Wanaka, New Zealand – A field of 32 up and coming young freestyle skiers signed up for Armadageddon, the slopestyle extravaganza held today at Snow Park NZ.
nByron Wells, 15, from Wanaka took the title of Best Male Grom for the 16 and under age group as he pulled off some super smooth and technical tricks including a Switch 720 Mute Grab and was the clear winner for that category.
Mikey Austin, 13, also from Wanaka claimed top honors for Best Female Grom under 16 with some amazing rail slides and a 360 off the big jump. Ryan Read, 11, of Auckland won the category for Best Grom aged 12 and under by performing a tidy Switch 270 onto the box.
Despite the early foggy conditions, the course was in excellent condition and provided the youngsters with some challenge. The course included a flat-down and dinosaur box, a double barrel rail and a 15-foot kicker that the field used to pull of some spectacular twists and turns in the air.
Head Judge Jake McCleary was impressed by the talent on display from the young skiers. “It was tough to pick the winners, with all the finalists skiing good clean and varied runs,” McCleary said. “There is definitely some up and coming talent in this young field and it was fantastic there were so many of them.”
The competition is now in its fourth year and offers a diverse mix of serious competition and fun jamming with fellow skiers. Each competitor completed three runs with the best-scored run taken. Skiers were judged on style and difficulty of the tricks they pulled off on the rails and jumps.
The Armadageddon action continues Saturday with the Open division being staged on a new slopestyle course. The event gets underway at 10:00 a.m. with registration beginning at 8 a.m. Following the prize awards, two world movie premieres will be screened in the Woolshed Restaurant and Bar. “Believe” featuring Tanner Hall and “Yeah Dude” both include ski footage from around the world.
The after-party kicks off in the evening with Jagermeister creating an ice sculpture and ice luge to get the party underway. DJs will be spinning the tunes into the night.