Tuesday's WSI Superpipe Finals: Stepping Up & Throwing Down
The TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival Superpipe Finals and Superhit took place on Blackcomb Mountain yesterday in the first 22-foot Superpipe the festival has ever seen. The ski industry was stoked when word got out a few months ago that the competition pipe would be Olympic sized, and after the qualifying runs on Monday with the sun out and hot temperatures, word of possible fog for yesterday’s event spread quickly.
Despite overcast skies, the weather held up and the notorious Blackcomb fog patch that has plagued the pipe event in years past stayed away leaving it for the athletes to take over the sky.
If you want the best experience of a halfpipe event, the best place to hang out and watch is at the bottom of the pipe in the finish coral. You can see the entire pipe from here and with the hang time these athletes get you can see every trick the whole way down.
The benefits of being in this location for an event of this magnitude, aside from the cold Kokanee, fresh sandwiches, delicious mini chocolate chip cookies and way more Monster energy drink then is recommended in a day, is bumping elbows with the sea of industry folks that roll through town for the festival. Here you’ll find athletes, media, team managers, coaches and industry friends, chilling and making plans for the night’s party between runs, while watching as their minds are blown by the action above.
These events are like a giant family reunion for the ski industry, the vibe and ampedness felt at the bottom among everyone looking on is amazing and confirms the reason so many good people gather to watch one the biggest events in skiing.
When the action died down in the pipe and the finals wrapped up, two of the ski industries biggest names, Sarah Burke and Rory Bushfield, were spreading the word of their engagement party hosted by Freeskier Magazine later that night.
All that was left afterwards was the ski out from event to the village, which was interesting with Kokanee as the beverage of choice prior.
Congrats to Sarah and Rory from all of us at the WSSF! –Ryan Proctor
Superman, Superwoman, Superpipe
The amazing addition of the Olympic-sized Superpipe to the TELUS Festival brought out the best in all the athletes involved. With Monster-fueled enthusiasm and a pure adrenaline rush, many of those competing had never ridden such a huge pipe before, and put not only their skills, but their bodies on the line as well for the sake of throwing down but not staying down.
Pulling insanely big airs and spins off the pipe carved by legendary snow-shaper Steve Petrie and his NZ snow-cutting machine ‘Global Pipe Cutter’, athletes from across the world wowed the hundreds gathered to watch it all go down.
The big names turned out for the event, with Walter Wood of Evergreen Colorado taking 1st, Joss Christensen of Park City, Utah finishing 2nd and Taylor Seaton of Copper Mountain Colorado 3rd in Men's Finals.
Jen Hudak of Salt Lake City UT, USA won 1st place for the women, Megan Gunning of Calgary AB, Canada took 2nd and Mirjam Jaeger of Zurich Switzerland was in 3rd in Women's Finals. A revolutionary day for pipe-skiers was sweetened by the home country placing, and has set the tone for inventive and remarkable tricks for years to come. –Jess Smith