Farrell Wins 2019 Absolut Park Spring Battle
The 2019 Spring Battle took place at the Absolut Park in Flachau, Austria, this week serving up a nice change of pace for U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes. U.S. Snowboard Pro Team member Lyon Farrell took the top spot earning the highest score of this very unique competition.
“Wow, I don’t even know what to say,” said Farrell as he watched his score of 97 hit the monitor in front of a live studio audience during the events grand finale prize giving show. “I had the craziest day ever. We had to submit all of our video by 2:00 p.m. and I landed my run 1:50 p.m. I spent all day struggling. Luckily, I was riding with my teammate and good friend Judd Henkes who gave me the best pep talk on the way up the lift before my last run. I almost submitted another run to be judged, but really wanted to do something different. I can’t believe I won.”
Farrell’s run included a 50-50 front 180 Nose to Pretzel and a Blunt 270 out on the rails, a Tailslide 270 on the Waterfall Rail, a front 180 Butter switch backside 540 Tailgrab on the Turbo Knuckle, a front double cork 1080 frontside grab and a backside 1620 Melon on the kickers. Judd Henkes (La Jolla, Calif.), Farrell’s teammate and U.S. Snowboard Pro Team member also performed very well, finishing in fourth-place coming hot off his first FIS World Cup podium at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain in California.
Throughout the bulk of the winter, U.S Freeski and Snowboard athletes compete in numerous FIS World Cup, X Games, Dew Tour and a variety of relatively standardized and structured competitions. The Spring Battle offered an opportunity for these athletes to take a break, but keep the competitive spirit flowing throughout the slopestyle follow cam jam session format. This means that skiers and riders have a limited time frame to hit the terrain park and film one complete top to bottom run, which is then submitted to be judged as opposed to live judging format. This different competition atmosphere allows athletes to celebrate their season ending with an innovative and low pressure contest.
In addition to the main competition, there is also one off best trick events where U.S. Freeski Pro Team member, and 2019 X Games gold medalist, Alex Hall (Salt Lake City, Utah) thrived. Hall won the best 540 with a stylish interpretations of the classic trick including a creative left pre-nose hand drag take off. Also, Hall won the best rail trick competition with a super technical switch left 360 Tokyo drift 360 switch-up to blindside switch-up pretzel 270 off.
Hall will continue the season in Silvaplana, Switzerland, for the final World Cup slopestyle of the season. Hall, along with U.S. Rookie Team member and current slopestyle World Cup leader Mac Forehand (Winhall, Vt.), will be battling it out for the overall title and Crystal Globe. Be sure to tune in and catch the action live.
HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
Saturday, March 30.
8:00 a.m. - FIS Freeski Slopestyle World Cup - Silvaplana, Switzerland - NBC Sports Gold
11:00 a.m. - FIS Freeski Slopestyle World Cup - Silvaplana, Switzerland - Olympic Channel-TV*