Vans Cup at Tahoe SuperPipe

Little practice, different format, and no Shaun. Does that mean the contest sucked? Hell no, it was one of the finest contests ever, ” and we’ve been riding powder for days—Danny Kass. But just because everyone was riding the powder train doesn’t mean the pipe action was weak.

It snowed for days before the event and big weather was in the forecast for Sunday. The contest organizers decided to run the contest earlier in the day than planned to beat the weather, cutting practice time way down. The contest format was also changed up for the pipe event. Instead of having two or three organized runs, this event was run as a jam format—a free session for a fixed amount of time.

The women actually had a little less energy than usual. I think it was the early start, perhaps the wind or perhaps it was the minimal practice time, who knows. Kjersti Oestgarrd Buass was doing the biggest airs, she kind of filled in for Kelly Clark (Kelly was not in the competition) for the highest air award. Tricia Byrnes has been stepping it up in the air department. Elena Hight is so good, I wanted to see her on the Olympic team but today she did not seem herself and got 4th. Molly Aguirre was riding extremely well and even pulled her first 900 in the contest. Gretchen was her usual self, which was to say she was on fire with her cripplers and back to back sevens. Gretchen got silver in Torino and got a second at Northstar. Torah was ahead of the pack though. She not only got all the hard tricks in her run, including a 9 but she also kept her height and style down the pipe. The women still ripped, just a little below what I have seen them do is all.

It was clear from the start that Antti Autti was out for blood. The first thing I remember in practice was a giant, twisting, inverted, well grabbed 1080 flinging overhead and another one on the opposite wall immediately following, a sign of things to come. It was super windy and people seemed to keep landing on the deck. In fact, Mason Aguirre landed on the deck, coming from about 10 feet out onto his head and back. It was so scary, everyone feared the worst. He knocked himself out for a while. When he came to, he was spitting blood. Turns out he was fine and even went to the awards. Mason probably was going to win before the fall occurred. Even not finishing the jam, he got fifth overall. According Giacomo Kratter, the wind was not a problem and he was launching into orbit so he would be a good judge. He did the biggest back to back ten, ten, nine combo ever, it was insane. Giacomo is great, he would be the first to steal your girl and he would be the first help you out or show you best of his hometown. Kazuirho Kokubo was big and solid all day. Louie Vito, what can you say? That kid had a smile on his face the whole time. One of his runs had three tens and two nines. Well if you read this far you probably figured out that Antti was the winner and rightfully so.

So another Tahoe Cup is over. If you did not go, you missed the good times, from the sick riding to the pow to going to Starbucks and seeing every pro sipping coffee. This year’s event was truly international; four continents were represented in the top 6 podium spots. Europe, Asia, North America and Australia. Check out next year or look for coverage on Fuel and Fox Sports net.

Vans Cup at Tahoe Superpipe Results

Men’s Pipe

1. Antti Autti $20,000
2. Louie Vito $12,000
3. Kazuirho Kokubo $7,000

4. Giacomo Kratter $3,500
5. Mason Aguirre $2,000
6. Markku Koski $1,200
7. Danny Kass $800
8. Elijah Teter $700
9. Tommy Czeschin $600
10. Jack Mitrani $500
11. Xaver Hoffman $300
12. Michael Goldschmidt $250
13. Iouri Podlatchikov $250
14. Chaz Guldemond $250
15. Matt Lindenmuth $250

Women’s Pipe

1. Torah Bright $17,000
2. Gretchen Bleiler $8,500
3. Molly Aguire $3,000

4. Elena Hight $1,500
5. Tricia Byrnes $1,000
6. Soko Yamaoka $700
7. Mannuela Pesko $300
8. Kjersti Oestgaard Buass $300
9. Mercedes Nicoll $300
10. Dominique Valee $300