Burton High Fives 2013
Burton High Fives 2013
For the past week, snowboarders have been involved in the multiday contest in New Zealand known as the Burton High Fives. With two days devoted to "off-snow challenges" and two days devoted to slopestyle and halfpipe competitions, the event drew a who's who of the competitive snowboard world. You could say the four-wheeling competition, which kicked things off, was a highlight for many of the competitors.
No one really wants to be seen on a Segway, but for every ounce of toughness competitors lost during the Segway race, they made it up by walking straight over to the skeet shooting range for the next challenge. Torstein Horgmo rounds the corner before walking over to blast some clay birds out of the sky.
Ben Ferguson, fully focused on the skeet shooting challenge.
Mikkel Bang gets the Mini sideways in the Gymkhana section.
The inside view of the Gymkhana course, courtesy of Danny Davis.
Jet Boat fun ride
All the riders were taken for a little spin in a jet boat, which was quite possibly the most exciting part of the weekend. The boat is the fastest four-person boat in the world, has 600 horsepower and goes from 0-75 mph in two seconds. It's like a Formula One car on the water. Stle Sandbech is sitting shotgun here, enjoying the ride.
Snowboarding: The Next Generation
The second half of the Burton High fives took place at the Cardrona Alpine Resort outside Wanaka. Wind plagued the slopestyle competition, while overcast skies were a factor in the pipe. Despite it all, some stellar performances went down -- like the one from 13-year-old Chloe Kim here. Take a good look, folks. This is what the future of women's pipe snowboarding looks like.
Ståle Sandbech, First place
A foreshadowing of podiums to come? Sandbech rode to first place with a run that included ahalf Cab 50-50 to 180 out,hardway 270 on to boardslide, boardslide 270 out, frontside 900 double cork Indy, Cab 1260 stale, backside 1080 double cork stale. Then he went home, got some sleep and came back the next day to compete in pipe. It's nice to see some snowboarders are still keeping the double-discipline dream alive.
Jamie Anderson, First place
Like you didn't expect to see Anderson on top of the podium? "My run was pretty good, but a bit sketchy," said Anderson of her win. "I went with an easier run; you have to play it out moment by moment. I fell on my first run, but I was glad to land my second, especially in these conditions."
Enni Rukajärvi, Silje Norendal
Rukajrvi, left, and Norendal, right, filled out the women's slope podium in second and third place, respectively.
Taku Hiraoka, First place
It looks like the Japanese pipe team is going to be a serious threat come Olympics time. Ryo Aono and Ayumu Hirano came in third and fourth, respectively, while Taku Hiraoka came in on the top spot. "I was stoked to stomp another frontside 1260," said Hiraoka. "It's only the second time I've done that in competition."
Kelly Clark, First place
Women's pipe dominator Kelly Clark came very close to completing her first Cab 10 in competition on her third run. "I was happy with my second run," she said, "but glad I pushed it on the third. Next time I'll get that Cab 10."
Look who's back! Hot off her third-place finish at the FIS World Cup in August, Bleiler came from behind to take the third-place spot here at the High Fives.
Fourteen-year-old Ayumu Hirano missed the podium by one spot, but man do we ever love to watch him snowboard. Hirano will turn 15 in time to qualify for the Olympics (the cutoff age to be allowed in is 15), so expect to see him as a heavy contender for the Japanese team.