Let me start off by telling you a little about the Gravity Games—the event involves snowboarding and skiing, and it’s a made-for-TV thing, kind of like the X-Games. Without trying to sound cynical, this meant two things to me heading into the weekend: keeping my head down walking up the pipe deck so my eyes didn’t get poked out by a ski pole, and boring-ass camera holds during the finals. Did these expectations prove true? Well, yeah, but that’s okay. Actually, I kind of enjoyed checking out a different culture—the skier one, that is. In fact, my night was made when some skier chick at the Freeskier Magazine party tried to start a fight with me ’cause I accidentally bumped into her with my backpack (which I was indeed wearing at the party, like the dork that I am).

Well, about the Superpipe finals. I knew the Copper Mountain pipe to be giant and one of the steepest ones out there, so I figured the event’d be pretty RAD—and just like with the other stuff, I was right. The women’s contest mighta saw the usual suspects on top, but they were busting out a few brand-new tricks. Gretchen Bleiler stomped a pretty nasty frontside 900—her first landed in competition, apparently. That, of course, was combined with a Crippler and back-to-back 540s (backside first, then frontside) in a run that touched her down a mellow eight points ahead of second place. Yeah, that was that. Behind her in the rankings though was Hannah Teter, who’s got a brand new Cab seven now to toss into the mix with her frontside fives and nines. Elena Hight held her own with those two ’cause she’s got a 900 in her bag, too, and Kelly Clark rode super well—went huge and whatnot—but couldn’t quite nail an entire run at once.

The deal with the men’s Superpipe was rookie action. The Finnish threat of Risto Mattila, Antti Autti, and Mikka Hast was in full effect. Antti was cranking precision back-to-back 1080s, and Risto had GIANT 1080s into frontside nines—good to see a new generation of Scandos comin’ up. A sixteen-year-old mini-man by the name of Danny Davis exploded onto this scene with giant airs and 1080s, too. And of course, relative unknown Cripsin Lipscomb out of Canada went nuts in the halfpike, throwing not only multiple nines and a frontside 1080 but a backside 1080, too which is a truly difficult maneuver (I’ve heard, it’s not like I’ve ever tried). No wonder he won.

If you’re wondering why dudes like Shaun White and a few others weren’t here, I think it had something to do with there being a World Cup event going on at the same time in Lake Placid, New York, and if you want to go to the Olympics next winter, you have to have a top-25 placement in a World Cup. They just threw that extra rule in there, I guess, just to make the whole qualification a little more complicated—as if it wasn’t brain surgery already. Oh boy. Can’t wait for Torino!

Men’s Results

1. Crispin Lipscomb

2. Danny Davis

3. Risto Mattila

4. Keir Dillon

5. JJ Thomas

Women’s Results

1. Gretchen Bleiler

2. Hannah Teter

3. Elena Hight

4. Kelly Clark

5. Junko Asazuma