White Doubles Down

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The US Open of Snowboarding means a lot of things to a lot of people. To some it is the most prestigious snowboarding event in the world, and to others it’s just a great place to get windburn or break your leg on an icy jump after getting yelled at by a hostile New Yorker in a one-piece ski suit. No matter what it may mean, it is undeniable that some of the best contest snowboarding goes down over these few days in Stratton, and the reason why is all best snowboarders in the world convene here to battle it out. Aside from established pros like Shaun White, this event attracts hungry up-and-coming competitors from all over the planet because a podium finish here can result in instant pro status.

This isn’t like that movie Rudy where you can make it by on big heart; you have to have big talent and an aptitude for riding in unpredictable weather. The qualifiers for slopestyle and halfpipe quickly proved this when Mother Nature threw out an schmorgesborg of weather from rain, sleet, snow, and sun to New England negative degree winds. After the blood sweat and frozen tears it all came down to a final 16 men and 8 women battling it out to claim their piece of snowboarding history. The men’s slopestyle finals saw new faces like Oakley’s Sam Hulbert and Ian Thorley, to veterans like Shaun White, and by the way Shaun was riding everyone could tell that he had won here before. While most riders focus on putting down one clean run in hopes of podium honors, Shaun was doing progressively harder tricks every run and putting his score out of reach each time. With four jumps on course, Shaun started with three different 900’s, and one 1080, to finishing his last run with three 1080’s and one 900. It was a battle for second place.

This battle for second place seemed to continue the next day at the halfpipe, however this time Mother Nature served up a one-course meal of sunshine. It was a beautiful day and the crowd filled in to watch these guys tear apart this halfpipe. All eyes were on Shaun, but all the pressure may have been on Oakley’s local boy Kevin Pearce. The US Open is the final stop on the TTR world tour, and based off his amazing results all season long, a podium finish here would mean a world title for Kevin. The battle began, and Kevin threw down the hammer with a solid technical run that locked him into a third place spot, and just like the day before at slopestyle, Shaun White was on fire. Shaun was using each run as a building block for the next and progressively ran with the first place spot.  Putting down massive 1080’s and ally-op backside rodeo’s, Shaun had a repeat of his 2006 performance and clinched both the US Open Slopestyle and Halfpipe.

All said and done, this was an amazing and prosperous two days for the competitors who came out on top. Shaun White and Kevin Pearce both made snowboarding history and a bucket load of cash. For the full story on Kevin’s TTR World title, check his news story here on Oakley.com.

2008 US Open of Snowboarding Results

Men’s Slopestyle:
1st: Shaun White (Oakley)
2nd: Tim Humphreys
3rd: Charles Reid

Women’s Slopestyle:
1st: Kjersti Buaas
2nd: Jamie Anderson
3rd: Jenny Jones (Oakley)

Men’s Halfpipe:
1st: Shaun White (Oakley)
2nd: Mason Aguirre
3rd: Kevin Pearce (Oakley)

Women’s Halfpipe:
1st: Torah Bright
2nd: Kelly Clark
3rd: Gretchen Bleiler (Oakley)

Big Air:
1st: Tim Humphreys
2nd: Chas Guldmond
3rd: Torstein Horgmo (Oakley)

Author

Chris Hotell

Date

March 24, 2008