Does it ever stop? “This kid is amazing,” I overheard more than one person say. I must admit that I am reminded of a time when a certainyoung Norwegian teenager busted onto the scene over ten years ago with his amazing skills.
On the second day of the halfpipe event at the Arctic Challenge the sun prevailed regardless of the threat of bad weather, and Shaun White stepped up once again. Held in the mountains in a ski town known as Hemsedal, the halfpipe event was more of a long format jam session than the kind of contest most are used to. One thing for certain, it was most definitely a super pipe; walls towered 12-15 feet. But then my ruler was in my other bag so I am guessing.
Many aspects of the Arctic Challenge separated it from your more traditional pipe event. One was a smorgasbord of Norwegian whale burgers and sodas and water at both the top and bottom of the pipe. I didn’t try the whale, but I hear it was pretty good. Another thing was the open jam style they used. The only thing I thought was missing was the true excitement of competition, but I soon dismissed that worry when the riders jammed for over two hours with consistently mind-blowing runs.
All the riders were champions on this day. All rode with smooth, stylish runs and put on a good show of raw freestyle snowboarding. To put it simply, they looked like they were having fun. Danny Kass was in true form with his back-to-back corkscrew spins and huge airs. Terje showed us why he is the master of the pipe with his damn huge airs and original runs and tricks. But even though all rode like winners, no one could compare to the raw talent of the San Diego local Shaun White. He could not be stopped. He’d ride from top to bottom of the pipe with the most consistent height and more importantly a solid bag of tricks. I think we all were thinking the same thing at times while he rode run after run after run. “Where does this kid get all that strength and energy?”
As always the three who ride the best stand on the podium. Danny third, Terje second, and Shaun first. Terje himself presented the over all title to Shaun with an open invitation back next year to defend his title. I must say, Terje and Daniel put on a fun and exciting event. I can’t think of anything that could have possibly been better. Except for I guess I should have at least tried a whale burger.
Full story videos are on the way.
1. Shaun White
2. Terje Haakonsen
3. Danny Kass