Beijing, the capital city of China and home to over 20 million people played host to 24 of the planet's best freestyle snowboarders at this year's Oakley Shaun White Air&Style. This is the first top ranked six star event of the season. Just three years after making it on to the scene, Beijing is already an iconic stop on the World Snowboard Tour.
Air & Style's iconic head-to-head format has seen many cruel draws over the years – this season's bib draw saw best friends and fellow Americans, Chas Guldemond and Sage Kotsenburg pitted against each other in the first round.
By landing his über-stylish Backside Double Cork 1080 Japan, Sage automatically took Chas out of the competition.
This year's Air&Style was the „crusher“ of favorites.
Current World Tour Big Air Champion, Seppe Smits stomped his Backside Double Cork 1080 Nosegrab in round one but couldn't pass round 2.
Seb Toots, winner in 2010, made it through round 1 with an almost perfect Backside Double Cork 1080 Mute, but faced highly motivated Roope Tonteri in the second round.
With a 7th place finish, Roope secured his lead in the Big Air and Overall Ranking of the World Snowboard Tour.
Another favorite bites the dust. Marc McMorris, smoothed his way through Round 1 and 2, but when facing Matthias Weissenbacher in Round 3, he struggled on the landing of his Backside Triple Cork 1440 Mute.
The door was wide open for 16 year old japanese rider Yuki Kadono, but only the performance of a lifetime would see him on the podium. With variation and style he marched through the early rounds and with his jaw dropping Backside Double Cork 1260 Mute in round 3 he managed to enter the superfinal. With one last run to go Yuki threw a huge Backside Triple Cork 1440 mute, winning the contest and making him the youngest Air&Style winner ever – a record previously held by snowboarding wunderkind Shaun White.