After the second year of the US Open Vail Colorado style, it seems the spirit and soul of the US Open are alive and well. Although it’s probably more accurate to say that the spirit and soul of the US Open of 5 or 6 years ago are alive and well, not the early days of US Open duct tape innovation or the 90’s Opens where you could build an unsound and unsafe chicken-wire cage on the deck of the halfpipe and fill it with drunks in mascot outfits and viking helmets (but I’m pretty sure in 2014 you can’t build that thing anywhere…not even in your own backyard), but still it’s good to see that despite the venue change, the Open still has a lot of heart. The US Open is all rainbows and puppies for 13-year-old ripper Chloe Kim.
It still brings the best riders together for one last whoo-hah, showcasing the season’s progression; letting all the rivalries and trick one-upping happen one last time before video parts and powder missions trump all. It still carries it’s shred klout and really means something to these riders. It is still the contest to win. If you’re the least bit skeptical of this statement with the Olympic and X hype, take a look a breakout rookie, Taylor Gold’s face after he won the halfpipe, all misty and awestruck and %100 stoke, he looked more stoked winning that then make the Olympic team (and he was pretty damn stoked to make that Olympic team).
It still opens your eyes to riders you’ve barely heard of, like local boy Jake Pates and let’s you seen legends like Terje sending it as a “poacher” like the good ‘ol days. And while it’s not the good ‘ol days and “poachers” aren’t actually poaching but sent during commercial breaks from a guy with a radio strapped to his chest, it’s still pretty damn awesome to see your favorite non-finals making shredders do trains of methods and frontside airs in between zillions of double corks and whirly bird spins. JJ Thomas came out of retirement for one last US Open run…
People are still smelling the glove and while there are a lot more fair weather fans, people still come out to bang the banners in the name of shred. Of course, the die hard, east coast, Vermont shredder girl in me misses the heart of the Vermont scene and the passion all those tough-as-nails, rain-or-shine people have brought to the sport and to the Open, I’m just happy to know that a piece of what the Open use to be made it’s way to Colorado too and I feel extra lucky to have been a part of the Open in the days of yore.
Different venue. Same shitshow. #untzuntzuntzThe main reason my photos kinda suck and I had to poach them (in the official sense of the word) from Huggy and Nick, is because I was doing a lot of made for TV stuttering at the bottom of the course.