Sebastien "Toots" Toutant may be one of the most exciting snowboarders in the world today, with two wins in World Cup big airs and the Swatch TTY series, and a slopestyle victory at X Games. With so many events and demands on his time, it wasn't confirmed until the last minute that Toots would be competing at home last weekend as Stoneham hosted a full-fledged World Cup event.
With friends and family looking on, Toots showed why he's such a big deal in the big air competition in Quebec City. He scrubbed his first trick, then proceeded to post the top two scores of the day in his next two runs to take the gold medal by a full 5.5 points over Canadian Matts Kulisek. Stefan Falkeis of Austria was third.
Toots won with his signature trick, the Tootsie Role - a backside 1080 double-cork where he throws an invert into his last spin.
"I was supposed to be in Norway for another contest (but) I injured myself in Austria while training and came back to Canada to receive treatments," he said. "My physios told me it would be a good test to take part in this contest.
"It's really nice to come here and win the discipline. Having a ramp in an urban setting is really different than a contest on a mountain. There is a lot less time to get ready, but what a show."
Toots is currently on top of the World Cup standings, and is one of Canada Snowboard's two hopefuls to win an overall title and crystal globe.
The other hopeful is Dominique Maltais, who is currently leading the women's snowboardcross standings with three World Cup wins and a third place finish at the FIS Snowboard World Championships.
She came out strong at Stoneham, but in the end it was America rider Lindsey Jacobellis who took the gold medal after battling head-to-head the entire way down.
"The course was a lot tougher today than in training, with a lot more hills," said Maltais. "I made a huge error at the top of the course, but it's okay since I stayed in second place. I was able to catch a lot of ground on Jacobellis in the second half of the race. It was a really nice race for all the girls."
With 3,800 points, Maltais is pretty much a lock for the overall title. Her closest competitor is Maëlle Ricker with 2,200 points, although Ricker has been somewhat sidelined since she injured her hand at the world championships. More on the "somewhat" later.
Ricker's absence opened the door to Justine Cote, a newcomer for the Canadian team. She placed 12th.