1. We are really going to miss Thomas Lemoine's creativity on the course.
Saturday marked Tomas Lemoine's last competitive slopestyle run, and we going to miss him. The French rider's 2022 Joyride run was inarguably the most mind-blowing moment of the entire festival, when the entire crowd held their breath (skip to 1:10 if you're short on time!). His creativity can be seen across all his projects - if you follow him on Instagram you'll get an insight into his love for French rap as well as a Levy-esque obsession with aliens. 2. Emil proves he is this generation’s god of slopestyle.
All eyes were on the Swedish star after he crashed and injured his shoulder during practice Saturday morning. After much anticipation, the crowds were treated to an amazing show where Emil Johansson once again proved unstoppable, pulling off the perfect season with a winning score of 92.4 points. This was enough to secure Johansson a 13th Crankworx gold medal, become the winningest Slopestyle rider in history, and also pull off an undefeated season whilst winning the Crankworx FMB Slopestyle World Championships. 3. Judging is Hard, but (Mostly) Fair.
Emil’s score - well clear of Paul Couderc's silver medal score of 87 and Tom Isted's bronze score of 83.8 - left a few viewers confused. Opposite spins and complex tricks are hard to follow as a spectator, and demand incredibly complex judging rules and criteria that most of us struggle to fully comprehend.
Paul Couderc put down the run of his life including two double flips, including one on the gnarly final step-down feature. Likewise, Tom Isted put down a heater of a run, including a frontflip tuck no hander and a 1080 twister, earning his second podium of what is definitely his breakout season. Emil did a bunch of stuff that makes me go cross eyed just typing it, including a three downside double whip, his signature three windshield wiper, and an opposite three whip over the awkward final jump. The finesse and skill required to pull off these intricate, opposing movements remain extremely highly valued by the judges, and Emil is a seasoned expert.
In the end, both judges and athletes had a long wait, and in the end only had one chance to score. It's hard to imagine sitting at the top of the course for as long as they did, and still have the mental space to perform at the absolute highest level, and all riders absolutely delivered.
Brian typed up a nerdy comparison of the top 3 runs for you all to argue about.
4. Women Belong on the Slopestyle Course
truck to downside whip
opposite 3 undown to x-up
3 windshield wiper
flip double bar to x
3 downside double whip
opposite 3 no foot can on
nose press 3 can off
540 xup undown
opposite 3 whip
opposite cork 7
cork flip off
One of the major takeaways from the Women's Slopestyle Jam on Sunday was that a) Patricia Druwen is the future and b) it's time for women to be hitting the Slopestyle course more often. Not only did Patricia just earn a Red Bull helmet, she 360'd the first drop of the course, suicide-nohandered the second stepdown hit, and tricked several more massive jumps on her way to the middle of the course. It’s clear that with some more practice time, she and the other ladies riding the course would have no problem doing top to bottom runs.
We’d love to see the ladies get more time on the course. This year was challenging for organizers as they were forced to move practice around constantly to find weather windows, but we hope that a few top women get the opportunity to practice with the guys in the future, and get to drop in and compete when they decide they’re ready.5. We Need To Heli In A Giant Wind Blocker / Dome
This year, riders had a massive time crunch on their hands after three hours of painful weather delay, mainly due to high winds and riding with the sunlight directly in their faces. The crowds - in their thousands - were running wild when the contest finally got underway, and the Red Bull Joyride delivered an absolute pressure cooker of a 1-run contest. However, we still prefer the regular format of 2 runs and would like to see some kind of Simpson's Movie-esque dome installed next year to mitigate any weather hazards.