All hail the Burton US Open – a rare blue riband event that, alongside its European cousin the Laax Open, is all about the snowboarding. No schedule-juggling with snowmobile racing (we’re looking at you, X Games), or ski aerials (FIS World Championships). While there are some musical acts, it’s not a glorified festival with the riding as the sideshow, a la Air + Style. No national uniforms either – just all the best contest riders in the world.
As a true open event, even the semi-finals can be brutal. A field of 14 female slopestyle riders has to be whittled down to just 6, while the 32 men fight it out for just 10 final spots. There’s only two opportunities to get a score, meaning no room for riding conservatively.
“One of the best things about the US Open is the unexpected, leftfield stuff thrown up by those who usually get snubbed by the invite-only contests”
- Jamie Anderson – 83.75
- Anna Gasser – 80.95
- Julia Marino – 75.85
- Kokomo Murase – 75.30
- Klaudia Medlova – 75.00
- Silje Norendal – 74.75
Unless you’re Jamie Anderson, that is. Knowing that even a safe effort by her standards would be enough to secure a strong qualification spot, the Queen of Slopestyle put down a run of 50-50 gap to boardslide, switch boardslide, backside boardslide 270 out, backside 540, cab 5, and frontside 7.
In the end it didn’t just get her through, it gave her the morning’s highest score. Anna Gasser ran her close – and was the only one to launch off the narrow take-off – but wasn’t quite as clean overall. She’s got much bigger tricks in the locker though, and will be looking to take the title back.
Julia Marino posted the third-highest score thanks to a solid run that included a super-corked cab 5, and a big front 7 that very nearly came unstuck. That means she’ll be dropping after Kokomo Murase, Klaudia Medlova and Silje Norendal on Friday.