vsybsxurdtwxwurxfr

Burton Celebrates 30th US Open At Stratton

The 30th anniversary of the 2012 Burton US Open presented by MINI wrapped up last weekend at Stratton Mountain, with more than $100,000 in prizes and a pair of MINI Countryman vehicles awarded to the top competitors. Fresh snow and sunny skies brought out the crowds for the halfpipe competition on Saturday.The beauty of the Open is that it's an event anyone can win at—and it always has been. While men's halfpipe winner Shaun White was in and out, coming to the event for just over a 24-hour period and leaving after the awards ceremony in a private helicopter, there was also local rider 20-year-old Benji Farrow (from Okemo, Vermont) who grabbed third and was in the finals for the first time after competing at the Open for six years.

"To do it here in my home state, close to my home town when it turned 30 years old was a nice redemption," he said, commenting that for the last two years he had been nipping at everyone's heels.

Women's halfpipe winner Elena Hight (USA), who knocked out longtime champion Kelly Clarke's 16-competition winning streak, was in shock about her win, but attributed it to a new trick she's been working on: the alley oop backside rodeo along with back-to-back 900s.

"It's a legendary event and to win at the 30th is amazing—I'm beyond happy," said Hight, who first came to the Open when she was 13.

The weeklong competition was much more than just Saturday's halfpipe action. The Washed Up Cup kicked off weekend festivities on Friday night. Riders went old school wearing hard boots and maneuvering around gates hitting a kicker at the end. Early Burton competitors like Scott Palmer, Ian Price, and Andy Coghlan came out for the fun, along with many others including Tricia Byrnes and Ross Powers. Some riders used original gear from the era.

"That was about as close as you get to the early days," said Todd Kohlman, Burton's archivist. "Everyone was hooting and hollering and just cheering people on—it was a cool feeling to be a part of that," he continued, adding that in the initial days of racing downhill, the equipment was in such an early development state that it was a challenge just to make it down the hill.

The Open has come a long way from its start in 1982 at Suicide Six, a small mountain in central Vermont, where a bunch of riders held a downhill race and called it the first National Snowboarding Championships. From there it went to Snow Valley.

"When Snow Valley—this little place we rode at down the road here—went out of business, Stratton was cool enough to let us ride here and have the event here so the Open was back on," said Jake Burton, when asked about one of the Open's biggest challenges over the last 30 years. "For a while there, we had no place to do it. It was an emergency crisis situation but it worked out—Stratton rescued us."

At that point, in 1985, it officially became the US Open Snowboarding Championships and grew every year to the multi-title event it is today, sparking the Olympics, Winter X Games and other events along the way, while inspiring athletes to do things never seen before.

One of the most memorable moments for Jake, who started it all, was "when Terje Haakonsen went off. Snowboarding at the time was going in the direction of getting very technical and to win events you had to do technical tricks. And he did technical tricks but did them twice as big as anyone had ever done them and it was such an eye-opening experience that brought amplitude back into the event and it's been there ever since including Shaun today," he said.

Jake also reflected on a pivotal time for snowboarding as a sport looking back on the last 30 years. "The whole process of getting on resorts and dealing with what was perceived as behavioral issues, which is hard to rationalize as young people got back on the hill and all the baggage that comes along with it which we all love and should be on mountains," he said. "Riding that all out through some tense moments, but the sport is what got us through because it's so solid and great nobody could stop it," he added.

It wasn't long after those tense moments that snowboarding hit the big time making its Olympic debut in Nagano, Japan, in 1998. After the Salt Lake Games in 2002, 30,000 spectators showed up at Stratton to watch stars compete at the Open and in 2003, the Open was broadcast live on TV and has been ever since.

Through the 2000s, the sponsor village grew and many come to Stratton to just hang out in the village, occasionally glancing at the big screen nearby to keep an eye on the action.

This year's village had several new sponsors, including 3M, makers of Thinsulate insulation, which recently signed a multi-year agreement with Burton. "This is a different demographic and a great one for us. The kids are excited—they're growing up with this," said Joe Otte, 3M global business manager.

Burton also had a retail store, modeled after the Stone Hut at the top of Stowe. "We thought this would be a great opportunity to present our spring/summer line to people here so they can see the different things Burton has like rainwear, packs and hoodies," said Eric Bergstrom, Burton's director of retail operations, who added that Burton's growing its year-round business.

The usual shenanigans provided great entertainment for those who watched volunteers compete in a multi-step challenge in which they had to strip down to their boxers, run up a snow-covered hill, and find a "babe" to bring back to the MC. All this to get some schwag.

Other kids competed in hula-hoop contests or amused themselves going over mini-jumps and a mini rail jam. The gear toss had kids and adults jumping over each other to grab shirts, packs, and other booty.

Seeing the stars, getting some sun, and going home with stickers and a free hat made it all worthwhile for spectators as well as the Open winners.

A Look Back at 30 Years of US Open Snowboarding

1982: The National Snowboarding Championships started at Suicide Six, a small mountain in central Vermont.
1983: The event moved to Snow Valley, near Stratton, Vermont, where competitors hiked up to ride.
1985: The contest officially became the US Open Snowboarding Championships and moved to Stratton.
1988: The halfpipe made its debut.
1991: Many competitors threw inverts for the first time and the crowd size and competitor field doubled from the previous year.
1995: Big Air made its debut.
1998: Snowboarding made its Olympic debut at '98 Games in Nagano, Japan. Nicola Thost followed up an Olympic Gold with a halfpipe win. Mike Michalchuk threw down an unthinkable double backflip and boardercross (also called Citizens' Slingshot) became an event.
2000: A 300-foot monster Superpipe with 15-foot walls became part of the Open.
2002: Over 30,000 attend the US Open and Kelly Clark kept her Olympic Gold streak alive, winning both the quarterpipe and halfpipe. TTR Tour debuts.
2003: First time US Open is aired on live TV. Travis Rice won the US Open's first rail jam and Shaun White won slopestyle.
2004: Terje made a surprise appearance treating halfpipe fans to one poached run after another.
2005: Danny Kass became first rider to win four US Open halfpipe titles.
2006: After winning gold at the Olympics, Shaun White won both the halfpipe and slopestyle, officially breaking all known snowboarding records with 12 consecutive wins in one season.
2007: Shaun White and Torah Bright won first-ever Burton Global Open Series' titles and take home $100,000 each.
2008: Riders battled it out for a total purse prize of $471,500.
2011: Kazuhiro Kokubo won his second consecutive halfpipe title and dedicated it to tsunami-ravaged Japan. Kelly Clark won fifth US Open halfpipe title and first Burton Global Open Series Championship.

Follow the jump for a stroll down the Burton US Open memory lane:

 1988_JeffBrushie_TrevorGraves.jpg
01_NataszaZurek_Curtes_USO.jpg
03_RossPowers_Curtes_USO.jpg
06_ShaunWhite_Curtes_USO.jpg
1982_Unknown_USO.jpg
1986_ToddVanBelkum_USO.jpg
1988_AndyCoghlan.jpg
1988_BertLamar_USOpen_Graves.jpg
1988_Unknown_USOpen_Graves.jpg
1988_Unknown_USOpen_Graves_2.jpg
1989_ChrisRoach_USOpen_Graves.jpg
1989_CraigKelly_USOpen_Graves.jpg
1989_NoahBrandon_USOpen_G.jpg
1990_TinaB_USOpenGraves.jpg
1991_CraigKelly_USOpen.jpg
1994_AleksiVanninen_Curtes_USOpen.jpg
1994_JasonEvans_Usopen_GaryLand.jpg
1995_JohnSommers_Curtes.jpg
1995_Terje_GaryLand.jpg
1997_RossPowers_JonFoster.jpg
1998_TrevorAndrew_Curtes_U.jpg
2000_StrattonPipe_GaryLand_USO.jpg
2001_Trza_US_Open_Curtes.jpg
2002_KeirDillon_Blotto_USO.jpg
2003_RossPowers_cb_USO.jpg
2004_KD_Curtes_USO.jpg
2004_Luke_Mitrani_Barash_U.jpg
2004_RP_Curtes_USO copy.jpg
2004_RP_Curtes_USO.jpg
2005_USO16_LukeMitrani_dbg.jpg
2008_KevinPearce_USO_Levinson_004.jpg
82_PaulSundman_USO.jpg
82_Unknown_USO.jpg
83_AndyCoghlan_USO.jpg
83_Chris_Karol_US_Open.jpg
83_Hiking_USOpen.jpg
83_JakeAndTom_USOpen_USO.jpg
83_Jake_US_Open.jpg
83_PaulSundman_HubertSchriebl_USO.jpg
83_Tom_Sims_US_Open.jpg
84_AndyCoghlan_HubertSchriebl_USO.jpg
84_Jake_USO.jpg
85_Group_HubertSchriebl_USO.jpg
85_JG_TrevorGraves_2_USO.jpg
85_Jake_USO.jpg
86_AndyCoghlan_HubertSchriebl_USO.jpg
86_ShaunPalmer_TrevorGraves_USO.jpg
86_Terry_Kidwell_HubertSchriebl_USO.jpg
86_ToddVanBelkum_USO.jpg
87_BurtonTeam_Stratton_HubertSchriebl_USO.jpg
87_CraigKelly_TrevorGraves_USO.jpg
92_JeffBrushie_TrevorGraves_USO.jpg
92_TerjeHaakonsen_TrevorGraves_USO.jpg
92_TriciaByrnes_NicoleAngelrath_TinaBasich_Graves_USO.jpg
93_AshildLoftus_TrevorGraves_USO.jpg
93_JeffBrushie_Fosbrook_USO.jpg
93_NicoleAngelrath_AaronWarkov_USO.jpg
93_TerjeHaakonsen_TrevorGraves_USO.jpg
93_Terje_Graves_2_USO.jpg
93_Terje_Graves_USO.jpg
the crowd at the 1994 U.S. Open
94_Podium_TrevorGraves_USO_2.jpg
95_DanielFrank_GaryLand_USO.jpg
96_Brushie_GaryLand_USO.jpg
96_ChrisCopley_USO_GaryLand.jpg
96_ChrisCopley_USO_GaryLand2.jpg
96_Crowd_2_GaryLand.jpg
96_Crowd_3_GLand.jpg
96_Crowd_GaryLand.jpg
96_Crowd_ShemRoose_USO.jpg
96_Crowd_USO.jpg
Daniel Franck shot during the 1997 US Open at Stratton Mountain
96_ShaunWhite_Curtes__USO.jpg
96_ShaunWhite_KariWhite_GaryLand.jpg
Jamil Kahn laying in the bottom of the pipe after falling during his second run. 1997 U.S. Open
97_Terje_Curtes_USO.jpg
Todd Richards the 1997 U.S. Open Halfpipe Champion standing at the bottom of the pipe after taking his final run.
98_BarretChristy_USO.jpg
98_Mike_Michalchuck_USO.jpg
98_Nicola_Thost_Curtes_USO.jpg
98_ToddRichards_Curtes_USO.jpg
98_Tricia_Byrnes_USOPEN_GARY_LAND.jpg
99_RossPowers_Curtes_USO.jpg
99_XavierHoffman_Curtes_US_Open.jpg
B04001444_cl_jc.jpg
B04001501_sw_jc.jpg
B04001503_sw_jc.jpg
B04001504_enviro_cb.jpg
B04001505_enviro_cb.jpg
B04001507_enviro_cb.jpg
B04001514_enviro_cb.jpg
B608976.jpg
CraigKelly_1991_USO_TrevorGraves_1.jpg
CraigKelly_1991_USOpen.jpg
DannyKass.jpg
Group_1990_USO_Graves_2.jpg
HP_USOpen_Curtes_0625.jpg
Iouri Podlatchikov-1538.jpg
Jamie Anderson_1221.jpg
JannaMeyen_1991_USO_1.jpg
JasonFord_1991_USO_HubertSchriebl_1.jpg
JeffBrushie_1991_USO_1.jpg
JeffBrushie_MikeJacoby_1989_USO_HubertSchriebl_1.jpg
KV8S6361.jpg
Kjersti Ostgaard Buass-1779.jpg
Kjersti_Action.jpg
Kjersti_USO_Levinson_002.jpg
P.3.jpg
ShaunPalmer_1991_USO_TrevorGraves_1.jpg
USO10_Graves.jpg
USO14.jpg
USO2009_SlopeFinals_PeetuPiiroinen.jpg
USO31_Autti_Moran.jpg
USOpenHist7.jpg
US_Open116.jpg
usopen32.jpg