Video by Pat Fenelon


The weather conditions today during the slopestyle contest at the 29th Burton U.S. Open weren’t ideal—the ten men and six women who came to compete today were in for a challenge. On the lift ride up through the thick fog, the woods were alive with the sounds of cracking limbs snapping under the weight of melting ice. Fog was drifting up and down the course and rain was soaking layers not covered by plastic poncho. It was so East Coast.

The women got the worst of it during the morning finals with visibility being the biggest problem—it was all about goggle management. Finnish rider Enni Rukajärvi has been having a great season, she picked up Burton as a sponsor, and then got to work winning gold at the 2011 X Games slopestyle (her first time competing at X by the way). Today, she was able to overcome the challenging conditions to take the slopestyle win, she says, “I just tried to concentrate on my tricks—I knew I could do them. I didn’t even try to see my landing, I just trusted that I’d land.” She won it on her second run linking up a frontside 3, a backside 5 Indy, and a Cab 5 mute.

Jamie Anderson took second in a run that included a huge switch back 5 on the first jump, she says,” I was stoked on my switch back five; I didn’t do it until my run. I went huge and I stomped it-I was pumped.” Seventeen-year-old Norwegian newcomer Silje Norendal landed in third.

In the men’s comp, it was a battle between Eric Willett and Mark McMorris for first. In the end Eric’s second run sealed the deal leaving him with a victory run on his last lap. This is the best finish ever for Willett in a 6 star TTR event. He combo’d up a frontside 270 boardslide, to a back tail 450 out, Cab underflip 900, tailslide 270 out, front 9 tailgrab, and a switch backside double cork 1080 mute. The double cork was enormous and stomped clean. “Internet sensation” Mark McMorris rode strong and consistent, landing a Cab underflip 900 to a backside double cork 1080 on the last jump.  He didn’t pull out his 1440—he says that he expects to try it maybe at the European X Games next week or at a shoot this Spring. Chas was stoked with his finish, as always he rode with intensity, his Cab double cork 1260 was enough to knock Canadian Jason Dubois off the podium, and brought a round of applause from his fellow riders.

Tomorrow is another big day of competition with the pipe finals. Kelly Clark and Iouri “I-Pod” Podlatchikov are leading the way. Let’s hope the weather cooperates.


Women’s Slopestyle Podium

1. Enni Rukajärvi, 86.5

2. Jamie Anderson, 84.8

3. Silje Norendal, 78.7

4. Kjersti Buass, 74.5

5. Spencer O’Brien, 58.5

6. Jordi Karlinski, 49.6

Men’s Slopestyle Podium

1. Eric Willett, 90.4

2. Mark McMorris, 87.8

3. Chas Guldemond, 87.2

4. Jason Dubois, 84.2

5. Jeremy Thompson, 76.8

6. Emil Ulsletten, 73.1

7. Ulrik Badertscher, 66.4

8. Sondre Tiller, 61.9

9. Janne Korpi, 50.3