Rex Thomas InterviewRex, youíre on commentating duty?Yeah, I wasnít initially supposed to be, and then I got the call at about 6:30 on Tuesday night saying they needed me for at least Wednesday-Thursday. So here I am in the freezing cold.What do you think about the competition so far?Itís been great. The organizationís been greatóI mean, all the riders actually got a full day of training on Tuesday, which is something new to the US Freeskiing Open. But yeah, the organizationís been great and the people running it are super on top of everything, and the Copper Mountain staff has been phenomenal. The course is pretty good, a few speed issues for some. But itís a slopestyle course, everybody has issues with something.Looks like the rails are better than in previous years.Definitely. A new location, fresh vision, helps when it comes to the setup of the course. The rails are one of the things, the jumps are also consistently larger. It makes it a little tougher on the girls and some of the younger kids, but overall this is the premiere Open event of the year, and you need to have the option for the guys to man up and throw their biggest trick?What have you been seeing on the course?All sorts of stuff. Yesterday PK Hunder threw down absolutely ridiculous, as did Andrew Hathaway. Today we say a huge, huge level of riding. All day, just so many tens being thrown all over the place, I mean, even 14-year-old Byron Wells, one of my team ridersóI didnít even know he could do switch tens, and he was doing switch ten today. So, it should be really excitingÖ I know a couple of the big runs coming out tomorrow, and it should be really exciting.What are you going to need in your run tomorrow to win?Rex: Youíre going to need a ten. Itís a must have, and youíre going to need to spin both directions. I think those are going to be the two keys. And thereís a number of guys in the finals that have doubles, so itís going to be interesting. I know Jacob and Jon for sure, and Iíve heard Cosco talking about one in his bag as well. But weíve also got some talk of a little Kiwi kid throwing a switch 12, and he did it today in practice. Heís talking about two different tens and a twelve, possibly.Any other of your team riders you want to hype today?Hey, I said no names.Patrick BaskinsVail, COAge: 15Sponsors: Dynastar, Look, Lange, LevelIs this your first Open?My second. Howíd you do last year?Pretty wellÖ I didnít qualify or anything, but it was a good experience.How was your first run?It was good, I landed everything but it wasnít as stylie as I wanted it to be. So if I can get that a little better, get better grabs, Iíll be stoked.Shoutouts?Claudia Bouvier because she broke her neck, so sheís not up here. But I hope sheís doing well right now. Martin MisofAustriaAge: 25Sponsors: Fischer, Nike ACG, Bolle, Sweet Helmets, NorthparkAre you feeling old out here? I do actually, thereís so many young rippers out here, itís amazing. I feel like a grandpa here.Howís the competition looking?Itís looking quite alright, at least itís sunny. Itís pretty freakiní cold, the course is so-so, the rails are sticky, but itís alright.How many Opens have you been to?Itís my second Open, Iíve been to one three years ago.Have you been training?I just got in a few days early and tried to ski a bit, but it didnít quite work out. So Iíve only skied two days so far.What are the winning tricks on the course today?Itís hard to sayÖ if you can do some unnaty and a switch 10 youíll do okay, if you solve it on the rails. Everybodyís having some problems, soÖ itís basically stick your shit, and itís all good.Shoutouts?For all the peeps in Europe: I hope we get snow soon. We need some snow at home. Will ReedCaliforniaAge: 19Sponsors: Smith Optics, JibijThis your first time here?Yeah, itís my first time at the US.Feeling a bit nervous?Yeah. I had a first run, and itís kind of hard to milk speed for the first jump. I did a switch rodeo like straight into the knuckle! But Iím having a good time, you know, so whatever.How are you feeling about the competition?UhÖ I wish I was doing better! No, but itís funóI like the whole setup, and Iím dropping in between Tanner Rainville and Mike Wilson, which is a little intimidating, but itís pretty cool.Whatís going to win this comp?God, I couldnít even begin to guess. I heard some of the kids who are prequalified talking three 9s, finishing with a switch 1260, so thatíd be pretty nuts, and theyíre going to spin all four ways throughout that. But I donít know whatíll really be the winning trick, thereíll be lots of stuff. Iím sure kangaroo flips will pop up and everything else.Who are your slopestyle picks?Well, I thought Jon Olsson got robbed last year, and I think heís got a pretty good shot, at least podium. Sammy Carlsonís amazing, Dumontís good, Vanularís got to be a shoo-in, so Iíd go Vanular, Jon Olsson, and then Sammy Carlson or Simon Dumont.What are you most stoked about being here?Having the most amazing talent from all over the world in one place at one time, itís pretty cool. It doesnít happen that often and for comps like this, it really gets you psyched up.Shoutouts?My family, and Iím stoked to be riding for Smith and Jibij.
Tobi TritscherAustriaAge: 16Sponsors: Atomic, Adidas, Helly Hansen, Blue TomatoYouíre from Austria!Yeah! Weíre here for three weeks filming and the US Open.Who are you filming with?Weíre filming with our own crew, itís called Headbutt. Last year we also did a film, and this year again.Whenís your heat?My heat is tomorrow, on Friday, the fifth heat. Itís not pretty easy, there are a lot of good riders there. It will be difficult, so weíll see.What do you think of the comp so far?Itís amazing! The level is so high. The guys are pretty sick, theyíre riding good.Is this your first Open?No, I did last yearís Open in Vail. At Vail the kickers were bigger, but they didnít have the good rails.Shoutouts für die Homies in Europa?Ja, ich hoffe an Schnee zu Hause, und höffentlich wenn ich zu Hause komme, gibtís Schnee!Corey Vanular InterviewWhatís up Corey?Whatís up manÖ just chilling.How long have you been in town?Iíve been in town for a couple days now. Skied Breck two days ago doing some training. Now Iím just sitting around here at the Open, just getting ready to ski tomorrow.Have you been training pretty hard?You know, Iíve been skiing a lot of pow in Whistler this year, and the first day I was in the park was two days ago at Breck. Iím feeling good regardless, I hope I still have everything. Iím just going to practice tomorrow, try to get everything down. I want to bust out one of these gap to rails, but theyíre pretty burly, so I doní t know. Iíll test it out tomorrow and see what happens.Howís the competition looking?The competitionís at another level. Everybodyís got really tech tricks, especially in pipe. The pipeís just going off, people are crazy Ė Peter Olenick doing double flips Ė and Iíve heard some other people have double flips too. A lot of switch advancements in the pipeópeople are going huge switch. Matt Philippi was doing cab 7s like 15 feet out the other day in Idaho. Itís a new level, for sure.How are the trees in Copper?Well, I havenít been in them too much, but Colorado trees are always nice for sure.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
US Open update: January 17The 2007 US Open is upon
us! NS is here in full force and we'll be updating the site as frequently as
possible with all the latest and greatest. Wednesday saw the first day of official
competition with Slopestyle Qualifying Heats 1 & 2 under sunny skies and
cool temps. Continually shifting winds were an issue throughout the day, causing
headaches for riders trying to deal with speed issues on the four-jump line.
The course consists of the aforementioned jump line into a rail section with
the kind of variety that the US Open has needed for years. Check out the results
below, along with a look at the course and a follow cam of Jon courtesy of skifilm.com.
Riders moving on from Heat
1: Andrew Hathaway, Christophe Sollner, Jacob Wester, Daniel Schiessl, Michael
Clarke, Karl Fostvedt.
Heat 2: PK Hunder, Sean Logan, Luke Nutting, Matt Soundy, Justin Dorey, Brett
Weiss, Eric Strand.
preview run of Jon Olsson, courtesy of Skifilm.com
& Felix Rioux.
As mentioned, the rail section of this years course is leaps and bounds
beyond previous years. Here's a real gap to rail.
The course from the bottom.
Here's the view of the Halfpipe and Big Air venues from our balcony. The
net connection isn't stable enough to stream the competitions live, but we'll
have the complete compeititions online soon after for your viewing pleasure.