With not a cloud in sight for miles and warmer temperatures on Mottolino Fun Mountain, in Livigno, Day Three of the Suzuki Nine Knights was destined to be one for the books. As the snow softened thanks to the sunshine, some riders began mastering the biggest kicker, while others were boosting out of the hip, stomping tricks off the cannon rail, and launching over the huge axe on the O’Neill feature.
pic. Oystein Braaten by David Malacrida
Of the many standout performances this afternoon, skier Oystein Braaten’s (SWE) redirect from the kicker take-off onto the quarter-pipe landing definitely impressed all fellow skiers and snowboarders, starting the trend of riders trying that line. Stoked on his line, Oystein explained, “I’ve never done anything like that before so it was sick to be able to try that out here. It worked out super well.”
pic: Seppe Smits by David Malacrida
Meanwhile, the Belgian snowboarding duo of Sebbe de Buck and Seppe Smits were pulling out all of the stops on the hip/mini ramp feature with Sebbe’s smooth and stylish handplants on the wallride, and Seppe’s massive back flip michaelchuks from the step up to wallride.
By the time the sun began setting, the riders were so comfortable with the features and their various lines, that they hardly wanted to get off the mountain. During this session, Halldór Helgason launched off the side of the cannon rail, sending a slow and styled backside 540 off his toes, on the kicker landing. Not to be outdone, skiers Fabian Bösch (SUI) and Christof Schenk (ITA) sent absolutely massive simultaneous double back flips off the biggest kicker, as the sun set over the gorgeous Livigno valley.
Pic: Halldór Helgason by David Malacrida
As the level continues to progress with each passing day, it’s impossible to imagine where these talented riders will take their riding on “Il Castello”. We’ll just have to see in the next few days as the skiers and snowboarders continue to send it during the night shoot, the heli-shoot, and during the contest day.