The Verbier snowpark was once again home to the Park 9. The Park 9 is a freestyle skiing and snowboarding team event that takes on a golf theme. The way it works is that the fun park is transformed to look like a golf course with 9 holes consisting of a variety of kickers, rail lines and jibs. Each hole depending on its difficulty is given a par rating and the 4 person teams work there way around the course in search of pars, birdies, eagles and even double eagles. Its an original concept that has proved hugely successful and this years event was once again to be a great success.
The competing teams provided a mixture of up and coming riders and seasonsed pro's such as Swedish snowboard legend Peter Strom, French skiers Tom Lesuire and Jessi Cornu and two time Park 9 winner Julian Ball. With the sun shinning and the Verbier park staff having built the ideal course with pristine kickers, rails and jibs all was perfectly primed for the event.
The qualifiers sees all the teams go through the course hole by hole with the aim to achieve the lowest team score to make it into the 4 team 3 hole play off final. From the start you could see that the standard was high with all the teams scoring well through the course.
After a closely contested qualifying round was finished it was the Planks team, Thyon Central Park, The Homies and Ski Service who progressed into the final. The format of the three hole final was a kicker judged on style, a rail line before the action returned to the big kicker for a team expression session.
On the first hole there was style a plenty with cork 5's and 7's seemingly the order of the day much to the delight of the huge crowd that had gathered. Swedish boarder Peter Strom even put his touch on the event landing a massive 1 footer.
Onto the rail line and once again the riders didn't disappoint putting on a display of technical rail riding that had the crowd cheering their approval.
With the rails completed it was back to the kicker for the grand finale with the team expression session. This provided the ultimate spectacle as the teams charged together all hitting the kicker in a train.
With the final jumps done and the scores totted up it was Ski Service who claimed victory by a single stroke. The Park 9 had once again been a huge success and we already look forward to next years event.
Photos by Charlotte Percle and Hakon Broder Lund.