A Shocking Night At 2011 Oakley Air and Style Beijing

Saturday 3rd December saw 13,000 fans flock to the Birds Nest stadium in Beijing, China to witness the world’s best riders battle it out for aerial supremacy at the second edition of the Oakley Shaun White Air & Style, a 6-star TTR Big Air contest.

Oakley Air and Style Beijing.  Photo: Event HostAs sixteen riders battled head to head towards a 4-man Super Final, Chinese snowboard fans roared their appreciation as a new benchmark in freestyle snowboarding was set. The 2011 Oakley Air & Style in Beijing was a night full of the unexpected.

18-year-old Burn rider Staale Sandbech of Norway created the first big surprise of the night, knocking out Canadian favourite Mark McMorris in the opening round, en-route to his spot in the final. In round 2, Burn teammate and fellow Norwegian Ulrik Badertscher created the 2nd shock, knocking out last year’s winner Seb Toutant with an amazing Backside 1260 double Rodeo that earned him an incredible 97 points out of a possible 100, the biggest score of the night and first place leading in the super final.

In a Super Final consisting of 3 Norwegians and a Swede, Ulrik, whose spontaneous and powerful riding style has earned him the nickname ‘The Wildman’, continued to be unstoppable, repeating his unique 1260 double cork move to take victory over Norway’s Torstein Horgmo (2nd).

Oakley Air and Style Beijing.  Photo: Event HostStaale Sandbech finished third in Beijing, pulling a slightly flawed but incredibly difficult backside 1440 – the first of his career. Ulrik also won $10K for the Best Trick.

All in all, a big night for progressive snowboarding, and a huge night for Burn’s elite snow team, the Burn Units. Next stop: The 2011 Billabong Air & Style Innsbruck on February 4th.

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