By George Crosland

Southern California is the kind of place where you never know whom you might see. Still, it was surprising to see some of the best rippers in the world show up to Mountain Highs Pro/Am Triple Jump competition. I thought all the heavies would be freezing their butts off at the Grand Prix in CO, so it was really cool to see the talent that showed up for this rootsy comp in sunny So Cal. Then again, first prize was $6000, a quad, and a trip to Turtle Bay resort in Hawaii, enough to get anyone up for a day of shredding.

The three jumps were pretty mellow, about 40 feet from lip to landing. These were jumps that many ?normal? riders could make, not the 80 feet and up monster jumps that are common in pro comps today. The riding was far from normal, more like insane. The landing on the first jump was a little short but the snow was soft so whatevs. Fun was the call for the day. None of the competitors were hurt too badly, and spectators could watch between shredding their own lines.

While waiting for the results, participants were treated to free Wahoo?s tacos, Beer and Bacardi. The free alcohol was a change of pace; most events discourage alcohol, let alone provide it for free. A band was playing, and everyone was digging the scene. According to the winner, Shaun White, ?The jumps were kind of scary, but fun? ?Sick for Mountain High, they definitely pulled it off?.

Two different generations were competing. The youngest pro was Eric Jackson (15) and the oldest pro was Shane Smart (31). The pros went first, then the ams got to take their runs. The pros and ams were scored separately. To take the overall win, a rider had to land all three jumps, so consistency was the key. There was also a category for the single-best trick. Each rider only got two runs to try to hit their best maneuvers. There were some 1080?s going down, but for the most part, solid three jump combos took the top spots. The crowd was yelling for the local riders from the sidelines. It was great because the crowd was hyped to be so close to the action. At many of the larger events, the crowd is pretty far from what?s going on.

Local ripper and Mt. High park shaper Shane Smart pulled a double front flip to 900 combo, which earned him third. Shane also got a $6000 Rolex watch because the double flip scored him the best single trick. Blaise Rosenthal took a solid second. Shaun White rode strong (what else is new?) and won what I think was his first event in the US this season. His first run was a 180-900-540 combo and his second run was 7-5-switch 7 combo. Amateurs went after the pros and there was some talent in that class as well. Nicholas Sibyan, in the am class was only 10 years old! Some of these guys will be ruling Generation Z. Last year was a big year for competition with the Olympics and all. This year the contest scene seems a little more chill. Maybe that?s why the Triple Air comp was a good time; everyone was just there to ride and have fun.

1. Shaun White $6000, Kawasaki Quad, Trip to Hawaii
2. Blaise Rosenthal $3000
3. Shane Smart $1500
4. J.P. Tomich $750
5. Roger Yu $575
6. Sean Tedore $450
7. Danny Williams $375
8. Peter Benchetler $350
9. Nate Sheehan $325
10. Claton Shoemaker $300
11. Chris Wychoff $275
12. Jake Beechler $250
13. Matt Hammer $225
14. Rahm Klampert $200
15. Todd Pearson
16. John Jackson

Best Trick
Shane Smart $6000 Rolex watch for Double Front Flip, I think

1. Nathan Cromar
2. Chad Tarbell
3. Cody Clemmons
4. Kyle Lopicollo
5. Brent Beeson
6. Chadd Huff