Just think of the boat load of cash that trick has brought him. As Jones said before the contest began, “I’m not having fun unless I’m spinning 9 and going 90 feet.”
Kevin Sansalone pulled a switch rodeo 720 for second and Stephan pulled a backside 720 with an Indy grab to pull third.
The jump was a big launcher designed and built by Todd Profit. Originally it had a 60 foot gap, but during the days before the contest they brought it down to the 40 foot mark. The run in was lined with lights and looked pretty cool after they got them all adjusted. “They put lights alongside the of the approach and it looks just like a runway,” said Gravity Games Sport Director Penny Davidson. “It looks really good.”
Thanks to the recent snowfall at Mammoth and work by the cat drivers the landing had surprisingly good snow. It was not too icy and yet it was packed enough to support most landings.
Ater the first run it was Kevin Jones with 41.3 points, Kevin Sansalone with 40.3, and Kurt Wastell with 39.0. Those scores stayed until Stephan Gimpl knocked Kurt out of the top three in the final run.
Some of the biggest airs of the night came from Ben Hinkley who tried twice to land his double back flips and had to resort to a huge Rippey flip on his third jump. At least I think it was his third, with all the snowboarders flying through the air it was easy to lose track.
Peter Line missed the finals and was an alternate but that didn’t stop him for laying it down during practice. He, Travis Parker, and Ben Hinkley were pushing Jones by busting out 1080 and nearly stomping the landings. By the looks of Peter Line’s runs his 1080s will be tightened up in there very shortly and I wouldn’t be surprised if he busts one out at the X Games to try and end the Kevin Jones frontside 900 dynasty.
On the women’s side Kim Bonsack walked away with $10,000 for a backside 180. Janet Matthews pulled in $6500 for the backflip and Barrett Christy recieved a cool $3500. Not back for a night’s work, huh?
As far as prize money goes Janet Matthews’ Iguana backflip (ala Damian Sanders circa 1989) is probably pushing a close second to KJ’s 900. If, however, Leslee Olson can learn to land her rodeo 720 without rocketing off into the fencing (as she did on all three attempts and at last year’s US Open) then she could easily start taking some of that money away from Janet.
1. Kevin Jones
2. Kevin Sansalone
3. Stephan Gimpl
4. Kurt Wastell
5. Nick Drago
6. Michi Albin
7. Travis Parker
8. Ben Hinkley
9. Tom Flacco
1. Kim Bonsack
2. Janet Mathews
3. Barrett Christy
4. Leslee Olson