What once was the West Beach Classic and then the Sims Invitational has now become Rizpone Snowboard Invitational, the most current version of the Whistler spring snowboard blowout. The event is now part of the Telus Ski And Snowboard Festival, so Whistler Village is packed with peeps from all over the world, and snowboarding is just a small part of what goes down over the course of the week.
Even though times have obviously changed from back in the ol’ Westbeach/Whiskey days, this spring halfpipe contest still brings out a pack of Canadian creepers who you really don’t see outside Whistler too much anymore–people like Mike Michalchuk, Guy Deschenes, Dennis Bannock, and Stacey Burke. It’s like a celebration of the Canadian shred community, and for that reason it’s fucking cool.
For the same reason, it’s also cool that the Ripzone Superpipe was won by a local shred this year, Crispin Lipscomb. Now, Crispin was bib number one, so he was the first rider to drop for the 45-minute finals jam session, and the ironic thing was that he was obviously in position one for the rest of the day beyond that moment. He was doing huge airs, sevens, Crippler nines, and just generally getting wicked. Just behind him in the runnings was Jan Michaelis, a German rider who dropped back-to-back tens, the combo you may remember from Danny Kass’ winning U.S. Open run in March. Yeah that’s right. But his runs somehow didn’t quite have Crispin’s consistency and energy, so silver medal for him. Tech-tricksters Justin Lamoureux and last year’s Ripzone champ Guillaume Morisset battled it out for third with complicated equations of switch and inverted spins. Lamoureux won out on amplitude though and shoved Morisset off the podium (not literally of course).
In the women’s superpipe, there were only two girls from the U.S., and they finished in spots number one and two. Sorry Canada. Number-one-winner was Tricia Byrnes, who slayed big frontside 720s and 540s, and her signature Cab fives and switch airs. Hannah Teter came second by going huge and finishing off several truly Teter runs, meaning big and crazy and all for the crowd and fun of it. The most I saw her spin though was frontside 540 though, so not too sure where that 900 went but everyone’s entitled to take it a bit easy. Sarah Conrad and Mercedes Nicoll were also in there, Sarah with big airs and Mercedes with smooth back and frontside fives.
When the finals jams were over, they opened up the pipe to a superhit contest, a blitzkrieg of one-hitters for five grand. Abe Teter was going double head high, which for everyone else is triple head high. Little sister Hannah did some huge, corked-out frontside 540s grabbed lien all the way around. Michalchuk went for the double ‘Chuk a couple times but couldn’t quite get his landing gear down. There was also some gigantimous McTwists and other trickery, but it was pretty much unanimous that Guy Deschenes’ Cab seven into a huge boneless frontside air should win it. Guy is a French Canadian heavyweight who’s been on the down low for the past year–but he still has it man, great style, power, and skill on that guy.
1. Tricia Byrnes
2. Hannah Teter
3. Sarah Conrad
4. Mercedes Nicoll
5. Katie Tsuyuki
1. Crispin Lipsomb
2. Jan Michaelis
3. Justin Lamoureux
4. Guillaume Morisset
5. Luke Wynen