Klaeppen (SWE) - Slopestyle finals at the Klaeppen (SWE) 2019 FIS Snowboard Junior World Championships went down on Tuesday afternoon at the northern Swedish resort, where the Canadian NextGen team riders Sommer Gendron and William Buffey stepped up to put down the day’s best runs and walk away with this season’s gold medals.
The course at Klaeppen presented a unique challenge for the world’s best young riders, starting off with a rail section, followed by two big jumps, into another formidable rail section, then a rollover butter box, into an uprail section, and then a quarterpipe that sent riders back down the rail section they had just come up from.
Dropping third to last after putting up the third-best score in qualifications, Gendron landed a superb second run that saw her do a cab 180 to 50-50 on the first rail, into a backside 720 and a a frontside 360 through the jumps, then a 50-50 backside 180 on the big rail section, and finally a cruise through the butter sections to end with a switch boardslide to regular coming back down
“It feels so amazing to win junior worlds,” said the 18-year-old Gendron after the awards ceremony, “The level of progression from the women over the past few years has been insane, and all the girls today were riding so good and pushing me to try my best tricks. It was really fun. Now I’m looking forward to get out to Whistler (CAN) for some spring riding!”
Just behind Gendron was Finland’s Eveliina Taka, as the 16-year-old earned a score of 83.75 to take the silver medal. Meanwhile it was Ty Schnorrbusch coming through as the lone US representative to grab a podium spot on Tuesday, earning bronze with a score of 80.50.
Over on the men’s side of things Gendron’s teammate William Buffey stomped the standout run of the day to take the men’s title, going huge on the jumps, technical through the rails, and holding nothing back in a first run that would earn him a score of 91.25.
Starting things off with a backside lipslide to switch, Buffey would then stomp a cab 1260 into a frontside 1080 through the two jumps, then a 50-50 backside 360 out, frontside 180 butter to switch backside 180 out, a boardslide up the rail, backside air, and a boardslide sameway 270 out to finish things off.
“It’s a surreal moment to win this year’s junior worlds, and I won’t forget this for the rest of my life,” a clearly stoked Buffey said, “I’m so grateful to my coaches, my sponsors, my friends and my family for helping me get here. I’m stoked to take this medal home and then just keep shredding through the spring in Whistler and then down under to Perisher (AUS) for more riding.”
Claiming second place was the strong Slovakian rider Samuel Jaros, as the 17-year-old earned the silver medal with a score of 85.25, while top qualifier Rikuto Ohashi of Japan would have to settle for bronze with a score of 80.00.
The Klaeppen 2019 FIS Snowboard Junior World Champs will close out with big air competition this weekend, with qualifications on Friday and finals slated for Saturday beginning at 13:00 CET.