The Show: A Snowboard Event presented by Monster Energy had some big shoes to fill this year, taking over the spot in the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival lineup that was occupied by Danny Kass's Grenade Games the past two years - and fill them it did, with four solid days of events.
The weather didn't quite cooperate. The slushy slopestyle course turned to concrete for the finals on Saturday night as the temperatures dropped. There was new snow for Sunday's dual moguls and not the soft slushy bumps organizers were hoping for. Conditions were sunny and cold for the Boarderstyle on Monday but the snow and the wind came back for Dustin Craven's FUN Pipe Jam on Tuesday.
The Monster Energy Slopestyle kicked off the competition under the lights on Saturday night, with thousands of spectators watching athletes pursue the $10,000 first prize.
The course itself consisted of a gap jump or a box to a gap, followed by a choice of rails that led to another rail to the Monster van, or a massive channel gap onto a hip landing. The final touch was an Oakley "O" shaped box at the bottom.
The athletes struggled with the speed and course conditions in the one-hour jam session as temperatures dropped and the snow froze beneath them. The athletes who controlled their speed best managed to fit in more tricks and ultimately moved into the final. There was little room for errors in the last round, with each athlete getting three runs on the course and each one of those runs counting.
Craig Beaulieu, who is no stranger to the podium at the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival, hit every trick on the course, spun off of everything and even landed a big backflip on the hip to take the title and $10,000.
"It was incredible," he said. "We were training in a foot of slush and then the finals it was like a sheet of ice. I just tried to be consistent at first and just focus on landing everything clean."
He wasn't sure he was going to do the backflip on the hip, a big Michalchuk, but after watching a lot of younger riders he stepped up on his last run - even though a fall might have cost him the contest.
"All the younger guys were doing it, and I knew I had to get at least one in by the end of the night. I'm glad I did."
Beaulieu was one of the only riders that hit every feature in the park in his three runs, and his rail skills really set him apart. He managed a rare 270 spin onto the bottom "O" then another 450 spin off. Other tricks that came out of the bag include a frontside 720, a backside rodeo and a switch backside on the van.