Taking nothing away from Cam Zink, his winning ride video at Whistler’s Kokanee Crankworx shows that the most significant factor in slopestyle judging has to do with staying on the bike. The good part of this is that riders who finish out rather than go too big ultimately get rewarded. The bad part is that it discourages riders from going big.
We doubt we’d get much argument that Zink’s ride doesn’t really hold a candle to last year’s winner Greg Watts, who pulled off a double flip whip, or even Brandon Semenuk’s runner-up rides.
By the same token, most of the riders who pushed it this year saw their day ended in crashes.
A possible partial solution: If you weight points on tricks attempted, even if they fail, Slopestyle judging might prove a bit more exciting and the results a lot closer. Both competitors and fans would benefit from that.