The Air + Style is already over 20 years old and it’s one of the oldest snowboard events on a global scale. Starting back in 1994 and after an almost 10 year absence from Innsbruck (1999-2008), it finally came back in 2009. And it has been bigger and better every year. You don’t really have to be a fan of snowboarding to know this event. Especially if you live in Innsbruck. There a posters, flags and a bunch of famous riders from across the globe. The Air + Style 2017 edition was also special, because and for the first time in it’s history, female riders competed. Throughout the span of several days (1-4 Feb), one gets to see a skate competition, a world class snowboard championship and numerous established and up-and-coming music bands. What else can you ask for?
For all you who might have missed it or simply want to relive the experience, I prepared 2 B-Roll vlogs that include plenty of behind the scenes and a few words.
Day 1 // Men’s Qualis
Qualis are usually a warm-up to the the semis and the finals, but nevertheless if you are in the lineup you have to qualify. Even though this is a competitive sport, I have to say I was astonished by the level of sportsmanship of these pro athletes. At the end of the day they are a group of friends, who have fun while entertaining people. Very warm atmosphere, lots of high-fives and cheering each other all the time.
Photography © Paul Pastourmatzis
In the Qualis you might not see the most breath-taking jumps there, yet they all were amazing. Forgive my obvious “excitement” but someone dropping from 50 meters straight to a 2 or 3 flip jump over 10-15 meters is pretty damn amazing for me. Especially since I can’t do something like that, so I give it the utmost respect (and awe). I don’t want to leave any of the riders out nor pick favorites so here’s a list with all the guys that compete on Day 1:
Max Parrot, Marcus Kleveland, Sven Thorgren, Michael Ciccarelli, Billy Morgan, Sebastien Toutant, Torgeir Bergrem, Seppe Smits, Jonas Boesiger, Roope Tonteri, Antoine Truchon, Yuki Kadono, Kalle Järvilehto, Clemens Millauer, Mons Roisland, Nicola Dioli, Moritz Thoenen, Tor Lundström, Sebbe De Buck, Maximilian Preisinger, Philip Kundratitz, Måns Hedberg, Boris Mouton and Sébastien Konijnenberg.
And before I forget, there was a great soundtrack that day by The Hunna, Millencolin and Bilderbuch.
Day 2 // Women and Men’s Semis & Finals
The day of the finals. As expected, more people, more action and more energy! Girl jumps, boys jumps, bicycle stunts, indoor and outdoor live performances. It was a blast and I wanted to be in all the places all the time. Thankfully the event was pretty good with time organisation so I probably was the only one so excited and confused.
First things first a standing ovation to all the girl riders and their mad skills: Enni Rukajärvi, Katie Ormerod, Sina Candrian, Anna Gasser, Cheryl Maas, Sarka Pancochova, Elena Könz, Lucile Lefevre. Their presence gave an extra flair of awesome to the whole event and definitely drew the attention of more fan-girls (rather than just fan-boys).
Photography © Paul Pastourmatzis
My personal highlight was meeting and interviewing The Naked and Famous, an incredible band from Oakland, New Zealand, who really connected their music with snowboard after their track ‘Young Blood’ was featured in Red Bull’s movie ‘The Art of Flight’.
For the record, the winners in both the Women and Men Finals:
1. Enni Rukajärvi // Max Parrot
2. Katie Ormerod // Markus Kleveland
3. Sina Candrian // Sven Thorgren
Hungry for more?
Make sure you watch the highlights video below, shot and edited by my buddy Ashley Wiggins (also a fellow blogger here). Are you maybe planning to do some winter sports in Innsbruck and its villages? Find your perfect tour using this interactive map.