Jibbers jibe at World Snowboarding Championship 

After four crazy days and nights, the World Snowboarding Championship wrapped up in Mountain Square with more than 15,000 spectators and an annual Big Air contest that gets bigger every year.

Big cardboard cheques worth more than US$250,000 were handed out to champions in four snowboard disciplines – slopestyle, snowboard park "Jib Jam", superpipe and big air.

All the biggest names were in town – guys like Ross Powers, Jussi Oksanen and Kevin Jones, and girls like Tara Dakides and Kim Bohnsack.

With so much on the line, and only the top three male and females getting a share of the prize money, the competitors went big – a shirtless Keir Dillon’s 15-footer over the lip of the halfpipe was good for a big $10,000 in the athlete-judged superhit competition.

Tom Sims – a founding father of snowboarding, the founder of Sims Snowboards, and a major sponsor of the event – summed it up nicely: "The Worlds is all about supporting the essence of the sport, which is to push the limits of snowboarding to new levels – it’s not just about who comes first or second.

"It’s not necessarily just the competitive top dogs who are invited here. Some athletes may never compete but are among the world’s best, so they must be here through wildcard invitations."

Dakides, Richards have the most style

Although the landings were rock-hard and the weather changed every 15 minutes, the athletes held nothing back on the Slopestyle course on April 19, spinning onto rails, getting inverted and twisting over the table tops, and charging the 24-foot high quarterpipe at the bottom of the run at break neck speeds.

Sims rider Tara Dakides repeated as champion, leading off the finals with a 50-50 slide over the first rail. She followed with a backflip over the first table, a backside 360 with an indy grab over the second, a frontside 720 with an indy grab off the hip, a frontside boardslide over the next 40 foot rail, a rodeo 540 over the last table (with a slight revert), and ended with a 180 on the quarter. The run earned her a score of 35.6 and US$20,000.

Kim Bohnsack, another Sims rider, finished second by less than two points, and walked away with US$7,500.

Quebec’s Annie Boulanger finished third overall, less than two points back of Bohnsack, to earn US$2,500.

The men’s superfinal was neck and neck the whole way, and the US$30,000 prize for first place was in reach of all five riders who made the cut. At the end of two solid runs, however, the contest belonged to Morrow rider Todd Richards. His second run, which garnered a score of 55.3, started strong heading switch into the first rail, doing a frontside boardslide for the first 20 feet and spinning back to a regular 50-50. He followed with an inverted 540 with an indy grab over the first jump, a switch frontside 720 over the second jump, a 360 with an indy grab off the hip, a backside boardslide over the next rail, a wet cat 900 off the last jump, and a huge McTwist 540 on the quarterpipe.


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