Natasza Zurek Wins Vans Championship Pipe

Click here for a Quicktime clip of the Women’s halfpipe finals.

In a battle between big air and more technical spins, Natasza Zurek put together back-to-back inverted tricks to win the Vans Championships held at Snow Summit, California. The contest is the second leg of the Vans Triple Crown of Snowboarding. While the weather wasn’t as nice as the snowboard cross the day before, the cooler, slightly overcast skies kept the purple superpipe in great shape and enabled the women go off.

In a tough final that consisted of six women who on any given day could have won the contest, Zurek just needed to stick one of her three tries in the best-of-three runs format to win.

After the contest, she hurried off to the big air to try to qualify for that as well. In fact, she took her run and then rode straight to the awards ceremony to get her pipe trophy. “For my next trick I’m going to go off the big air spinning a nice frontside three and trying to catch my trophy when they throw it to me,” she said after the awards ceremony.

But she was super stoked on her win, coming off a second at the X Games. “The pipe was really really good here.”

For the win, she put together a frontside Mctwist to crippler to backside 540. “I wanted to do my best run to win and that’s pretty much my best run.”

Second-place finisher Stine Brun Kjeldas already had a vacation planned after this contest and to break up the season. “I’m going to Mardi Gras next week with my boyfriend,” she said, and was stoked to have some extra cash for the trip.

Kim Stacey, who ended up in third, was busting huge airs instead of going for the big spins because of an injury to her knee. “When I’m not broken, I’ll spin and flip. But I tore my meniscus and cartilage and I have a huge cyst on the back of my knee.” You wouldn’t have known from the way she was riding and the other women are going to have to watch out when she’s fully recovered.

Women’s Pipe Results
1. Natasza Zurek
2. Stine Brun Kjeldaas
3. Kim Stacey
4. Barrett Christy
5. Fabienne Reuteler
6. Michele Taggart

Click here for a Quicktime clip of the Women’s halfpipe finals.