Sunday saw the mass exodus of New Jersey dudes from Vermont, a break in the cloud cover, and the first annual U.S. Open Slopestyle event. It was a humdinger. A few years back event organizers decided to scrap the racing elelment at the Open, good call. A few years after that they did the same with Boardercross, another good call. Neither of these events could draw a crowd, and even if they did, well that never happened. To keep pace with the direction of the sport, organizers have introduced slopestyle to compliment the halfpipe, quarterpipe, freestyle frenzy. And everyone is stoked on the event.

First proof of that–there was a decent crowd for the slopestyle, and they made noise! There was of course a long run of qualifiers to make the final, but when it was all settled Sunday saw a twenty-man and ten-woman final, and some heavy action.

The course was well laid out, and the riders attacked: a tall rail at the top, then a box, hipped mailbox thingy, two straight jumps, then side-by-side tables that had a gap between them. After that, a straight rail, S rail, and the coolest obstacle–a quarterpipe to plywood vert splatwall. It was ill.

The women’s final was quite a show. Hana Beaman was looking a bit off her game, but still ripped it, barely missing a podium spot. Jaime MacLeod, who rode well in pipe, quarterpipe, and slopestyle, took third. She nailed a couple backside three mutes, slightly off axis, that had her higher on my score card. Hanna Teter another rider who rode in all disciplines edged out MacLeod with consistency. The winner was Annie Boulanger, but not a single thing she did sticks out in my mind.

In the men’s division, it was fast and furious. Out of nowhere, this kid Ryan Paris from New Hampshire, whose name you may recall from the last Vans Triple Crown Slopestyle, kicked total ass. He ended up in third place, using spin combos on the straight jumps and smooth rail tactics to rack up points. Paris is on a roll for sure. Second place went to Travis Rice, who lofted all day, and eventually took home the prize Volkswagen Style Counsel car for his efforts competing and ripping in all three events over the weekend. Rice threw a backside five over the table gap, and wreaked havoc on the splatwall.

All the riders in the contest definitely put on a show, but it was Vermont’s own Rahm Klampert who owned this contest from the outset. He carried serious speed all through the course, hammered the rails, the vert wall, and his combos on the jumps drew screams from the crowd. In his last two runs, he nailed a line like this: backside seven, frontside seven, 180 over the speed hump to Cab nine. Stomped, hauling ass and holding the grab. Rahm dominated and for his hard work, went home with the most money, and a place in snowboard history, as the victor of the First Annual U.S. Open slopestyle.

1 Rahm KLAMPERT USA
2 Travis RICE USA
3 Ryan PARIS USA
4 Chris ENGLESMAN USA
5 James BEACH CAN
6 Doran LAYBOURN USA
7 Zach LEACH USA
8 Jeff ANDERSON USA
9 Brian REGIS USA
10 Alexander SOROKEN USA
11 Dylan BUTT NZE
12 Travis ROBISON USA
13 Chelone MILLER USA
14 Colin LANGLOIS USA
15 J.P SOLBERG NOR
16 Brent MEYER USA
17 Bryan IGUCHI USA
18 Yan DAUPHINAIS
19 Gigi RUEF AUT
20 Jeff KRAMER USA

1 Annie BOULANGER CAN
2 Hannah TETER USA
3 Jaime MACLEOD USA
4 Hana BEAMAN USA
5 Tara ZWINK USA
6 Emily THOMAS AUS
7 Ali BERNSEN USA
8 Marisa FUNICIELLO USA
9 Rebekka READ USA