Red Bull Playstreets 2013 decended upon the historic Austrian town of Bad Gastein. The streets of this sleepy spa town were transformed into an epic terrain park, complete with table tops, rails and massive booters. With a collection of 22 of world’s top freestyle skiers hailing from 10 different countries looking to take this year’s title. With athletes like Bobby Brown, Nick Goepper, Markus Eder and defending champ Elias Ambühl the competition was sure to be a spectacle. Nearly 10,000 ski fans and Bad Gastein locals poured into the snowy streets to witness the high flying action at the events fifth edition of Red Bull Playstreets.
In the end, it was Canadian Charles Gagnier stood atop the podium in first place. The 27-year old skier is no stranger to the Red Bull Playstreets podium, having actually won the debut event six years ago. To sweeten the victory, Charles got to share the podium with his younger brother Vincent Gagnier who took third place. The elder Gagnier had some extremely steep competition from American Gus Kenworthy, who finished in a very close second place.
Aside from the epic riding, the most exciting aspect of the annual competition would have to be the course. The 520-meter creation was built using over 780 truckloads of snow, amounting to around 4,700 cubic meters). Skiers were shredding full speed across features built atop and around local shops, the streets, and overtop of the spectators heads!
The 2013 edition of Red Bull Playstreets featured some of the most creative freestyle skiing seen in recent competitions. A qualifying round narrowed the field of competitors down to the final eight, with favorites like Bobby Brown and Nick Goepper falling victim to the cut. Remaining skiers were then pitted in head-to-head match-ups that gave each competitor 2 runs to outshine their opponent. Elias Ambühl managed to sway the judges favor in order to overtake Markus Elder. Vincent Gagnier knocked out top skier Luca Tribondeau, while Gus Kenworthy beat out Antti Ollila. Charles Gagnier bested Tobi Tritscher after the Austrian suffered a harrowing crash that sent him flying into the strategically place saftey nets.
With four skiers left, it was time for the semi finals. Charles Gagnier once again benefitted an opponent’s misstep after Elias Ambühl fell during the first trick of both runs. Gus Kenworthy managed to best the younger Gagnier during their matchup thanks to a couple huge 900s.
Despite finishing the first run in the lead, Kenworthy ended up taking a fall during his second. Gagnier on the other hand, skied two clean runs to seal his victory. Third place was awarded to Vincent Gagnier after winning the consolation round against Elias Ambühl.