Style and innovation were the judging criteria for the Big Air contest that took place on the 29th of March 2014 in Livigno, Italy for the Suzuki Nine Queens presented by O’Neill. After many days of shooting at the colossal castle the invited riders where amped to push the level of riding in the jam session.
Spectators basked in the sun on Mottolino Fun Mountain cheering while the girls sent it. Lisa Zimmermann claimed the top spot out of the freeskiers with her two best tricks, a breezy 900 tail grab and by stomping her very first switch 1080 mute. Elena Könz (SUI) was the snowboard winner with her signature backside 540 mute and frontside 720 melon.
18 year-old Lisa Zimmermann was eager to defend her last year’s unofficial “Queen of the World” title in the four-run, five-rider final. After stomping the 1080 on her last run the German ripper was all smiles, “I’m super stoked to land that trick for the first time. The girls were pushing each other on the top and there was such a good vibe. It worked out great today, because the conditions and the jump were perfect, I felt really confident, so I just went for it.” Event director and pro-skier Nico Zacek (GER) was stoked on the day’s outcome, “Lisa is a progressive rider and also stomps the difficult tricks.”
Coming in second was Sweden’s Emma Dahlström who has been slaying the kicker all week with style. A Nine Queens veteran, this was her first time on the podium, a well earned spot with her cork 720 tail grab and stunning switch 720 mute. Using the good vibes as her fuel clearly works. “Hanging out with all these girls, shredding and having fun, it was just good times today. I love doing my signature trick, the cork 720 tail grab, and I’m getting it quite good on this castle, so I’m happy!“
In third place was the ever-smiling Keri Herman (USA) who was also able to improve on her trick list by landing her first 900 safety after stomping a floaty switch cork 540. Just outside the podium were Zuzana Stromkova (SVK), who has been rocking it for the whole week and Kim Lamarre (CAN). Zuzana’s best tricks were a misty 900 and misty 700 with textbook style. Anais Caradeux (FRA) entertained the crowd by being the only girl to attempt and stick the seriously large transfer from the take-off in the middle of the pipe to the landing of the left jump.
Snowboarder Elena Könz brought it home by mixing technical riding and style, “I was really stoked on my backflip, I did it for the first time and it just felt so nice.” Kjersti Ostgaard-Buaas (NOR) sat on the judging panel, “Elena did so many technical tricks, all different direction spins, poking out her grabs, and she sent her frontside 720 far down the landing, holding the grab all the way. With layback backflips in between, just having a good time while progressing.” In second place was Jessika Jenson throwing down a corked backside 720 and huge backside 540. For her the photoshoot experience was a first, “It’s been fun at the photo shoots and riding this awesome castle that was built for us. I can’t wait, tomorrow is gonna be my first ever heli-shoot.“
Tied in third place were Jenny Jones (GBR) with a frontside 900 and Isabel Derungs with a cork backside 720. Jenny pushed herself throughout the week and worked her way up to a frontside 900, “I’ve always tried it a few times, but never quite got it. Then in the qualification round I got a decent 900 with a tiny hand-drag, so that was cool.“ Unfortunately she was unable to land it cleanly in the finals “I’m just glad I tried it,“ she laughed. Another snowboarder worth a special mention is Dutch shredder Charlotte Van Gils who got all the riders, the audience and judges cheering for her frontside 1080 attempts, which she unfortunately was unable to stick.
Overall, it was awesome day and the perfect introduction for snowboarding to the Suzuki Nine Queens presented by O’Neill.