Noah Wallace wins Men’s Slope and Opportunity to Film with Tom Wallisch’s “Good Company.”
After much anticipation, The North Face is pleased to announce the winners of the first ever Park and Pipe Open Series Virtual Competition (PPOS). On Fri., March 20, a seasoned panel of judges and athletes, including Head PPOS Judge Mike Atkinson, who has formerly served as the head judge for events including the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, Dew Tour, X Games, and more, and AFP Platinum Level and FIS Level A Judge, Jason Arens. Also on the judging panel, were three The North Face team athletes including the legendary Tom Wallisch, recent Tignes, France, World Cup gold medal halfpipe winner, Mike Riddle, and Olympic gold medal winner in women’s halfpipe, Maddie Bowman. The judges gathered in Salt Lake City, Utah, to carefully analyze each of the finalist videos and assign an overall impression score and ranking.
The judges were very impressed by the high level of competition and sport progression demonstrated by the athletes. The virtual format enabled the judges to easily review videos numerous times ensuring athletes received appropriate scores. After much deliberation, Noah Wallace of Spokane, WA, emerged as the winner of the competition’s Grand Prize and will have the opportunity to film a segment in Tom Wallisch’s new project, “Good Company.” Wallace was also the winner of the highly competitive Men’s Slopestyle category and the Viewer’s Choice award.
“Overall, we were looking for runs with solid execution, variety of tricks, natural flow and solid landings,” remarked Head PPOS Judge Mike Atkinson. “For example, Noah Wallace was able to spin all four ways and link his tricks with an effortless style. While the other top scores were all great runs, Wallace’s run just had something special. He was the only competitor to include a pole tap rodeo 5 in his run.”
Less than a point behind Wallace’s lead in Men’s Slopestyle, U.S Freeskiing Rookie Team member Colby Stevenson came in second place. Tom Wallisch noted that Stevenson was able to spin all four ways on both jumps and rails, which is something difficult to execute in competition. In third place, Brent Whipple’s run included all four-way doubles.
Also, coming out of the Men’s Slopestyle category were the recipients of Best Rail, Trick, Personality and GoPro footage. Casey Arnold won Best Rail for a 270-on underflip 450-out with excellent precision of timing and balance. Max Moffatt was awarded Best Trick for landing a switch triple 12, which PPOS Judge Jason Arens felt was one of the best tricks he had ever seen. Josh Wong’s submission clearly stood out as the Biggest Personality winner. Wong’s use of clever commentary, humor and unique tricks made every judge laugh. Finally, Ian Hamilton’s smart incorporation of a POV replay earned him the Best GoPro footage award.
Kyle Smaine came out on top of the Men’s Halfpipe division and also won Best Air. Smaine wowed the judges with a huge alley-oop flat 5 Japan screaming seaman that was executed perfectly over a high consequence gap. In second place, Broby Leeds had a great set of technical tricks. Judge Mike Riddle commented that it was tough to decide who deserved first place between Leeds and Smaine.
In the women’s categories, Allison Welsh won Halfpipe by showing great progression with a rodeo 9. Katrina Nicole Siegfried won Women’s Slopestyle for her overall technicality on the rails and jumps. Judge Mike Riddle exclaimed that Siegfried laid down the most technical rail combo he had ever seen. In second place, Vilde Johansen threw down one of the cleanest airs of any of the girls in the competition with an awesome switch 5.
“The level of difficulty and impression demonstrated by the top ladies was truly incredible,” said Judge Maddie Bowman. “I am excited to see this progression continue for women in the sport.”