Burton US Open: Halfpipe semi-finals
The season has been difficult for many, with the lack of snow and warm temperatures, but this didn’t stop Stratton Mountain and Snow Park Technologies from using what they had to build what some have said to be one of the “best pipes in US Open history.” With 22-foot walls this pipe is constructed to perfection. The warm temperatures and sun softened up the walls throughout the day, but plenty of salt was thrown to keep the walls solid enough for riders to boost all day long.
With temperatures that seemed fit for the beach, spectators began making there way up to the bottom of the halfpipe to watch the semifinals. The women started off the show in the morning, all fighting hard to get a place in the finals. Cheers were heard after every run, but the most noise was for hometown favorite, Ellery Hollingsworth. Though in the end it was Elena Hight who went the biggest and received the highest score. Does Elena, or any of the other women riders have what it takes to unseat five time US Open winner Kelly Clark?
The size of the crowd increased as the men started running through the pipe for practice, the airs seemed to get bigger and bigger with each rider. By the time the semi’s started the guys were launching way overhead, with many cheers and gasps coming from the crowd with each maneuver. The intensity of the tricks increased throughout the contest as riders started pulling the double corks out of their bag of tricks, Louie Vito wowing the crowd, stomping his back-to-back double corks first run. How hungry are these riders? Will Kazuhiro Kokubo be able take home his third title, or will someone be able to take his place?
With the high level of riding today it will be a treat to watch some of the best riders in the world compete for the title of US Open Champion. Tune in at 10:00 am EST to catch the live webcast on Redbull.tv, or Burton.com to see the riders’ final runs.
Words & photos: Ben Girardi
If you can’t make it to Stratton to experience the 30th anniversary of the US Open in person, then there are two places to watch the finals live. For live webcasts, head to Redbull.tv. And to watch the men’s and women’s finals live on TV, tune in to Universal Sports on Friday March 9 and Saturday March 10. After the event is over, highlights of winning runs and full webcasts will also be available for on-demand viewing at www.redbull.com/snowboarding-live
For classic US Open photos, event highlights, quotes from the legends, and the boards beneath the riders, be sure to download the US Open History iPad App on iTunes.