Riders take flight

Timothy Steltzer, Ryan Paul sweep ski, snowboard events

One word to accurately describe Dew Games 2012 at the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre is “epic.”

Double-corks, double-backflips and double-side-flips were all thrown down Saturday night as nearly 20 of the best skiers and 30 of the best snowboarders the East Coast had to offer came out for a chance at part of the $10,000 purse.

Flips — In this year’s Dew Games, snowboarders and skiiers nailed various trick combinations. Photo credit: Ruth Bibby

The games were broadcast live over the Internet and Liberty’s local television station, WTLU. Kevin Pearce and Brent Blakeney hosted the games live.

Ski qualifiers started at 2 p.m. and were followed by snowboard qualifiers shortly after. The rail jam qualifiers debuted the newest Snowflex Centre feature—a stair-set with a five-foot ledge drop, handrail, creeper rail, flat-down box and a butter-box where the stairs would normally be. The athletes had three tricks to make their best overall impression on the judges in the rail jam and big air competitions.

In the rail jam finals, both skiers and snowboarders familiarized themselves with the new features, and many flip variations were thrown off the five-foot drop of the ledge. The progression of the athletes in the area since the first Dew Games two years ago has been drastic, and this was quite apparent on the very technical stair-set feature.

Big air finals were the last event of the evening. Skier Timothy Steltzer came out on his first run and stomped a double-side-flip 180, setting the bar quite high. Other highlights were a switch misty 900 and a cork 1260.

The most impressive trick of the evening was Steltzer’s double-cork 1260, which scored a 96 and earned him $1500 for first place in big air. This was the first double-cork 1260 landed at the Snowflex Centre and just the second double-cork to be landed.

There was no shortage of tricks never before attempted at the Snowflex Centre as the event progressed. Ryan Paul landed a double-backflip and attempted a triple-backflip. Ben Sullo attempted the double-cork 1080 for all three of his runs. Sullo was the first to ever land the double-cork at a Snowflex Centre. Other big tricks thrown were a backside cork 1080, a backside cork 900 and a switch backside 900.

First place winners in all categories received a $1500 prize, second place winners received $750 and third place winners received $250.

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