You don’t have to be a halfpipe or slopestyle athlete to appreciate the competition throwing down at Snowbasin Resort in Utah this weekend. In fact, Saturday’s ski halfpipe finals for the 2012 Dew Tour drew huge crowds from skater teens to families.
The annual event debuted in 2008 as the first-ever winter action sports tour with a stop in Utah. Like the X-Games, the Tour crowns champions in six disciplines (Men/Women Snowboard Superpipe, Men/Women Snowboard Slopestyle, Men/Women Freeski Superpipe and Freeski Slopestyle). Over $2.5 million and the Dew Cup are at stake for the overall winners. For spectators, there’s a Festival Village with video gaming, giveaways, product demos and athlete autograph signings.
stomped the afternoon’s snowboard superpipe finals and earned his second Dew Cup in a row with a double crippler, followed by a double Michalchuk, front double 1080, cab double 1080, and frontside 1080, ending with a cab 720. Snowbasin’s pipe is the world’s longest ever built for competition.
The ski girls stalked the pipe at dusk after the lifts closed. Devin Logan won the Cup and the Finals with a Japan grab, to 5 tail grab, flair, mute grab, alley oop critical, 7 mute, to finish with a switch alley oop 5.
“I had slope this morning, so I was a bit tired,” Logan said. “But I got some energy, found some deep down and ended up doing it, so I’m thrilled.” Canadian freeskier Rosalind Groenewoud took second, with favorite Maddie Bowman finishing third.
As the sun went down, the action heated up. The top men in the world hit it big under the lights. David Wise won the Freeski Pipe Finals but it was Kevin Rolland who walked with his second consecutive Dew Cup. Sixteen-year-old phenom Torin Yater-Wallace was third. Wise pushed full throttle on the second run with his first-ever 14 in addition to the switch double 1080, and alley oop flatspin 5 tail to end with a double cork 12. “My first run was good, so I kind of felt like I had to add a little bit of something to it,” Wise said. “The 14 was the first thing that came to mind, so dropping in I was like, ‘OK, I’ll go for that 14 at the end.” He didn’t stick the 14 but it was enough to keep him in the winner’s spot.
Rolland, in 11th place after the first run, pulled it together with a switch into a 900, to switch 720, back-to-back double flips to finish with a double cork 1260.
Yater-Wallace lost a ski when he landed his last trick of an outstanding first run that included a double cork 12 mute into an alley oop flat 5 and a double flair. He skied it out on one ski while the crowd cheered. Boos followed when the judges deducted for the equipment gaff. His second run with a double cork 12, alley oop double, double cork 9, left 10, into a switch 9 edged out Simon Dumont for a 3rd place finish.
The Sunday action starts on the slopestyle course with the women’s and men’s snowboard and ski finals before moving back to the superpipe for the Gatorade Free Flow (junior) Tour.
Dew Tour organizers say it was Snowbasin’s handling of the 2002 Olympic Downhill that attracted them to the resort. In honor of the 10th anniversary of the Winter Games, Snowbasin will offer $20.02 lift tickets to everyone who shows up wearing their Olympic volunteer jackets or credentials on February 16th