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The 31st annual Burton U.S. Open stormed through Vail, Colorado, last week after moving from the small mountain town of Stratton, Vermont, where it was held for the past three decades.
Many riders praised the move and said the contest's new courses, the numerous amenities in Vail Village, and the resort's size and snowfall made this U.S. Open the best to date. Check out our Instagram gallery of some of the highlights from the event below.
"Hands down, this is the best pipe of the year," Shaun White said after winning the superpipe contest on Saturday. White liked Vail's pipe so much that he trained in it a few weeks before the event, something he never did when the event was held in Vermont. In the photo above, White takes time to cheese it up with Jake Burton Carpenter, the founder of Burton Snowboards.
Check out an exclusive interview with Jake Burton about the Open's move to Vail at SnowboarderMag.com.
A big difference between Stratton and Vail is the weather. In Vermont, icy runs, minimal snow coverage, and a sloppy pipe were the norm. This year in Vail, a few days of heavy snowfall were followed by bluebird days. Pictured above, renowned photographer Dean "Blotto" Grey poses chest-deep in fresh powder.
Burton team rider Hannah Teter hails from Belmont, Vermont, and grew up participating in the Open as both a spectator and a competitor. Following her second place finish in superpipe finals in Vail, we asked Hannah what the worst part of the Open in Vail was. "There isn't anything negative about having the U.S. Open here in Vail. Everything has been super positive, and everyone has been so psyched to have it here, and honestly it's been the best U.S. Open ever--from the pipe to the weather. Everything. So good!" We can't argue with that.
The Burton U.S. Open is known for its amazing parties and concerts, and the evening events in Vail were simply off the charts. This year, rap artists Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed on Friday, and Brooklyn-based artist Santigold took the stage on Saturday.
On Friday more than a foot of fresh snow fell and created unsafe conditions for the women's slopestyle contest. Instead of holding the contest, Burton officials had a meeting with the riders and let the lady competitors decide whether or not they wanted to compete. A consensus was reached to use results from the semifinals, giving the ladies the chance to shred fresh powder in place of competing in the unsavory conditions. Pictured above, Burton Girls contributor Tawnya Schultz takes time away from the contest to lay down this wheelie in fresh powder.
Moving the U.S. Open to Vail made it much more accessible for riders and fans to attend. Vail has its own airport, and it's only two hours away from the Denver International Airport. Stratton, on the other hand, doesn't have an airport, and is only accessible by driving on winding country roads. Burton public relations guru Lauren Offenberg is pictured above at the Vail airport following the event. Easy in and easy out.
#OyVail Until next year.
Kelly Clark became the winningest halfpipe rider in snowboarding history by taking the halfpipe finals at the Burton U.S. Open in Vail, Colorado, on Saturday. This win marked Clark's 61st and her sixth U.S. Open title.
"Honestly, this was a big win for me today. I grew up with this event, even as a spectator long before I was a competitor. Always being around and watching this event, I always aspired to be a professional snowboarder and win the Burton U.S. Open. And now being the winningest snowboard champ is simply beyond me," said a stunned Clark after the event.
Rounding out the women's podium was Vermont native Hannah Teter and 16-year-old Arielle Gold from Steamboat, Colorado.
In the men's contest, Shaun White beat out 11 other riders, earning his fifth U.S. Open halfpipe title. Fourteen-year-old Japanese rider Ayumu Hirano placed second, and American Louie Vito took third.
"It was incredible to get my fifth U.S. Open halfpipe title in Vail, and hands down, this is the best pipe of the year," said White following the event. "I'm pretty happy to end my season with a win at the U.S. Open."
Head here for a full recap and gallery of the event from Snowboardermag.com.
Although he's only 11 years old, snowboarder Jack Coyne has been catching the attention of many top pros, including Mark McMorris and Zak Hale, while riding the public park at Vail Resorts during the Burton U.S. Open in Colorado this week. The fifth grader rises only 4 feet 11 inches, but his small stature hasn't stopped him from stomping big, technical tricks.
"I was really impressed when I saw Jack riding. He was stomping huge tricks. It was awesome to see him ride," said Hale, a Burton pro rider.
"Yeah, that kid seriously rips! " said McMorris, who just won the men's slopestyle finals.
We caught up with Jack in Vail and asked him a few questions about his snowboarding skills. Read on for our interview with this up-and-coming shredder, and view the video above to see Jack in action.
When did you start snowboarding and where?
I started snowboarding at age 3, so in 2005. I was born in Vail, Colorado, and started riding with the Ski and Snowboard Club Vail.
What is your favorite part about snowboarding?
I love just riding with my friends on a sunny day.
What is your favorite trick you like to stomp?
My favorite trick is a switch backside 540 on jumps.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years, at age 21?
I hope to be competing in World Cup competitions like The Burton U.S. and European Opens, X Games, and Olympics.
What is your favorite part about the U.S. Open?
I love watching the slopestyle competitions, because some of my favorite riders are competing.
Why is Mark McMorris your favorite rider?
He just has such a smooth style that I like, and he is putting new tricks into the sport.
What would your perfect day riding be like?
A perfect day riding for me is a bluebird sunny day in Breckenridge with my friends and perfect jumps or pipe. It also always makes it better when I stomp a new trick.
Keep your eye out for Jack--we'll bet our jobs that he'll be winning major contests in the next few years.
Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris overcame adverse weather conditions to win the slopestyle finals at the 31st annual Burton U.S. Open, which was held for the first time in Vail, Colorado, on Friday.
McMorris was the only rider out of the stacked field of 12 who was able to lay down a clean run in the blizzard-like conditions that persisted throughout the day.
"I definitely lowered my trick level today, and stuck with more consistent tricks, and did things I didn't need much speed for. Then I let loose and did a run I was really excited about. I worked through the slow speeds to make it happen," McMorris said. "The snow made the course really slow today, but I think the best part of the Burton U.S. Open in Vail is the potential this course has--it's going to be way better in the future."
The only other two riders to land a run in the finals were Norwegian rider Torstein Horgmo, who took second, and American Chas Guldemond, who earned third.
"I like bad weather. It makes things fun. When the conditions are crappy it turns from an individual thing to ... you relying on your team, your wax tech--all those factors really come into play," said Guldemond.
The women's portion of the event was canceled due to heavy snowfall that increased throughout the day. The wet flakes wreaked havoc on the tight course, which made it slow and unsafe for the women to ride.
Burton officials decided to use semifinal results from Wednesday for today's final standings. Canadian rider Spencer O'Brien took first, American Jamie Anderson grabbed second, and Brooke Voigt, a relatively unknown rider from Canada, came in third.
"We're lucky no one got hurt riding today, and I'm stoked for the outcome of the day," O'Brien said following the event. "I think they made the right call today. They want the riders to be safe, and we had a vote, and most of the girls didn't want to ride today. We didn't think it would do us or the sport justice if we were to just do a rail jam [in place of a slopestyle contest] so I really think it was the right call. I think on any given day, the results can vary, and luckily for me it was my day."
The U.S. Open continues Saturday with the men's and women's halfpipe finals, which will be held in the massive 22-foot superpipe near the base of Golden Peak at Vail Resort.
Will any rider be able to beat the seemingly unbeatable halfpipe superstar, Shaun White? Only time will tell.
Head to SnowboarderMag.com for a full gallery from the slopestyle event.
Photo courtesy of Burton Snowboards/Dean Blotto Grey
After eight grueling months of intense physical therapy following surgery for a broken femur, pro snowboarder Danny Davis has finally returned to snowboarding. His first day of riding is documented on the newest episode of Frendvision, a web series created by the Frends Crew, a group of pro snowboarders known for their snowboard skills and funny edits. Danny claims he's back on top of his snowboard game and is riding at 100 percent, but the hilarious video, filmed by pro snowboarder Jack Mitrani, shows otherwise.
Watch Danny as he cuts off other riders, fails to stomp his old tricks, complains about all the features, and falls all over the place in this entertaining edit filmed at Northstar Resort in Lake Tahoe, California.
In the video Danny says, "I'm glad I could share my first day back with everyone on Frendsvision, and I know what you're thinking, 'Hello Sochi!' I got this, no problem."
Whatever you say Danny!
We caught up with Danny in Vail, Colorado, at the Burton U.S. Open, and he said he was excited to be back on his board but admitted he's not quite ready to compete. He said he will be "ready to rumble" next season.