Powder & Rails: US Open part 2
This episode starts off in 1996, the Year of the Cage. Long story short, the guys from East Infection Magazine dragged a bunch of chicken wire and 2×4’s up to the side of the halfpipe and fabricated their own beer garden complete with cases of Country Club malt liquor, a bull horn, and Tony the Tiger and Cookie Monster. The crazier and drunker the crowd got, the more the riding went off. Jeff Brushie for one made sure the US Open would go down in history as being an event where the pros had to go huge. Brushie was shortly thereafter followed by Terje Haakonsen, who dominated halfpipe riding in the 90’s. Terje also accidentally incited a riot in the Stratton village after one of his US Open wins and might be blamable for the influx of European riders gaining popularity at the Open. The international prevalence of the US Open spread in the 90’s and since the early 2000’s Kazuhiro Kokubo has blazed a big trail for relatively unknown Japanese riders to show up and blast massive airs and themselves into international snowboard stardom.