March 31st, 2010
The US Open is the longest running snowboard contest on earth. It’s now 28 years deep and still going strong as one of the biggest and most recognized events. It’s been in Vermont for all 28 of those years, and for the last 5 of those years I’ve been taking part. It was the first pro event I ever placed in, but I have a lot of mixed feelings towards it. The first two years I competed I landed on the podium, the last two years I’ve failed to make finals, so I have a very strong love hate relationship with it. This year I was dead set on making finals no matter what the conditions (the Open has a long standing reputation for horrible weather). This year was a huge exception to that reputation. We were blessed with sunshine and extremely warm temperatures the entire week. Most people were riding in flannels and hoodies instead of the usual attire of multiple layers and puffy jackets. As nice as the weather was it did make practice a challenge as the course got hammered every day due to the temperature and 200+ people who were lapping it. It was bumpy, but a lot of fun so I was looking forward to semis when they rolled around. I’m not going to go into it, because this will end up as the longest blog post ever, but some of the girls complained about it being too hard in the morning and for some reason the entire field got put into finals. On a good note, I guess that counts as me making finals, but for me it wasn’t how I wanted it to go down. I think earning a spot into the finals is important and being handed something without working for it, isn’t the way I like to get anything. Yeah I made finals, but I didn’t have to do anything to achieve that so what’s the point? I also felt like it made us look bad because the pipe girls had to ride early in the morning as well and their whole field didn’t go through so why was ours any different? I think safety is important but sometimes you just have to suck it up.
Anyways, I ended up tweaking my ankle the last run of practice but I decided to ride anyways. In my final run I blew it on my easiest trick and hurt my ankle a lot. I didn’t break anything, but I sprained it pretty bad. It was a bummer, but I had fun until that point so it was a much more successful year at the Open than the last few. My girl Sina took 1st place, Shelly got 2nd and Jamie landed in 3rd place. So stoked for everyone, the girls were really pushing it, I’m super stoked on how high the level of riding is right now. Two nights of partying and lots of piggy backs later I’m in Mammoth, CA. I was hoping to maybe ride here at the Chicken Jam, but my ankle still isn’t 100% so I’m going to chill and be a cheerleader for once. Next week is Miss Superpark at Snow Summit and then it’s home for some much needed chill time.