2011 TNF Masters At Crystal Mountain: Day Two Silver King

Comments by Mike Hardaker/

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Josh Warnick / Photo Hardaker

Crystal Mountain, WA – The North Face Masters of Snowboarding at Crystal Mountain wrapped up with local Washington riders Tim Carlson, Blair Habenicht and Forrest Burki taking 3 of the top 4 spots on the podium for the men, along with Johnathan Penfield from Whistler in second. On the ladies side of things, Iris Lazzareschi took home the famed Katana sword which she has been chasing over the past couple years followed by new big mountain shredder Laura Hadar and Tahoe local Casey Lucas.

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Xavier De La Rue / Photo Hardaker

Even with the FWT athletes in town it was the North Face Masters family of riders that stole the show. The second to last run of the day belonged to defending champion Forrest Burki who straight lined from the top of the venue to the finish area in 19 seconds. Just entering the chute alone was full commitment. Forrest was able to keep his GNU board locked into the snow and ice and just went for it earning him third place. Look for huge things from Forrest in the future.

Blair Habenicht showed his local knowledge landing into fourth place by finding a secret chute to drop into that was perched above a hundred foot rock band. The crowd has horrified when Blair started making his way toward the rocks that looked to be a one way ticket to the hospital. Having ridden here before Blair found the secret line and came flying out the bottom before hitting a few airs and a nice double drop at the finish.

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Tim Carlson / Photo Hardaker

Men's winner Tim Carlson was unknown on the Masters tour before competing at Crystal Mountain. Two solid days of riding and amazing line scores put Tim atop the podium in a field of riders that included Xavier de la Rue, Ralph Backstrom, Ryland Bell and Aaron Robinson. Truly some of the heaviest hitters in the freeride snowboard community.

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Hadar, Lazzareschi and Lucas / Photo Jon Glass

On the ladies side of things, Iris Lazzareschi came back for a strong win after failing to make the super finals weeks earlier at Snowbird. Iris is really driven with her snowboarding and rides harder then most men, and is a sweat heart to boot. Companies should be throwing this gals some love! Rail slayer and urban warrior Laura Hadar, a new addition to the tour, came in second place making it look easy as always. Laura told me she had been at Snowbird last year to watch The North Face Masters contest and saw how much fun everyone was having and had to enter this year. A lot of women on tour and in general really look up to Laura's skills on her snowboard. We're stoked to have a professional of her caliber freeriding with the family. Third place for the women went to Tahoe local Casey Lucas who made riding the icy conditions look like cake on her Never Summer snowboard. She was kicking up powder turns and hitting airs to the point were people forgot the course was a sheet of ice. Casey is a young rider with a bright future and is in need of some love from the industry. If you want to see your gear on the podium, this is a girl I would recommend hooking up.

Xavier de la Rue came over from the Freeride World Tour with high expectations from everyone that he would hit the biggest cliff and go faster then anyone in the comp. However, The Masters Tour is no walk in the park. Our riders went toe for toe with the best in the world and guess what, we came out on top!

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Matt Annetts / Photo Hardaker

Highlights included a solid run from Brandon Reid ( I feel he was robbed of a podium spot ). Brandon made the course look easy ripping turns and huge airs followed by a large 540 at the bottom of the venue. I'm not sure what the judges saw, but Brandon is a young ripper and will be #1 sooner than later! By the way Brandon has no board to ride, anyone in industry land that wants to get the next Jeremy Jones on board feel free to contact me and I will put you in touch with Brandon. He needs some help, and rides stronger then most people on the tour.

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Penfield, Carlson, Burki / Photo Jon Glass

Alta local Ryan Hudson came in the top 10 by sending a massive air at the bottom of the venue. Ryan has only been snowboarding for 3 years and easily went 60+ feet on his snowboard to a perfect stomped landing. Well done Hudson. Way to represent for the North Face, Vans and a bunch of other companies.

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Young Gun Winner Mikey Marhon / Photo Jon Glass

The last and final stop on the tour will be heading to Kirkwood, CA for the finals. Stay tuned for more details.