Photos: Nick Hamilton

Words: Hondo

Halfpipe Finals at the 2012 Burton US Open

History runs deep throughout the Burton US Open. For thirty years now riders from all over have been coming here, trying to prove themselves. Some come and receive fame and glory, while others full back into total obscurity. But one thing that’s still constant is that they show up. And today, on March 10, they definitely showed up.

Men's Podium US Open Pipe Finals. Photo: Nick Hamilton

Men's Podium US Open Pipe Finals. Photo: Nick Hamilton

The women like usual started things off. I kind of feel bad for the girl’s cause they always have to wake up so much earlier. Every event always starts with women, so if you’re a guy you’re stoked cause you can get a little bit more sleep. There were 7 girls in the women’s final, and all of them were just crushing. The pipe was solid, the weather was brisk and the action was blazing hot. Some standouts were Yuki Furihata’s chicken wing McTwist, Arielle Gold’s backside air, but the real story of the event was the upset. All season long Kelly Clark has been dominating the podium, but today things changed. Elena Hight must have done something right the night before because she was riding better than I have ever seen her. Her backside air was huge and tweaked, and she also did back to back 900’s and an ally-oop backside rodeo. It was sick.

Elena Hight 2012 US Open Champ Photo: Nick Hamilton

Elena Hight 2012 US Open Champ Photo: Nick Hamilton

The Men’s event on the other hand had no suspense. The winner was known after the 1st run. Shaun White was the 1st to drop and no one could catch up. It was a contest for 2nd place. The order from 2nd-16th changed a ton, well kind of. Instead of taking a run, defending Burton US Open champion Kazu Kokubo side-slipped the pipe because he jarred his back in practice. So he was always in last. But the rest of guys were playing musical chairs all day. Some highlights were the return of Danny Kass to the pipe. He’s still got it everyone. Ryo Aono also did the biggest 1080 I’ve ever seen. It rivaled the height of Shaun’s backside air; it was that big. Louie Vito also came really close to giving Shaun a run for his money, but in the end his 4 double cork combo just couldn’t compete with the sheer dominance that is Shaun in the pipe. At the end of the day it was Shaun with the W, Louie in 2nd, and Vermont native Benji Farrow in 3rd.

Shaun White 2012 US Open Champ. Photo Nick Hamilton

Shaun White 2012 US Open Champ. Photo Nick Hamilton

2012 US Open Women's Pipe Podium. Photo Nick Hamilton

2012 US Open Women's Pipe Podium. Photo Nick Hamilton

2012 USO WOMEN’S HALFPIPE FINALS
RANK COMPETITOR NATION
1 Elena Hight USA
2 Kelly Clark USA
3 Ellery Hollingsworth USA
4 Arielle Gold USA
5 Ursina Haller SUI
6 Yuki Furihata JPN
7 Hannah Teter USA
8 Gretchen Bleiler USA

Mens Full Results:

2012 USO MEN’S HALFPIPE FINALS
RANK COMPETITOR NATION
1 Shaun White USA
2 Louie Vito USA
3 Benji Farrow USA
4 Christian Haller SUI
5 Greg Bretz USA
6 Taku Hiraoka JPN
7 Iouri Podladtchikov SUI
8 Matt Ladley USA
9 Zack Black USA
10 Danny Kass USA
11 Danny Davis USA
12 Ryo Aono JPN
13 Janne Korpi FIN
14 Kohei Kudo JPN
15 Markus Malin FIN
16 Kazu Kokubo JPN

Shaun’s Winning Run Video

 

The “railjam” is coming up later tonight and we are going to be there bringing you coverage. The reason “railjam” is in quotes is because there’s an 80 foot jump over it. So I’m sure there weill be much more than jibbing…