By Mike Rogge
Lights, camera, halfpipe. Whoa. To say the Men’s Freeski Superpipe Final went off would be a drastic understatement and I’m pretty sure there is not a journalist in the world who could properly recap and capture the vibe that was tonight’s superpipe final. With the massive crowd gathered at the bottom of the pipe screaming their faces off, the best pipe skiers in the world went to work.
Coming in third was the man himself, Tanner Hall. During morning practice Tanner over-rotated a 9, spun a 1620, and landed on his head. Yeah, I’d say that’s over-rotating a bit. Tanner’s run in the Final was filled with shifties because well, he’s Tanner Hall and he can throw a smooth flat 3 with a grab and then shifty. Style is the name of Tanner Hall's game — as it always will be.
Coming in second was big bad Justin Dorey, affectionately known as “J-Bone", who stomped a double on his first hit — and I’d like to emphasize Dorey was STOMPING that double. Dorey dialed a switch 10 in his run, spinning both ways, and showed the Mount Snow crowd why he is one of the best in the game.
First place belonged to the pipe master Simon Dumont, who returned to the top podium spot after a short hiatus. Dumont consistently launched himself into orbit with well-executed and fully-grabbed tricks, which included two 900s and a 1260. With a run that dialed in, Dumont must have a halfpipe in his backyard or something. Sitting atop of the podium with friends and family looking on, The Dumont claimed the win.
Other highlights included the kiwi Byron Wells kicking things off with a massive 540. The light-weight ‘mate kept his speed while spinning 9s in both directions — indicative of a bright future in halfpipe skiing. Taylor Seaton mixed it up with a switch drop in, spinning a smooth 7 on his first hit. Peter Olenick struggled with his Whiskey flips on both runs, landing a bit low in the transition. Also having trouble laying down runs were AJ Kemppainen and Matt Philippi.
Letting the ski world know he’s arrived was Tucker Perkins. Holy smokes. Read this run, digest it, then read it again: dude strung together an enormous ally oop 540, switch 10, and 1260. Tucker grabbed every trick like whoa. Yep, that is a halfpipe run, for sure.
Not to be out done was pipe specialist Mike Riddle. Ready for this? First hit switch 10. To be more specific, a very large first hit switch 10. Mike Riddle. Wow.
Tonight was one of the better Superpipe competitions in recent memory. The bottom of the pipe was quite literally a gang of professional skiers who whooped it up for their fellow rippers throughout the weekend. Man, the freeskiing community remains a remarkably tight group of friends.