For Japan: Kazu Kokubu Triumphs at US Open Snowboard Pipe, McMorris Grabs Slopestyle Second
There’s no doubt that the recent earthquake and tsunami devastation in Japan was weighing down on his mind.
But Oakley Star Snowboarder Kazu Kokubo charged forward and represented his native country in grand fashion at the US Open Snowboarding Championships in Vermont last week, emerging victorious in the Pipe final with a frontside alley-oop nosebone, front 900, Michaelchuck, frontside double cork 1080, to a Cab 1080 melon. Absolutely sick.
“I’m so stoked and so happy,” a smiling Kazu said, rocking his new Signature Series googles. “I want to say thanks to my sponsors, family and friends, and I hope my win brings a little joy and happiness to Japan.”
Arms held high, Kazu took a victory lap down the bottom of the pipe in show of joy and celebration for his nation – currently the center of the World’s attention and sympathy after a string of natural disasters last week. Fellow Oakley Rider Kohei Kudo grabbed third with a front 10 and back-to-back 9s in a perfectly executed run.
In the Women’s Pipe Finals, Oakley Olympic Gold Medalist Gretchen Bleiler enjoyed a solid third-place finish.
Slopestyle – McMorris Dazzles
Oakley’s Canadian Star Mark McMorris, an internet phenomenon after he busted out the first-ever backside triple cork 1440 on video, threw down a cab underflip 900 to a backside double cork 1080 on the last jump at the Slopestyle Final. But it wasn’t quite enough to top Eric Willet’s run, handing the runner-up spot to Mark.
In the Women’s Slope Finals, O’s young Norwegian shredder Silje Norendal landed third after a super strong showing in her US Open debut – representing big time for Oakley Scandanavia’s female team.
Overall one strong showing for the O Team in Vermont! Congratulations to Kazu and the rest of the team for the solid week.
1.Kazu Kokubo JPN Oakley
2.Iouri Podlatchikov SUI
3 Kohei Kudo JPN Oakley
1.Kelly Clark USA
2.Hannah Teter USA
3. Gretchen Bleiler USA Oakley
1.Eric Willet USA
2.Mark McMorris CAN Oakley
3. Chas Guldemond USA
1.Enni Rukavanj FIN
2. Jamie Anderson USA
3. Silje Norendal NOR Oakley