Confirming its rightful place as the most progressive event in women’s skiing and snowboarding the Suzuki Nine Queens Big Air contest day saw incredible performances from the invited riders. Set in Serfaus-Fiss- Ladis, Austria, the week of photo shoots wrapped up with a jam session format competition, wherein the two best runs determined the 2016 winner. Austrian superstar snowboarder Anna Gasser made a surprise comeback after a 10 week-long injury, triumphantly taking first place while 17 year-old Swiss rookie skier Giulia Tanno came out on top for the skiers.
Anna Gasser’s strong riding style and mastery of technical tricks earned her a first place with her massive Cab 900 and backside 720. To round out her performance, she stomped a cab double underflip after her last scored run. Stoked on the event, she said, “The jump is perfect for trying new stuff; that’s why I was able to do so much with one day of training. This is a really important event for women’s skiing and snowboarding because of the energy here. Everyone is stoked, and the no-pressure situation really helps us ride better.”
Second place was shared between last year’s winner Kjersti Ostgaard-Buaas (NOR) who landed a stylish frontside 720 and a backside 540 and Klaudia Medlova (SVK), who stomped a backside rodeo, a frontside 720 chicken salad, and her first-ever corked frontside 1080 in a post-competition hit. Rookie Hailey Langland (USA) turned heads with style and amplitude, rounding out the podium with her clean corked backside 540 shifty and frontside 360 shifty.
Throughout the week Giulia Tanno (SUI) was consistently putting down her tricks, and in the contest her winning tricks included a huge switch 1080 tail grab and a left cork 720 safety grab. “It’s so amazing to be on the podium. I wouldn’t have expected this at the beginning of the week. We’ve all been traveling for 3 months to compete, and this is the best week of the season”, she said beaming with joy. Maggie Voisin (USA) earned second place with a technical left cork 900 tail grab and stylish switch left 540 ghetto grab. In third, Keri Herman (USA), a 6-time Suzuki Nine Queens veteran, went big with a switch lead japan and a right cork 720 tindy grab. Though not on the podium, Coline Ballet-Baz (FRA) and Zuzana Stromkova (SVK) both accomplished personal firsts today; Coline with her left 900 tail to tail and Zuzana with her first flatspin 1080, a never-before-seen trick in women’s skiing. “I had the perfect day, and the jump was so good. I was really motivated to try a new trick.”
The incredible contest day truly demonstrated one of the main aspects of the Suzuki Nine Queens, progression. Next, the men will be heading to Watles in South Tyrol for the Suzuki Nine Knights – Perfect Hip to innovate hip and transfer riding. The event runs from March 29th to April 2nd, 2016.