August 27, 2008 (Portsmouth, N.H.) â€“ Last weekend marked the season opener of the international skiing calendar in Wanaka, New Zealand with the Volkl NZ Freeski Open. The fourth annual event held at the Royal New Zealand Air Force covers three major freeski disciplines: Slopestyle, Halfpipe and Big Mountain. The two-day competition hosted some of the biggest names in international freeskiing including Tanner Hall (USA), Russ Henshaw (AUS), Sammy Carlson (USA), Colby West (USA), and Xavier Bertoni (FRA).
POC athlete and winter X Games superstar, Tanner Hall, captured his first gold of the season in the Menâ€™s Halfpipe. Hall preformed seven smooth hits including a right-side 900 rotation, left-side 900, flat-spin 540, ally oop, Flat-spin 360, switch 720 & finishing with an Ali oop 900 that put him ahead of 2008 World Superpipe Champ Justin Dorey (USA) and third place finisher Walter Woods (USA).
â€œNew Zealand is an amazing place to start off the season,â€ remarks Hall. â€œI am ready for the season to begin and glad to see that all my summer training has paid off.â€
Newly signed POC athlete, Tucker Perkins also made his presence be known with a sixth place finish. Perkins who is a young rising star (at 17 years of age) comes off a breakthrough 2008 season with two 1st place finishes in Whistler BC last April at the Telus World Ski Festival in Halfpipe & Superhit, and he looks to continue to rise to the top this coming season.
Both Hall and Perkins sport POCâ€™s new Receptor BUG, a snow-sport specific helmet that features POCâ€™s patent pending system with double overlapping shells providing breathability without sacrificing safety. The helmet also comes equip with Skullcandy earphones that allow for the use of MP3/Music player and phone.
â€œWe at POC are really excited for the ski season to begin,â€ states Erin Sullivan, Marketing & Promotions Director of POC USA. â€œWe have a strong team of young guns that are all going to be vying for the coveted podium spots this ski season.â€
POC is a Swedish company that develops and markets personal protective gear for gravity sports.