The 2014/15 North American competition series kicked off with a bang this week amid the Sprint US Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colorado. The world’s best halfpipe skiers were in attendance, eager to start the season on a strong note. After a qualifying round on Wednesday, ten men and five women advanced to Friday’s final round. Today, those fifteen met atop the Main Vein superpipe aiming for the golden spot on the podium. And, as per usual, Copper managed to sculpt a perfectly manicured pipe and the athletes did not take it for granted.
All five of the female finalists delivered impressive performances today, but at the end of the competition it was New Zealand’s Janina Kuzma that boasted the highest score. With a combination of big air, flairs and a very stylish 720, Kuzma proved to be best today, scoring an 85.00; this score came on her second run out of three total.
Second place belonged to Olympic slopestyle medalist Devin Logan. Logan put down two very clean runs consisting of multiple 540s, a 720 and well-executed grabs throughout. Japanese stunner and Olympic halfpipe bronze medalist Ayana Onozuka also joined the podium party. Onozuka was consistent throughout each run with solid amplitude and clean spins, landing her in third place.
The men’s day of competition went off without a hitch. The boys came out swinging with banger run after banger run. Aspen’s own Alex Ferreira set the tone with a massive first run that included two doubles and a gigantic 1080 on his final hit, landing him in fourth place on the day. Third place was occupied by Benoit Valentin. The Frenchman sent a near-perfect final-hit double cork 1260 blunt on each run that had the crowd roaring time and again. Top qualifier Torin Yater-Wallace also came to play as he brought out his signature style, big air and a high consequence double flat-spin, landing himself in second place.
However, it was Olympic gold medalist David Wise who stole the show from the get-go. Wise scored a 92.40 on his first run through the pipe with three double corks and a final-hit flat-spin 540 Octo for the ages. We spoke with Wise following the contest, who gave us the low-down on his performance, the upcoming Dew Tour and more:
Congratulations to all of the athletes who earned success today. Just like that, the 2014/15 season is underway. It’s safe to say that I speak for everyone in declaring we are stoked for Dew Tour, going down next week in Breckenridge, CO. If today’s action is any indicator, we’re in for another stellar showing. Stay tuned to freeskier.com and @FreeskierLive for coverage of said event.[table id=16 /] [table id=17 /]