practice days under everyone’s belt, we head into the first round of qualifiers tomorrow. Snow is expected, but hopefully conditions stay safe and clear enough for skiing to see yet another year of amplitude, creativity, and progression.