Words & photos by Rom Marcucci
At long last, a Dew tour stop is graced with perfect weather. It seems this year stereotypes held true: Colorado was windy and frigid, Vermont weather was brutal, and California is oh so sunny and warm. Today Northstar at Tahoe hosted the qualifiers for Saturday’s pipe finals at the third and final Dew Tour.
The pipe and sun are primed for the qualifier
With Tanner, Simon, and Justin already prequalified for the big dance, nine spots were left for the taking. This being a qualifier, the level of talent was very varied. The competitors ranged from X Games and World cup champions to local kids who many have never heard of. A select few set the standard so high this season that the rest of the competitors have yet to remotely catch up. A run that would have been an X Games podium two seasons ago no longer makes the final of the Dew Tour.
Colby Albino came so close to qualifying, he deserves at least a photo credit here
Local favorite David Wise had two very impressive runs but failed to hold either one together
Andre Simonpietri the youngest competitior at a young and innocent 15 shows us how to grab some tail
At one point during the day, Walter Wood landed a 1440. This isn’t it, but I just thought that was crazy enough that it should be the caption
Those who qualified grabbed big spins in both directions and stomped switch tricks and didn’t bobble. Local Californian Matt Duhamel qualified 9th.
Matt Duhamel came from nowhere to squeak into the final (Nowhere being San Francisco, CA)
Jon Strenio literally gets better every day, finishing 8th in his fourth pipe contest ever.
Jon Strenio: “He’s not a pipe skier”
After a season of being bumped out of the finals day in and out, Matt Margetts finally gets his first finals appearance with a 7th. He was the most stoked Justin Dorey was prequalified. Matt Philippi proved he is back today with a 6th.
Tyler Peterson gets photo dude the shot
Tyler Peterson came out of nowhere to outplace some of the biggest names in the game with a 5th, and 4th went to the buttery smooth Kevin Rolland.
Kevin Rolland’s SAT advice: French Canadians are to Slopestyle as the French are to Pipe
Colby West attacked the pipe like a linebacker, with huge powerful hits for 3rd. Xavier Bertoni brought a toned down version of his X Games run with gorgeous spins in both directions and flawless switch tricks. With slightly less height and rotation than we saw at X, he made it look easy, qualifying 2nd.
Riddle shows off his amplitude
Ultimately, the man of the day was Mike Riddle. Huge amplitude, grabs like Schiller, and an awe-inspiring flatspin 3 garnered the win for the day.
Mike Riddle and coach Trennon Paynter discuss the benefits of national halfpipe teams
Look for Riddle to pose a serious threat to the top three on Saturday. Until then, we’ll have slopestyle qualifiers for you tomorrow. Stay tuned.
1) Mike Riddle – 90.50
2) Xavier Bertoni – 88.25
3) Colby West – 85.25
4) Kevin Rolland – 84.00
5) Tyler Peterson – 83.00
6) Matthew Philippi – 82.50
7) Matt Margetts – 80.75
8) John Strenio – 77.50
9) Matt Duhamel – 75.50
10) Walter Wood – 72.50
11) Colby Albino – 72.25
12) Taylor Seaton – 71.50
13) Duncan Adams – 71.00
14) Byron Wells – 70.75
15) Lyndon Sheehan – 68.25
16) Dan Marion – 68.25
17) JL Ratchel – 65.50
18) Jack Sullan – 61.50
19) Peter Olenick – 61.00
20) Kyle Smaine – 61.00
21) Marshall LaCroix – 60.75
22) Kentaro Tsuda – 55.50
23) David Wise – 41.75
24) AJ Kemppainen – 23.00
25) Matti Räty – 19.75
26) Rob Heule – 19.50
27) Evan Schwartz – 15.50
28) Andre Simonpietri – 12.25
29) Tucker Perkins – 7.75
prequalified for finals