History was made again today at the 37th annual Burton U·S·OPEN Snowboarding Championships slopestyle finals. Olympic Slopestyle gold medalist Redmond "Red" Gerard (USA) took the lead at the start and held it through all three final runs to take the win, while Zoi Sadowski Synnott (NZL) continued her season-long domination, adding a Burton U·S·OPEN title to complete her contest trifecta. Despite periods of light snow during today's finals, the course conditions held up, and competitors delivered glowing reviews, calling it the best slopestyle course of the competitive season.
Red Gerard came into today's finals as the top finisher from semi-finals and absolutely sent it, holding the top place from the start to earn the winning score of 80.55 on his first run. Gerard put together a technical combination in the upper rail section, starting off with a noseslide to frontside boardslide to fakie, into a half-Cab 50-50 on backside 360 melon out, into a boardslide 450 Indy underflip out, he sped into the jump section starting off with a switch backside 1260 Indy, into a frontside double cork 1080 Indy on the transition feature and finishing with a huge backside triple cork 1440 mute on the final hit to roaring cheers from the crowd.
Gerard said, "It's pretty crazy, I've never really thought I'd be on the podium at the U.S. Open, so to win is beyond me." This is Gerard's first big win following his 2018 Olympic slopestyle gold medal performance.
Sven Thorgren (SWE) earned a hard-won second place with progressive tricks dripping in style. He earned his top score of 79.60 with a run that included a switch boardslide Rippey flip out in the final rail section, into a Cab 1260 tail on the first jump and finishing with a backside 1440 stalefish on the final jump.
Four-time Burton U·S·OPEN slopestyle champion Mark McMorris (CAN) landed in third place with a score of 79.20. McMorris put down a heavy backside triple cork 1440 Indy on the final hit in his second run and was looking to improve that score with a scrubbed backside triple cork 1620 mute attempt in his last run. McMorris, who pushed through life-threatening injuries to successfully defend his title in 2018, said of his third-place finish, "A lot of people go through their whole career trying to get on the podium, so I need to remind myself of that always. I'm super thankful to even be snowboarding still and it's just so good to be here."
In the women's competition, Zoi Sadowski-Synnott came into today's finals looking to complete a trifecta, with a win at X Games and the World Championships already in the books, and she did just that earning the top score of 82.55. Her winning run included heavy tricks in the upper rail section kicking off with a massive-scoring switch boardslide 270 out, to a switch 50-50 switch backside 180 melon out, 50-50 backside 180 stalefish out, heading into the first jump with a massively-stylish switch backside 900 stalefish, into a frontside 720 mute on the side transition feature and ending with a huge backside 540 stalefish.
Sadowski-Synnott said, "I can't even explain how I'm feeling right now, I'm just happy to be here and happy to put down a run. This was one of the first contests I watched when I first started competing and I've always wanted to go. I'm just so stoked right now."
Julia Marino (USA) bettered her 2018 third place finish, landing firmly in second with a score of 80.35, putting down a huge double cork 900 mute and a backside 720 melon. Miyabi Onitsuka (JPN) held up under pressure putting down her third place worthy performance on her final run for a score of 78.85 in a run that included a stomped Cab 900 stalefish on the first jump.
The Burton Bonus Hit is a new addition to this year's competition offering riders who fall or otherwise wash out an opportunity to throw down for a bonus hit on feature six. Red Bull TV viewers decided which men's and women's riders were awarded the $5,000 cash prize. Six-time champion Jamie Anderson (USA) won for the women sending it deep on her backside 180 on the final jump in semi-finals and Sven Thorgren won for the men with his backside rodeo 540 nosegrab.
Men's Slopestyle Finals Results
1. Redmond Gerard (USA), MOUNTAIN DEW, 80.55
2. Sven Thorgren (SWE), NITRO, 79.60
3. Mark McMorris (CAN), BURTON, 79.20
4. Luke Winkelmann (USA), BURTON, 76.70
5. Lyon Farrell (USA), US, 73.45
6. Staale Sandbech (NOR), OAKLEY, 70.15
7. Ruki Tobita (JPN), VOLCOM, 68.50
8. Darcy Sharpe (CAN), MONSTER, 68.10
9. Hiroaki Kunitake (JPN), NOBADAY, 64.35
10. Brock Crouch (USA), RED BULL, 58.70
Women's Slopestyle Finals Results
1. Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (NZL), RED BULL, 82.55
2. Julia Marino (USA), BURTON, 80.35
3. Miyabi Onitsuka (JPN), RED BULL, 78.85
4. Hailey Langland (USA), VOLCOM, 77.50
5. Annika Morgan (GER), GNU, 72.00
6. Enni Rukajarvi (FIN), GIRO, 69.85