U.S. Open Superpipe Finals
By Ian Kirkpatrick
Unfortunately, the Open Superpipe is always a little lacking. Vail's pipe is short and it’s quality isn't nearly as high as some of the other pipes these guys ski in the season. Sean Field, second place today, made the pipe look damn near tiny after charging the entire length in only three hits during finals. In addition, most everybody is hungover from the Big Air after-parties and the crowds that show up are a lot smaller than the rest of the events. Being this close to the X-Games a lot of guys, like the Dumont, Schiller and Jon, didn't even bother competing today. Lack of an electric buzz in the air aside, Sunday was another day of freakishly warm weather. The spring conditions in January were appreciated though, given the insane snow and wind that have come up before for the Superpipe.Again, the semi-finals were filled with a bunch of lesser-known skiers with great talent. Fritz Vandermark, coming from Breckenridge just down the road, had some great, huge runs with mostly corked tricks and only a couple straight airs. What would a freeskiing comp be without Uncle E making moronic comments, inaccurate skier comparisons and keeping the old farts in attendance laughing? Today's third place skier in the girls comp, Jen Hudak, called out E after he jinxed her on the first run. That might sound a little superstitious but Mr. Ernst seems to have a knack for patting a skier on the back right before they crash. He kept quiet and Jen had a sick second run with some good, consistent hits and a couple fives thrown in. Kristi came in second throwing a five and a seven but Sarah capped off a really good weekend coming out on top. Sarah was the only one really screwing around with some alley-oop spins in the ladies field. Although some of the other girls said that they had an alley-oop five in the bag, everyone but Sarah was a little tentative on how that trick would look
in a comp.While there were a few big names missing today, one man that nobody can ever count out decided to compete in pipe. Tanner won superpipe after stomping a run that he might as well trademark: Flatspin to alley-oop to D-spin to right side flatspin. Sean Field came second and Corey Vanuar rounded out the men's podium today by ending a solid run with his trademark pipe trick, that corked 1080 with the leading mute. Yay! Freeskiing's biggest weekend is over! Now everyone can go sleep and maybe ski a little before the X-Games next weekend.