Vans Triple Crown Superpipe

The first major contest of the season went down this weekend, and now—it’s on. The rest of the winter can only get better. There was a massive showing for the first stop on the Triple Crown–pros from across the map came like flies to the bulb to hang with each other, ride good snow, and maybe even qualify for the X-Games. Changing from sunny to cloudy to gale-force windy in a matter of seconds, the varying conditions Colorado is famous for threw some for a loop. But it was worth it.

For the women, the names you need to know are Buaas, Vidal, Kongsgaard, and Teter. The tricks are frontside sevens, nines, and massive air-to-fakies. Vermont up-and-comer Hannah Teter surprised everyone by showing promise of being the first woman to consistently land frontside 900s in the halfpipe. Granted, she didn’t stick any today, but she’s dangerously close to having that trick dialed.

Anne Molin Kongsgaard spiced up the pipe with some lofty straight airs, and France’s Dorian Vidal ripped it with alley-oops and perfect frontside sevens. But young Norwegian Kjersti Buaas went on a halfpipe rampage with the most explosive riding of the morning, reeling in huge frontside five tailgrabs and her signature air-to-fakies upwards of five or six feet out. After stomping a couple savage runs, Buaas over-rotated on a Crippler and took one to the teeth. She had to be carried out by ski patrol, but that didn’t stop her from deservedly winning the women’s field.

The men knocked rust off the old armor and oiled out the kinks during their finals session. We’ve seen these supsects go bigger and get crazier, but warming up is what early season competition is for, right? The younger shreds were chomping at the bit of fame and fortune with the likes of Mason Aguirre, Elijah Teter, and Steve Fisher—who all did their part to show that men’s halpipe riding is definitely changing the guard.

Local heavyweight Chad Otterstrom (who doesn’t grace the icy walls of the competition half-tube that often) gave the event a local-flavor injection with big airs and cleanly stomped inverts. Pipe-vet Rob Kingwell skyrocketed Cripplers at the very top of his runs. And Mammoth-local-before-Mammoth-was-cool Luke Wynen won it all with gigantic McTwists and 900-degree rotations. Goddamn.


1. Luke Wynen
2. Steve Fisher
3. Rob Kingwell
4. Chad Otterstrom
5. Mason Aguirre
6. Elijah Teter
7. J.J. Thomas
8. Kyle Clancy
9. Jon Mammele


1. Kjersti Buaas
2. Dorian Vidal
3. Anne Molin Kongsgaard
4. Hannah Teter
5. Molly Aguirre
6. Gretchen Bleiler
7. Tricia Byrnes
8. Kelly Clark
9. Cecile Alzina
10. Autumn Rose