Natasza Zurek edged past Shannon Dunn-Downing and a tough pack of four other finalists at the epic U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships. The 30-minute jam let the women take as many runs as they could, with their top two scores counting to the final point total. Dunn-Downing, who’s won a whole bunch of contests already this year, took the early lead in the final, posting high scores, but Zurek kept on throwing down more tricks, including a Mactwist and a crippler, and put together a combined score to edge past Dunn-Downing for the big check.
Riding technical, with multiple spins was Barrett Christy, who slid into third place with a score of 63.4. Following her was Minna Hesso with a score of 63, Stine Brun Kjeldass who had a 62.3, and Anne Molin Kongsgaard who came in with a 60.3.
Although the crowd saw the drama between Dunn-Downing and Zurek, it was Kongsgaard who blew minds with her huge airs. She just couldn’t land the big spins at the bottom of the pipe until late in the final, but it was a little too late. Also having trouble landing the big spins was Kjeldass, who was also boosting impressively big. The Super Pipe raised the level of the women’s riding and stoked both competitors and crowd as well. “I thought the pipe was rad,” said Zurek. “When you have a good pipe like this, it’s good for the jam format.” The long jam and multiple runs also took a toll on the women finalists. “I was feeling good, said Zurek. “My secret was I was drinking my water between every run.” She felt the level was the highest she’d seen in a pipe. “All six women definitely deserved to be in the final. They all kick ass.
Fourth place finisher Hesso was also happy with the contest overall. “This is the most fun I’ve had all year in a contest,” she said.
1. Natasza Zurek 69.6
2. Shannon Dunn-Downing 64.5
3. Barrett Christy 63.4
4. Minna Hesso 63
5. Stine Brun Kjeldass 62.3
6. Anne Molin Kongsgaard 60.3