Maddie Mastro (USA) and Scotty James (AUS) earned the Burton U·S·OPEN halfpipe titles at the 37th annual Burton U·S·OPEN Snowboarding Championships each walking away with $45,000 and adding their names to the legendary list of halfpipe winners. True to the spirit of the Burton U·S·OPEN, the level of snowboarding was pushed in every competition and, in a new twist, all four 2019 Burton U·S·OPEN champions are first-time winners. This win also caps off an undefeated season for Scotty James, who has won every halfpipe contest of the season, with six total victories. But maybe the biggest winners today were the spectators gathered along the sides of Vail Mountain's 22-foot halfpipe, who were treated to an incredible show as the field of ten men and six women competed in a progression-pushing best of three-run finals format.
In the women's field, rookie commentator Kelly Clark put it best, "We saw so much great riding out here today, but most of all what we saw was progression!" That progression came in the form of the first double crippler ever landed by a woman in competition by Maddie Mastro, who took the win with a score of 84.74. Mastro took the lead on her final run, combining a backside air, then combing a frontside 540 stalefish into a backside 540 stalefish, into a massive frontside 720 Indy, a Haakon flip stalefish, into her historic double crippler Indy and finishing with a backside air.
Mastro said, "I'm just fully overwhelmed! This is my first contest win, and for it to be at the U·S·OPEN is this incredible amazing feeling. This trick is something I want to be doing consistently and make progression a norm for women's snowboarding."
Mastro has been a consistent competitor at the Burton U·S·OPEN since her 2011 Burton U·S·OPEN Junior Jam second place debut, then earning third place in 2017, second place in 2018 and now today's win – her first major professional competition win.
Three-time Burton U·S·OPEN champion Chloe Kim (USA) put down a podium-worthy performance to take second place with a score of 84.62. Kim's run included a frontside 1080 tail grab, and a Cab 1080, as well as a huge Cab 900 stalefish. Xuetong Cai (CHN) took third place with a score of 83.75 landing a huge Cab 900 melon on her last hit.
In the men's field, the level started off high and absolutely went through the roof from there. Scotty James came into today's finals as the second place qualifier and immediately showed that he was not at the Open for second place. He earned the winning score of 92.00 on his all-in first run, starting off with a massive switch backside 1080 Indy, into a backside double cork 1260 mute, into a frontside 1080 nosegrab, a Cab double cork 1080 mute, ending with a frontside double cork 1260 stalefish on his fifth and final hit.
This win capped a season-long winning streak for James, he said, "It's been an amazing season. Coming off second in semi-finals definitely put a fire under my butt, I definitely didn't like finishing off there. So I came out today and really wanted to put on a show for myself and for everyone that came up here to watch us. It's just amazing—I'm absolutely over the moon."
Raibu Katayama (JPN) reclaimed his second place position with a score of 90.49 and an all-out high-speed run that kicked off with a switch backside 1080 Indy, into a backside double cork 1260 mute, into a frontside 1080 nose grab, a Cab double cork 1080 mute, ending on a frontside double cork 1260 stalefish. Yuto Totsuka (JPN) earned third place with a score of 87.12, stomping a massive frontside double Cork 1440 Indy on his third hit.
Women's Halfpipe Finals Results
1. Maddie Mastro (USA), BILLABONG, 84.74
2. Chloe Kim (USA), BURTON, 84.62
3. Xuetong Cai (CHN), NIKE, 83.75
4. Arielle Gold (USA), ROCKSTAR, 81.87
5. Sena Tomita (JPN), YONEX, 73.50
6. Haruna Matsumoto (JPN), ROXY, 70.37
Men's Halfpipe Finals Results
1. Scotty James (AUS), RED BULL, 92.00
2. Raibu Katayama (JPN), BURTON, 90.49
3. Yuto Totsuka (JPN), YONEX, 87.12
4. Danny Davis (USA), BURTON, 79.62
5. Ruka Hirano (JPN), YONEX, 79.37
6. Pat Burgener (SUI), VISA, 79.12
7. Derek Livingston, (CAN), AEXOS, 78.12
8. Kwang Ki Lee (KOR), ALLOY, 62.50
9. Kent Callister (AUS), MT. BACHELOR, 41.50
10. Jake Pates (USA), ROCKSTAR, 38.87