Extreme Exposure: Thompson wins Real Snow, Sildaru's crazy year, more
In this week's edition of Extreme Exposure—a weekly column featuring news and photography from the world of action and outdoor sports—Ken Roczen closes gap on Ryan Dungey, Big Air opens the action at the Snowboarding World Championships in China and much more.
This Kid is Unreal
Kelly Sildaru—who won X Games gold in slopestyle skiing—showed again that she is no fluke. The 13-year-old from Estonia won the LAAX Freeski Open this weekend in casual fashion (she was the only competitor to finish with a score in the 90’s), edging out Colorado’s Keri Herman and Sweden’s Emma Dahlstrom for the win in Switzerland. Calling it a breakthrough year for the wunderkind would be an understatement: Sildaru won the Dew Tour slopestyle event in December and the X Games in January, becoming the youngest-ever to medal at the event (and the only Estonian).
It’s Real Gold
The X Games wrapped its Real Snow competition this morning and Dylan Thompson captured his first Real gold medal thanks to fan voting—and a panel of all star judges that included Eddie Wall and Jeremy Jones—who deemed his video part the raddest of all. The Real video contest ran throughout the winter as six riders submitted video parts to the contest. Thompson, an Oregon native who now rides out of Brighton, Utah, teamed with filmmaker/editor Cole Taylor for his part. This is Thompson’s third Real medal: he won bronze in 2014 and silver last year.
As the snow season heads into its final lap, the expression session contests are upon us where athletes gather at boutique events that don’t necessarily feature winners and losers in the traditional sense, but are based more on video collection and session formats (where riders hit a course featuring kickers, rails and quarterpipes without time limits). And that’s what the B&E Invitational, a freeskiing contest that went off this weekend in Les Arcs, France was all about. Henrik Harlaut and Candide Thovex were voted dual winners in five categories. The event awarded best style, best line, best trick, overall and people’s choice. The categories were voted on by the athletes themselves. It was obviously anything but a traditional format.
Roczen's Supercross Title
Ken Roczen scored a pretty sweet win this weekend as the 21-year-old was able to hold off Marvin Musquin and overall points leader Ryan Dungey for the victory at the Monster Energy Supercross event in Toronto. Roczen is still trailing Dungey by 34 points for the series lead but the win was a big one for the young German rider. "It was an awesome race, the conditions were tough and my bike worked flawlessly," Roczen said. "This is my first win in Toronto, so let’s see if we can keep the ball rolling heading into Detroit next weekend."
Big Air World Championships in China
Finnish snowboarder Peetu Piiroinen, who won a silver medal in halfpipe at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, opened up the Snowboarding World Championships this weekend in Yabuli, China with a win in Big Air. Kyle Mack finished a solid second with Quebec’s Sebastien Toutant in third. It’s been a huge month for Mack, who hails from Detroit, perhaps the most unlikely of breeding grounds for a professional snowboarder. He won the slopestyle event at the U.S. Open in Vail, the biggest win of the 18-year-old’s budding career.