This weekend saw Australia’s best freeride skier Russ Henshaw join other world elites in the 2011 Red Bull Playstreets championship in Bad Gastein, Austria.
A crowd of 10,000 people, 18 of the world’s best freeride skiers and a picturesque alpine venue all came together to witness Switzerland’s Elias Ambühl jumping, sliding and spinning his way to victory on a track built of amazing urban obstacles including rooftop drops and concrete wall rides, right through the centre of Bad Gastein.
The freeski playground was designed using the natural obstacles of Bad Gastein’s city centre and was complete with step downs, corners, kickers, gap jumps and slides. Add to this the 20,000 tonnes of snow used and the result is a track worthy of only the most fearless athletes.
Once through the qualifiers, the best eight competed head-to-head before being judged according to style, creativity and execution of the runs. Urged on by thousands of spectators filling the streets to the brim, they showed off every unique skill and breathtaking trick in the book.
Victor Elias Ambühl narrowly triumphed over Finland’s Antti Ollila and New Zealand’s Jossi Wells, who also wowed the crowd with their courageous freeskiing talents. Australia’s Henshaw stood up to some fierce competition and completed the event in 10th place.