LAAX OPEN 2024
“For me, the LAAX OPEN 2024 finals were the best and most dramatic of the last decade: zero wind, clear skies and low temperatures. Both the women’s and men’s slopestyle finals were decided by the last runs, drama to the very finish, and the halfpipe finals under the lights is one of the biggest spectacles in snowboarding. So many riders performed tricks that we've never seen before. It was truly breathtaking.” - Commentator Ed Leigh about the snowboard finals
It's our favourite snowboard event since forever, where else in Europe you find such a density of topnotch riders - it’s crème de la crème. It's always a pleasure to be there to witness at first hand. The finals are always a spectacle especially the nightfinals at the Laax Superpipe. This years level of riding progressed again, and you really had to take your best shot and ride away as clean as possible with the most insane tricks at a breathtaking height above the icy coping.
Over 15,000 spectators made their way up to Crap Sogn Gion for the legendary halfpipe night final and celebrated the twenty finalists of the LAAX OPEN 2024. The Asian riders unleashed a feast of rotations: 10er, 12er and 14er combos without end and triple flips back to back, but the hero of the evening, once again following 2019 and 2020, was Scotty James with his insane switch mctwist chickenwing intro,... followed by Valentino Guseli (AUS), the next generation in second place, making a world premiere with a frontside 1620 on the last hit. The LAAX crows celebrates him like a local, because he almost is. Japan’s Ruka Hirano completed the podium in third place.
In the women’s event, last year’s winner Mitsuki Ono from Japan won with 81.75 points, ahead of the young American Bea Kim and Ruki Tomita (JPN). Two-time Olympic champion Chloe Kim failed both runs and finished the LAAX OPEN 2024 in fourth place but took it lightly with her unmatched grace.
In the Slopestyle Finals in the afternoon Julia Marino and Liam Brearley claimed the LAAX OPEN 2024 victories.
On a perfectly groomed slopestyle course and lightning blue skies the twenty finalists showed imressive runs. Tricks such as cab double 9 on the shark fins, back to back 1620s on kickers, backside 5's in the quarter – always with maxed out amplitude where the standard.
Annika Morgan from Germany came in second place, achieving her best World Cup result: “I just can't believe it! It was totally crazy for me today, as I was so nervous. It's unbelievable that it ended up being my best slopestyle result.” Anna Gasser, the two-time Olympic champion in Big Air, came third.
The men’s podium brought up new arrivals: Canadian Liam Brearley received the highest score of the day, 89.93 points, thus taking his first LAAX OPEN title and following in the big footsteps of his compatriots Mark McMorris, Seb Toutant and Max Parrot. Ryoma Kimata from Japan and Cameron Spalding (CAN) followed in second and third place.
photos: Marcel Lämmerhirt, Christian Stadler, Rüggli