Skiers of all ages, shapes, and sizes headed out to Vail on Saturday to compete in the new halfpipe. Directly next to the alpine NorAm competition this weekend, there was a different breed of competitors. While the alpine athletes on Boo-Boo focused on staying grounded, freeskiers on the run beside them focused on hang time. The United States Ski Association’s (USSA) double halfpipe competition took place on Saturday with a podium sweep from Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) athletes. This was the first competition held in Vail’s new halfpipe and the competitors had rave reviews.
The added element of the competition being a “double” competition meant that these athletes competed in a different competition on each of their two runs.
John Leonard from Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) won the first pipe competition of the day with a score of 92. Leonard has been on a roll this season with a recent win out at the Rev Tour. Leonard claims that it is his music that makes him ski so well. Behind Leonard in second place was World Cup skier and SSCV athlete Broby Leeds. Leeds didn’t quite make the finals for the Grand Prix’ in Utah so he came back and competed in the USSA Halfpipe competition. Leeds had the biggest “hit” of the day in the competition where he boosted out of the pipe around 18 feet. Behind Leeds in the first competition was SSCV athlete Jake Cummings rounding off the podium in third place.
Leeds took the win in the second competition of the day with a massive score of 96.6. “It used to be a lot different skiing at Vail because the pipe was shorter and not as tall, but now it is a lot like all the other pipes so it is super fun,” says Leeds. His run started out with a massive straight air to a left 900, to an air to fakie (meaning he went up straight and then landed “switch”), to a switch rodeo 720, to a right 900, and he finished it off with a left 1080. The second competition was the Rocky Mountain Championships and Leeds claimed the overall title. Cummings also improved his score and bumped up to second place in the Championships.
Sunday is another day of competing with double slopestyle taking place at the Golden Peak Terrain Park.