Snowboard Freestyle World Cup Preview

01 December 2014 10:33
Riders are getting ready to drop in a new World Cup season
Riders are getting ready to drop in a new World Cup season -
Renaud Philippe

Quebec will also return with a big air, as well as a halfpipe and slopestyle contest each.

In addition, Park City is celebrating a comeback after a one-year break with one halfpipe and slopestyle event each while Copper Mountain (HP) and Spindleruv Mlyn (SS) are also back on track.

Besides an extensive World Cup tour, the best riders in the world will duke it out for the title of World Champion at the Kreischberg 2015 World Ski and Snowboard Championships next January, too.

MEN

  • 2014 Snowboard Freestyle Overall World Cup winner – Mans Hedberg (SWE)
  • 2014 Slopestyle World Cup winner – Mans Hedberg (SWE)
  • 2014 Halfpipe World Cup winner – Scotty James (AUS)
  • 2014 Slopestyle Olympic Champion – Sage Kotsenburg (USA)
  • 2014 Halfpipe Olympic Champion – Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI)
  • 2013 Big Air World Champion – Roope Tonteri (FIN)
  • 2013 Slopestyle World Champion – Roope Tonteri (FIN)
  • 2013 Halfpipe World Champion – Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI)

The past season was characterised by the world's best riders trying to qualify for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games, the World Cup events saw a deep variety of podium finishes with only one male snowboarder being able to place in the top three twice.

Mans Hedberg of Sweden podiumed in the big air in Quebec and in the slopestyle at Kreischberg. As a result, it was the 20-year-old Swedish ripper's season.

Besides his two podium appearances in his second World Cup season, he also claimed the Freestyle Snowboard Overall World Cup title and brought home the Slopestyle World Cup Crystal Globe, too.

It will be interesting to watch if the young gun will add another stunning year.

In addition, highly talented Aussie Scotty James will also be under the radar after an impressive 2014 winter which earned him the Halfpipe World Cup title.

WOMEN

  • 2014 Snowboard Freestyle Overall World Cup winner – Sarka Pancochova (CZE)
  • 2014 Slopestyle World Cup winner – Sarka Pancochova (CZE)
  • 2014 Halfpipe World Cup winner – Kelly Clark (USA)
  • 2014 Slopestyle Olympic Champion – Jamie Anderson (USA)
  • 2014 Halfpipe Olympic Champion – Kaitlyn Farrington (USA)
  • 2013 Slopestyle World Champion – Spencer O'Brien (CAN)
  • 2013 Halfpipe World Champion – Arielle Gold (USA)

The last women's season was dominated by some big names which have been part of competitive snowboarding for quite a while now.

While Kelly Clark once again underlined her strength by winning the halfpipe contests in Cardona, New Zealand as well as Copper Mt, CO it was Sarka Pancochova to leave her stamp on the slopestyle tour.

The Czech style machine claimed wins in Copper Mt and Kreischberg which were the main reason for Pancochova to bring home her career's first Crystal Globes.

In addition, last winter was the last for two riders who impressed with some podium results.

While there is no doubt that Team USA is deep enough to find some good replacement for Gretchen Bleiler who finished in third position in Cardrona and Copper Mt, it will be interesting to see if the Japanese Snowboard Federation has some girls ready to take over duty after Stoneham Halfpipe World Cup winner Rana Okada retired after the Sochi Olympics where she placed fifth.