Eberhardt, Blouin stomp slopestyle runs at nationals 

Snowboarders emerge victorious in challenging conditions at Sport Chek Air Nation Freestyle Nationals

click to flip through (2) PHOTO BY DAN FALLOON - Max Eberhardt (centre) celebrates a win with second-place finisher David Kinskofer (right) and Timothy Crighton (left).
  • Photo by Dan Falloon
  • Max Eberhardt (centre) celebrates a win with second-place finisher David Kinskofer (right) and Timothy Crighton (left).

The east ruled the west in slopestyle action at the Sport Chek Air Nation-Canada Snowboard Freestyle Nationals on Blackcomb on Thursday.

Quebec's Laurie Blouin won the ladies' competition while Ontarian Max Eberhardt was victorious on the men's side.

Both riders acknowledged the soft but bumpy conditions were less than ideal, but varied their approaches to make the course work for them.

Blouin, who felt her underflip 540 helped launch her to victory, said she just couldn't hold back and felt she found herself in a situation where she could make the most of the day.

"I was all-in, even if the weather wasn't good," she said. "The weather wasn't good in qualis (qualifiers), but in the finals, it was better. The visibility was better.

"You can't control the weather, so you need to do it, even if it's raining."

Eberhardt, meanwhile, said he was well-equipped to handle the conditions not only physically, but mentally.

"If you're good at riding in those conditions, it helps you stay a lot more calm because it does come down to nerves in the end as well," said Eberhardt, who landed a backside double cork 1080 to finish. "This is probably my favourite bad condition. High winds always psych me out, so when there's no wind, I'm usually happy about the conditions."

The junior and open finals will take place on Sunday on the Blue Line. For more, see next Thursday's Pique.

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