2012 Burton U.S. Open
This year’s Burton US Open were special. Why? Well, perfect weather conditions, masses attending to watch today’s best snowbaorders at Stratton and from a sentimental point of view the „USOs“ turned 30 years on this weekend. 30 years of rad open competition for everyone, who’s stoked about snowboarding. Beginning with a sort of race/downhill combo back then, the USOs were pretty quick THE halfpipe event later on, where you wanted to go huge and show your skills to everyone. The difference between back then and today is just that with the size of the walls growing -which were no real walls back then- also the amplitude of the performed tricks increased to a level which is beyond crazy and this weekend was a perfect example for that and for the fact that even the best favorites aren’t always the ones to bring back the titles.
Beginning with the women halfpipe competition, Kelly Clark (2nd – USA) came to the USOs with an unbroken 16(!)-competition-winning-series. Unbroken until now. Young Volcom rider Elena Hight (1st – USA) was the first one to break Kelly’s series and won her very first Burton US Open halfpipe title, which left Kelly on 2nd spot, followed by Ellery Hollingsworth (3rd – USA). Similar to the women competition the podium spots have been switching all time long. Well, from the second place on to be real with you. The guys went big over the walls and we were stunned when seeing Kohei Kudo (JAP) or Matt Ladley (USA) going that huge on their first hits, which was on Shaun’s level easy! No matter if it was them or Danny Davis, Benji Farrow or Christian Haller, who threw down solid runs ..in the end the curse stroke back and on some hit everyone fell again. So the first podium spot has been decided from the very first run on, by Shaun White (1st – USA) with a solid run like we know them by the flying tomato, no doubt. Shaun was followed in the end on the podium by Louie Vito (2nd – USA) and Benji Farrow (3rd – USA)
On the Slopestyle side it has been a bit different. There were more titles which have been taken home at once let’s say. On the women side favorite Jamie Anderson (1st – USA) stroke back after not having won the BUSO Slopestyle title since 2007 and got first on the podium, followed by Kjersti Ostgaard-Buaas (2nd – NOR) and Enni Rukajarvi (FIN). The men took a while till score high and in the end it was young Canadian Sebastien „Toots“ Toutant (1st – CAN) to also win his first BUSO Slopestyle title,who was followed by Ulrik Badertscher (2nd – NOR) who even threw down a double Frontlfip off the cannon rail and Belgian pride Seppe Smits (3rd – BEL).
The special part here on the Slopestyle competition is, that Seb Toots and Jamie Anderson did not only win the BUSO Slopestyle title on this weekend, but also took back home the Burton Global Open Series Slopestyle title AND the TTR Slopestyle World Tour Champion title. For Jamie it is the third TTR title in her career, while for Seb it is the very first one to win and makes it even more special of course.
The MINI Creative Use of Space awards went to Enni Rukajarvi (FIN) for her Cab 5 Mute and Seppe Smits (BEL) for his Cab 9 Shifty. After all, one more MINI CUOS award has been giving away on this weekend as being the official end of the BGOs and this one went to the shaper crew in Laax, Switzerland for putting down the most creative course feature of the entire BGO tour in this season.
To round this title series off, we still got two more TTR World Champion titles to announce. Even though Kelly couldn’t make it on the first podium spot in Stratton, her before-going 16-competition winning series speaks for itself and clearly gives her the TTR Halfpipe World Champion title, next to Iouri „iPod“ Podladtchikov (SUI) which is also pretty comprehensive after getting podium straight in this season and finally even becoming world champion in Oslo recently. The overall TTR World Tour Champion titles, focus on riders competing in Halfpipe, such as Slopestyle and Big Air what is each time more difficult to do as you know and went to Cilka Sadar (SLO) and Ståle Sandbech (NOR).