Mitch Brown
NZL
Jeremy Pierce

Sun 12th August

LAST EVENT - QUARTERPIPE

MENS & GIRLS PIPE WRITTEN UP TOGETHER INCASE U'R LOOKING!!!!!!!!!

 

1/4 PIPE & END OF ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL OPEN!!!!!! See you next year!!!!!

What a good climax to the end of the event - the tunes were rocking away & the big manicured 1/4 was being hit in a total jam style, it was totally chilled out, like a private monster vert ramp in the back yard with many of the best riders of the world having a straight out good times session.

Peter Line was all over it as were the Metrani boys with inverted Japan grabs & 9's, Willy Jackways, Jake Koia throwing the big corked b/s 7s, Jeremy Thompson putting in the handplants, Kelly Clark boosting, Juliane Bray was getting upside down.... etc etc everyone from the comp mixing it up doing doubles, duals, chains whatever they felt like....

A nice wee crowd was gathered at the sides - just personal enough to feel like you were in a special spot, you could stand on the top or at the sides, give a descent yell if you wanted, in fact you could have strapped in and given it a charge quite happily if you were game, as a few of the crew did, what a fantastic way to finish, big smiles all round here at the wrap up of the 07 BURTON NZ OPEN.

Scotty Lago took best trick with the massive mc twist also scoring the overall in the 1/4 for the men Kelly Clark who was going huge nailed it for the girls best trick!!!!!!!

Huge props to all the competetors, it's always great having you all over in New Zealand, congrats to the new BURTON NZ OPEN CHAMPIONS, all the crew that made it happen including Jay on the mc who kept things pumped all week, Ruben who is full time getting this comp together along with the Higher Ground crew & BURTON International, all the sponsors & the hardworking SNOWPARK NZ crew.........importantly good on you at home or work for being part of the regular check in over the event, you obviously love Snowboarding like we do, see you next year, maybe in person if you make it to New Zealand, we'll be happy to have a few beers with you if you do, keep checking out boarderzone.com for whats happening in NZ........


cheers,

LUCA SOULOS
Sub20.com

 

MITCH BROWN OF NEW ZEALAND WINS THE BURTON NZ OPEN HALFPIPE!!!

WHAT A FINAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU COULD NOT BELIEVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!
The weather changed from clear through the first run to mid winter snow dumping down, no vis & wind up the pipe for the 2nd then reverting back to mixed pockets for the 3rd!!!!!

A big name line up of seasoned Pro's from a global mix jumped into final time mode!!!!!!!!!

In the mens battle Scotty Lago of Seabrook USA on flow held the comp right to the end with Mitch Brown of Mt. Maunganui NZ on Ripcurl who led the semis, in 3rd, then on the last run of the day with Mitch Brown still amped to give it 110% he dropped the hammer & bombed the pipe - everyone was yelling from the sides, trick after trick boosted, twisted, corked & nailed to the bottom!!!!!! none of us knew the outcome until we got down & YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!into No.1.

The japanese riders were super tight & going hard with big tech spins, flying high & stomping solid runs right behind, a threat every step of the way with Ryo Aono of Matuyamasi on Yonex blazing into 3rd place!!!!!!!!!!!

Here are the top runs incase you want to try this at home!!!!!!!!!!!

Mitch took it all out with a Front 9 tail grab into a back 5 mute straight to a frontside corked 1080 to a haakon flip to a front 900 to a backside 900 to an Ally oop Michealchuck!!!!!!!!! imagine even thinking about that!!!!!!!!!

Scotty Lago threw in the lean air to double corked back 900 mute grab to front 7 stale fish to cab 7 mute to front 900!!!!!! Scotty also picked up best trick in the pipe for that crazy corked 9!!!!!!

Aono Matuyamasi went with a bacside air nose grab into a front 7 to a cab 7 into a front 900 to a back 900 to a front 1080 to finish - sick!!!

Here are just a few other highlights to check!
Mitches 1st run highlights consisted of massive corked 9 to backside 5 to 1080 to corked 9 to 9 again!!!!!
Louie Vito threw a late method to 1080 to 7 to 9 combo corked right out,
135 Justin Lamourex of Canada with his switch boosting methods off the first wall - into an assortment of switch spins - master switch!
150 Rikuya Narita of Japan was straight into a huge mc twist off the first to a 900 nose grab, to 720 to corked 720 combo!
Mason Aguire of USA on burton charged the massive backside air to frontside 1080 combo then with another switch 7 to 9 combo turning all heads!

The winners on the day were always going to be the riders who put it all on the line & nailed their big tricks, at this highest level of competetion one mistake can cost you likewise holding back doesn't keep you in the pack!

It's an emotional time down here for Mitch Brown of Mount Maunganui NZ & ripcurl, he's been riding most of his life now & touring internationally making snowboarding his carreer, to win the BURTON OPEN on home soil is a great achievement for him & such a stoke for the many people that have seen him progess through the years - good on you Mitch, well deserved bro!!!!!


In the GIRLS!!!!! it was Torah Bright of Australia & Roxy pulling 1st place, nudging out Kelly Clark of USA for burton who took the silver, with 3rd going to regular footer Swiss Manuela Laura Pesko on FTWO, again it was a sensational set of runs, battling through all the conditions to find the champion!!!!!

Torah hit the wall claiming gold with a clean backside 5 spin japan grabbed into a huge air to fakie tail snatch then more spins - cab 7 melon grab into front 5 indy grab then a back 3 indy to a switch backside 5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! also taking out best trick in the pipe!!!!!!!!

Kelly Clark rocked into downtown pipe land with a massive frontside in her own league to the same on the backside then spinning up a front 5 to a huge indy to a front 720 indy grag to a cab 3 tail grab finishing off by boning out a nose grab!!!!

Manuela Laura Pesko went straight for the backside 5 mute grab to a drifty frontside to the classic method then hitting up a frontside melon grab to a cab 3 to a frontside tail grab then right at the end all or nothing back 7!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Both local girls charged! Juliane Bray on burton put up the consistant height and the front 5 to big tail grabbed air to fakie into cab 3 combo got the shouts form the side and Kendal Brown represented hard with back to back 5 combos and the insane bag of styled grabs you've seen!!!!!! - she's definately going places!!!!!

.........................................................................................................

Everything for guys & girls happened in one final!!!!!!!!!!!! the competetors were given a vote option of whether or not to go on with the 3rd run at one stage due to the weather & they voted go for it!!!!! the vibe up there is amazing.

No doubt about it, for pro's it's the comp to ride with your bros from around the world to start the season & tour, all the importance & prestiege without the same pressure as the rest of the tour. If the pipe is rideable then they are doing it & putting on a fantastic show for snowboarding, if the run doesn't feel good then pull back slash through & rely on your early scores.

We saw such a mix of tricks the big 1080s & spin combos of corked 7's & 9's again!!! any straight air was massive!!! Blazing runs from the girls & the guys, they deserve huge props dealing with the weather & dominating the 1/2 PIPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's an emotional time down here for Mitch Brown of Mount Maunganui NZ & ripcurl, he's been riding most of his life now & touring internationally making snowboarding his carreer, to win the BURTON OPEN on home soil is a great achievement for him & such a stoke for the many people that have seen him progess through the years - good on you Mitch, well deserved bro!!!!!

With the genes running in the family; roxy girl Kendall Brown, Mitches little sis ripped the pipe to take 7th place herself in the womens final putting them both in the company of only a few brother/brother or brother/sister combos in the world to reach those international levels consistantly!!!!!!!! Ma & Pa will be tearing the top off a few bottles of the good stuff tonight!!!!!!!!!! As will we all!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mitch just stopped in to let us know he's got about 40 dozen beers from DB export to put out for celebration - kiwi to the core!!!!!!

the 1/4 PIPE is on gota run, talk to you soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LUCA SOULOS

 

MENS PIPE SEMI THROWDOWN!!!!!

YEAH YEAH YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They were throwing it down up there!!!!!!!! Big twisted 7 and 9 combos even a few 1080s, wierd tweaks, inverts, corkage & ol skool grabs above the heads on the side, solid stompers were happening!!!! a lot of riders were hungry for a place in the top 16!!!!!!

Mitch Brown of New Zealand blowing everyone away on this pipe with two incredible runs riding like the seasoned international professional he has become!!!!!! scoring him No.1 rider going into the final!!!!!!

We hit the side of the pipe as the semi was kicking into high gear, and in time to see Xaver Hoffmann of Germany on flow throw a way overhead double shifty - unusual but sick!!! finishing with a cab 7 to handplant,

soon after that tho James Hamilton of NZ at 18 yrs put together a hooting crowd pleaser full of sick spins then was followed up by NZ team mate Mitch Brown on Rip Curl whipping out the massive corked 900 on the first hit, it was a blur of action all the way down finishing with a back 9 to chuck flip at the end everything sized up stomped clean in some solid power riding!!!!!!!!

Louie Vito of USA on O-matic at 19 went back to back 7s to 9 to 7 and all corked the way Louie does it!!!!!!!!!!!
Mason Aguirre of USA on Burton current World half pipe champ & last years winner but in a massive double teak to massive 900 combo,

going into the 2nd run the Japs were sitting in 4th 5th and 6th on the standings and throwing down some mean action!!!!!!!
116 Daisuke Murakami of Sapporo Japan on K2 rocked the pipe with huge huge amplitude, backside to f/s 7 to statosphere inverted cab 7 to f/s 9 to back 5.
Right after that to the BANZAI calls from the top went 150 Rikuya Narita from Hakodate Japan for billabong mctwisting to front 9 to backside air to front 7 to inverted 7!!!!!
25 Ryo Aono also of Japan on yonnex put the f/t7 to cab 7 to ft 9 to bk 5 to 1080!!!!!!! clean!!!!!

on the 1080 front we saw Zak Stone of Collingwood Canada on Volcom with back to back 7's a big 5 then into the 10!!!!!

A few Swissy's were in the mix showing that Pipe experience off, one 23 Stephen Maurer from Zizers on Burton broke out the huge front 9 to back 5 to frontside air tweaked out to back 900 combo!!!

29 Louri Padladtchikov of Zurich & Russsia on santa cruz pulled the massive frontside right in my face and pumped straight into a boosting 9 on the next, another base flash to remember

Always a pleasure was the Styling Sato flip!!!!! from Rob Kingwell USA on Arbour....

remember thats just a few of the highlight moments - each spin or grab had that riders style attached to it making for unique flashes of viewing - check out some of the pics and vid feed to get an idea

womens finals next - see you soon!!!!!!!

LUCA SOULOS
Sub20.com

 

RIGHT WE'VE BEEN UP AT THE GIRLS SEMI!!!!!!!!

UNREAL!!!!! the big airs are being busted out on a hard & fast pipe, crazy action with Kelly Clark USA going massive overhead big 5's to tweaked 7s, then Torah Bright AUSTRALIA starting with a huge backside 540 japan grab on the first & finishing with the cleanest switch back 540 to exit on the 2nd run, followed by Kendall Brown of NZ with the stash of twisted grabs up her sleeve putting tweaked out tipans & drifty crails between her spins! these girls were at the top of the points going into the 2nd run!

Ju Brae another NZ pro rider threw the macking b/s method on the first finishing with the cab3 into backflip to fakie with solid height all the way down. The japanese girls were also in force with ninja precision and fiesty back to back big spin action.

14 Sarah Conrad of Dartmouth Canada boned out a huge frontside on the first hit right in my face that was about 2 ft away from the base of the board, i could have been the tap box for some good skate jib action & love those kind of in ya face memories you get in the pipe!!

40 Paulinha Ligocka of Poland for burton chucked the huge f/s 720 on the first hit of the second run putting the pedal to the metal
55 Manuela Pesko of Switzerland was the back to back spinner with 5's both ways, a 720 & a cab 3 in the same run!!!!!!

right we have to get back up there!!!!! the men have finished their warm up that already looked like an Olympic final and are into their semi with 42 riders going for a cash spot in the final!!!!!!!!!!!

It's perfect conditions out there!!!! what a place to be!!!!!!!!!!!!

we'll be back soon and will be absorbing all the moments we can for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LUCA SOULOS

 

GET OUT OF BED!!!!!!!!! the PIPE is ON!!!!!!!!!

GET OUT OF BED!!!!!!!!!
It looks like the tooth fairy got all those pearly whites you got 50 cents for, ground them up & sprinkled them over the southern Lakes mtns!!!!!!!!!!!!! then she said i 'll paint the sky blue so all you big kids that are never going to grow up can get up to that PIPE and give it a thrashing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it's on - the 07 NZ BURTON OPEN at Snowpark as in every other year has delivered the goods!!!!!! & someone is double overhead right this second!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Snap, it's blue bird again here in NZ!!!!!! was that a storm yesterday or was i just dreaming & still under the influence of the night before???? If you are local & not heading out for face shots somewhere then stop faffing, get your stuff on & get in the car, eat you beans straight from the can on the way up, & do what the brazillians do - get guarana & berrocas straight into the system to sharpen you up, oh and give your liver a chance & drink a glass of water!

Right we are getting ready to head up to the PIPE for the 9.30am start - the Worlds best are up there, Since 6am the team have been on the course setting up banners & flags etc, morning tunes will shortly ring out from the DJ box & Jay will be shouting out the action as they come down!

talk to you soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LUCA SOULOS

 

SATURDAY NIGHT 07 NZ BURTON OPEN

Woody, Stu & I just got back to SNOWPARK it's about 1. 45am, we just rallied the truck all the way up that amazing road with smiles on, as any local to the area can appreciate, then we hit the deeper snow; locked it into 4x4 and smashed through until we made it to the apartment, i was holding my breath a bit on the last hair pin & kept those wheels rolling enough to scrape it up the final 50 meters & sweet! Into the kitchen & straight to the fridge.

The best bit about the drive up was the fact that we had been in Wanaka for the Sold out Gravis Open Sessions featuring Shapeshifter! The Annual big night of the NZ Burton Open! NZ's best live mix of beats, vocals & instruments ripped the lid off the venue, we were dancing around the place with all the crew like energizer batteries & mostly above the heaving pit below.

There is no way possible to sit still when shapeshifter play. The blood is still pumping! The chicas were in full party mode & looking sensational!!!! Everyone was rocking out with big smiles on & it was unreal catching up with more friends!!! then on to the after party that will be bouncing till the the big light pops up.

We ended up in another bar on the way that was also packed with overflow & it was easy to see after that performance even if the bar had nursery rhymes playing the bodies still wanted to dance.....it was hard to leave but after last night it had to be done to get set for a big day of it tomorrow (& i may not have written this if we were still there...), plenty of riders & locals will give the rest of the night a good nudge for us.......

Outside you can see stars - that means it should be perfect tomorrow for the 1/2 PIPE!!!!!!!!!!!! there is no wind & the boys are out in the groomers getting all that fresh pow out of the pipe. This whole area of the world will be going off tomorrow, some mtns have posted up to 1/2 metre falls + there will be winddrift banks everywhere to slash! We are going to have an insane contest - the PIPE will be ripping & the rest of the park will be in freshies!!!!!! Looking out from the deck will be a postcard sight to remember!!!!!!!! So we are looking strong to resume competetion with the worlds best up for a big rumble in the PIPE!!!!!!!!!!

A big shout out to the HIGHER GROUND crew who bring you burton, anon & gravis in NZ & this event, the crew at Snowpark - some sitting in groomers right now at 3am & of course the Shapeshifter legends - big ups!!!!!!!!!!!! All of them party people full of enthusiasm, drive, energy & a combined passion for snowboarding.


LUCA SOULOS
Sub20.com

 

I/2 PIPE MOVED TO SUNDAY

Morning everyone, we had a few drinks up here last night, all the bodies have been mopped up off the floor.....enough said......

Down here in New Zealand we are being slammed by the weather, It's coming in hard with all the treats a good storm brings & best of all heaps of snow!!!! Looking out the window right now it's snowing horizontally! it's as if we should pick the Apt. up and tip it on it's side.

The riders have a down day today! So all the local cafes will be full of Jibbers.

Up here on the mountain the crew are out there taking care of business in the snow, up since 6am with Comp. setup procedures etc,

The Snowpark's styling apartments & woolshed bar & restaurant are starting to hum into gear, and as people emerge the big snowboarder breakfast cook-ups & coffees are coming on.

Miles has just cranked the music right up - to be honest my head feels like it's cracked in half but it sounds good & lets face it having the tunes on is always a bonus....

We'll update you with more of the goings on as they come to light down here at the NZ BURTON OPEN 07.

LUCA SOULOS
Sub20.com

 

TONIGHT IN THE SPA & 1/4 POSTPONED TILL TOMORROW

1/4 Pipe postponed until tomorrow!!!!!!

but not to worry!!!! Since the Results of the new NZ BURTON OPEN champions were anounced in the Woolshed bar, the the beer & wine has been flowing like water over the iggazu falls, the spa pools up at SNOWPARK have all been writhing with bikinis & boxer shorts & it's only 7 !!!!!

I have no idea what is going on down in Wanaka but for sure something good is brewing!

It's true the NZ OPEN is different to all the other opens in the world - It's an amazing time of mellowness mixed with full on action - the riders can relax, enjoy themselves and throw down hard on the mtn.

There are no mobs, riding is in it's purist form at the bottom of the world, spectators are putting runs in beside pros on the field & giving a few hoots if someone throws down the goods & everyone is a friend the way snowboarding started & will continue to smash forward in life. No separation; we are here to ride together or appreciate some great riding - thanks to the big B, Guy Alty, Rueben, Sam, Frank & everyone who continues to make it happen here year after year!!!!!!!!!

i tell you World - get your backsides over here next year, i write this sideways with a beer in my hand & thanks to Burton, Shapeshifter DJs will soon be setting up meters below in the bar & we will be dancing our asses off tiill the small hours!!!!!!! Jake would be proud! The riding was insane today and tomorrow we will be hitting that half pipe hard but we also want that Frank Wells 1/4!!!!!!! everyone is keen! bugger the weather, we'll have it!!!!

It's snowing right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


LUCA SOULOS

 

SEMI NOW BECOMES FINAL DUE TO HIGH WIND!!!!!!

The wind has meant that the call has been made to stop the SLOPESTYLE comp where it is after two successful complete runs for each mens & womens in the semis. Its blue skies above but pushing our luck further may be to much.

Both Semi's were like finals anyway with the sickest riders throwing down no holds barred, The only thing everyone will agree with is "bugger - we wanted to see more of that mad action" especially the girls - they were killing it!!!! We were looking forward to really focusing in on their final! Check back on my womens semi post for the winning combos.

So the results will be checked by the judges and should stand as the first Official results for the 07 NZ Burton Open! congrats to all those gladiators that charged the course from the pre quals to the end of the semis!

All in all it's been another great day of action up here at the open, all our expectations on arrival have already been surpassed with what we've seen so far from these competetors!

Riders are still packing the lifts here at SNOWPARK NZ, it's windy and soft but still great fun to get out there and jib around on all the smaller features of the park.

Down in the Woolshed bar and restaurant a few meters away, many riders & spectators will be relaxing & easing into some afternoon snacks & of course the cold beers are flowing while they look out over the park & action below always to the sound of some quality mixed beats.

Yet to come are the 1/4 Pipe comp & the 1/2 Pipe semi's & final....
catch you soon.......

LUCA SOULOS

 

MENS SEMI FINAL, SLOPESTYLE BURTON NZ OPEN 07

I've just been standing right under the big kicker in the mens Slopestyle! Incredible! What a semi!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Massive trick for trick all the way from the worlds best!!!!!! that wind has been whipping through softening the run in & making it crucial to land your first leap, hold speed, tuck through the middle for wind " as advised by RMB on the chair up, and stomp that next trick hard, Realising this - riders were stil absolutely boosting!!!!!! we definately saw a mixture of competetors handling the conditions in different ways - some not making features others dominating like bomb drops, some in tricky twisted up spins drifting off line and the odd splatter but our hats are off to all of them from anyone lucky enough to catch the action!!!!!!

Louie Vito of Sandy USA on O-matic didn't seem phased by the wind stomping the big 7 to front side 900 in his own clean spin style on the 2nd to last run,

Jacob Koia "koia the destroter'' of Queenstown New Zealand for Oakley threw down two solid runs making a big impression with sweet rails into backside 720 then into the huge double wildcat (backflips) that he's getting a name for & put down so clean! then out on the battleship.

The Metrani brothers from Mammoth lakes USA both burton riders put in the spin time on the first runs but not so lucky on the next - a front five into big corked 900 combo for Jack & backside 7 to f/s 900 for Luke, but standing out on the lighter side was luke coming around the kickers after problems at the top and throwing into the sweetest layed out front flip off the knuckle beside all the media just for something to fill the run.

236 Kauk Lonnie of Mammoth lakes USA combo'd the crail 540 into big corked 900 that he grabed at the start then changed style to open out through the last part of the trick

Quentin Robbins of NZ put up the big moves as did Roland Morley Brown & Will Jackways of NZ on burton with the massive front 720 to backside 900 variation.

61 Kevin Pearce of Norwich USA on Burton smoked the clean 720 off the first kicker into a huge tail grabbed 900

On the top the c-rails had a good working a lot of 270 on & off , nose presses, boardslides, f/t board sameways, tap outs etc but props go to 24 Sirgo Berger of Switzerland on Quiksilver with the 5050 nolie to front flip out on the flat down just to mix things up.

Next The high bar was getting most of the attention with 180 & 270 offs plus f/s & b/s variations but important to land clean for the first run in.

WOW!!!! WE JUST FOUND OUT THE FINAL IS CANCELLED DUE TO THE HIGH WIND SO THE SEMI BECOMES THE FINAL FOR RESULTS!!!!!!

Rip straight to the instant results section on the site to see who bags the BURTON NZ OPEN 07 medals & the big cash!!!!!!!!!!!!! shots will be on the table tonight!!!!!!!

LUCA SOULOS

 

Womens SEMI slopestyle

Well this is what we came to the Burton Nz Open & Snowpark for - the action up there is insane, that wind seems to have peeled back enough to give us premium conditions once again in this competetion, it's beaming sunrays down on the course, the organisers are stoked, the riders are stoked and of course the photographers are peaking!

Spectators riding up here are certainly getting the bag of treats from the lift and sideline - the beauty of this place is everytime you ride the lift it's like sitting in the grandstand looking across at the course only about 10 - 15m away & the same height as a rider boosting off one one the big kickers, almost as if you are in the comp as well.

The women were throwing down big time & would give the guys a run for the money at this stage!!!!! Jenny Jones & Torah Bright putting big spins in the air & both hitting the 70 footer option with fat five & 7 variations,

English Solomon rider Jenny Jones topped the scores, Claudia Fliri of Austria & volkl 2nd, then Hana Beaman of the USA & ride 3rd, Roxy's Torah Bright of Australia next & Sina Candrian Swiss burton/anon team player in 5th.

The combos that took the points when like this -

No. 1, 21 Jenny Jones, Tailslide on the c box to 5050 frontside 180 out on the high bar then dropping into the first big booter with a huge clean melon grabbed 3 then down for the big one getting way up there & lofting a slow & perfect frontside mute 3, all topped off with a 5050 on the bottom 30 stair rail!

2nd place, 180 Claudia Fliri, went for a front board on the c box to another 5050 frontside 180 out on the bar then in for the long tail grab cab 5! next over the big kicker with a frontside melon grabbed 360 & finishing down below with a 5050 nose press on the battleship.

bronze medal! 30 Hana Beaman started out with a backside tail slide then mixing it up with a boardslide to fakie, next into the first kicker with cab 5 stalefish then the straight into the backside 5 off that monster 70 footer ending the run with a 5050 to boardslide to frontside boardslide on the battleship

For the locals Abby Lockhart of Wanaka NZ on Ride put up a good fight; she's alway polished on the rails then threw the big slow backside 3 japan grab to f/s 3 melon & a 5050 to finish down the 30 stair rail. You can whip over to the live scoring option on the website & check out the ratings to see how they came through but from a spectator version it was full on! Only 8 move through to the final & it's an international stirfry not to be mixed!

LUCA SOULOS

 

FRIDAY BIG DAY OF SLOPESTYLE!!!!!

GOOD MORNING JIBBERS AROUND THE WORLD!

Time to get out there & under some of the moves going down.

It's rolling in to the big day for the slopestyle and right now the women (21) in the semi's are on course.
Outside the weather is playing a crazy role in todays action with a big low off Antarctica creating huge winds across the lower south island. The light is clear & clouds around surrounding mtns seem to be going around the sides of this valley to give blue sky over head!

I just talked to Louri Podladtchikov from Russia, a Santa cruz rider up here practicing for the semis & got a few comments on the course; it seems it's 'super fun' for the riders but 'a bit scary with that wind' coming in on the big booters as you could imagine flying into a 70 footer knowing that you have to concerntrate on your wind speed as well as your trick - it will certainly sort the field out & as with any comp the best competetors on the day will handle it & move forward, time to harden up & charge!

Practice is over, we've into the girls first then onto the guys (42)....

back to you soon....

LUCA SOULOS
Sub20.com

 

Check out this gold code straight from the judges hands -

Here it is the top runs of the day!!!!!!!

Check out this gold code straight from the judges hands -

Taking out the mens 07 Burton NZ Open Qualifier was 256 Eric Willett of Brekenridge USA riding for Zion, diving straight into the rails with a tailslide 180 frontboard to a boardslide & 270 off the high bar into a backside rodeo 5 to a switch backside 720 then dropping down to the bottom features with a tailslide gap to frontside boardslide on the battleship!!!!!! winning run!!!!!

2nd place went to 249 Brennen Swanson from Vail USA for Ride, it went like this cab 270 on boardslide 270 off, 50 50 to frontside 180 off the high bar dropping into a boosting cab rodeo 5 into backside 9 with the indy tweaked thne down the bottom for a good ol boardslide to frontboard out!

3rd was 179 Alessandro Boyens of Saas Fee Germany rocking for Static he went like this 50 05 frontboard on the flat box then 50 05 front again to 180 off the low bar but styled all the way & a clean dropin to the 40fter where the start was a cab 900 rolling straight down to a late late corked right out backside 7 yeah...!!! after that a clean boardslide on the downrail finished it all off!

A few more highlight moves from the book went like this ;

Rudi Kroell of Mayrhofen Austria on Nike ACG put the epic rodeo 5 melon grab to huge corked grabbed 900 combo on the booters

166 Seppe Smits of Westmalle Belguim on Burton with the cleanest slow 720 mute on the 2nd booter

174 Ishida Takahiro of Tokyo Japan on forum blazed the big lofty corked 900 into a 7 off the second.

236 Kauk Lonnie of Mammoth Lakes USA combo'd the switch corked 720 dropping fast straigh into a big corked 9 off the 2nd booter

The kiwi boys in the Qualifier ripped - Louis Prucker was on big points coming into the Qualifiers but didn't quite nail his last runs as well as earlier rippers, Quentin Robbins put up a few huge drifting moves - always the styler. Jorum Makuru put up a good battle as did Connor Harding but it was Roland Morley Brown on form for Ride who topped the Kiwi scores in this round securing a spot tomorrow.

Moving into the womens saw the course softening & definately slowing up a bit so the girls had to adjust their focus & hold speed.......................but they were boosting and the standouts were definately putting in the big spins with grabs over the first 40 fter then all opting to hit the 2nd 40 fter, down the bottom end it showed up the jib abilities of the girls with all kinds of extra polished leans & variations mixed in to show some true rail style....

Taking out the womens Burton NZ Open Qualifier for 07 was 180 the goofy footer Claudia Fliri from Kramsach in Austria riding for Volkl, she went like this 50 50 that c - rail then 50 50 to a late front 180 off the next set into a clean boosted cab 5 on the 40 footer into a frontside grabbed 3 then as 50 50 nose slide on the battle to finish it all.

2nd chica through was 208 Michelle Shea form San Diego USA on Atomic, she put in a cab 270 boardslide then into 50 50 with a backside 180 of the rail, dropping into a cab 360 tail grab to a big backside double grab finishing with a nose slide

3rd place Qualifier was 196 Valerie Reynolds from Spokane USA representing All star adventures she put in a nose slide nose grab to boardslide on the low bar but a clean exit meant the big backside 3 with the styling melon grab to frontside 360 with the indy grab into a nose slide on the battle to finish!

The ticks were struck up for Claudia Fliri of Kramsach of Austria on Volkl throwing the cab 540 to big frontside 3 then down to boardslide the battleship.

Christiane Prior of Great Brittain for Underground Skate nailed the c -box with a 270 on dropping further down to a smooth grabbed frontside 3 then into the lower kicker for the big stylish method.

212 Posey Dixon of London Great Brittain threw in a big mute backside 360 off the top kicker

239 Shelly Gotlieb of Wanaka New Zealand on Rome put in a boosting corked backside 3 with the long tail grab right through then down to a bigger backside 5 then onto 50 50 the battleship to finish! - nice!

What another massive day of riding!!!!!! Big Props to all the Snowpark Crew - those guys and girls are working super hard, keeping this place to an incredible level, the courses are all constantly maintained throughout the day & night, the restaurant, bar & organisation is perfect - with these friendly people on the case no one could ask for more!

Tonight down in Wanaka riders & locals will be partying again at the Gravis Sessions, where Open Souls will be rocking the house!!!!! Queenstowns Subculture, Revolver & Tardis will be cranking also. Last nights Wanaka Gravis Sessions were responsible for some wild times in town!!!!! At the Cardrona Hotel where all the judges & crew are staying you can only imagine....

Up here at Snowpark last night it was into the Woolshed bar for a few with everyone after the main end of day happy hour for all the riders, media & spectators, then up to the apartment where it was humming with visitors amid all the laptops, cameras & tech gear with the beer & music flowing out till the small hours, the spa pool took a good hiding as it will again tonight.....Great times & insane riding continue at this years 07 BURTON NZ OPEN up at SNOWPARK. tomorrow it's the main Slopestyle event & the night time 1/4!!!!!!!!!!!!!! stay tuned.......


LUCA SOULOS

 

Mens & Womens Slopestyle continued!

Well what an afternoon!!!!!!!!! It's good to have you checking back in!!!!!!!!
The Burton & Snowpark crew are stoked as the weather held fine to make day two another huge success!!!!!
Riders ripped into the Qualifier with the mens field now cut down to 25 hunting for a spot into the main event tomorrow, followed straight away by the womens qualifier to end the day.

Beats rang out with Devon in the box from Shapeshifter; NZ's finest - check them out on myspace or the net & you'll get an idea of the background feel!
These guys are insane & are the main gig for the epic Burton after party on Sat night that is already sold out!!!!!!!!!

As promised the level stepped up again - with the big moves going on continually, the c - boxes at the top were well worked & gave a super smooth leadin to the course & a good jib feel, dropping into that next rail set with a mixed bag was the key, the high rail had a descent drop off so putting the base down sweet meant a good fast run into the first kicker. Stomp clean on that & with a solid first one under the belt the all crucial & main focus of the monster kicker was in grasp, Standing under that baby gave you a rush everytime someone launched off it, the drift time was huge so spinning fast or slow looked good however landing at huge pace & instantly splitting the decision go for the battleship or the stairs & down rail had to be automatic.

As the day rolled the snow softened meaning you needed all the speed you could get - no mistakes!

I'm just running down to get a few results so back to you soon.....



LUCA SOULOS

 

SLOPESTYLE QUALIFIERS!!!!

OK ! Its all on, the riding has been sick and the riders are loving the course & the snow is perfect, at the top you've got 2 angled c boxes plus a middle flat option into a high or low bar further down then the drop into the first of the kickers - a 40 footer to clear then you need to be on key with a perfect landing & hold the speed straight into the monster - a 70 footer!...............don't stop to pat yourself on the back once you've made that because next up you have the choice a battleship rail or a set of 30 stairs with a long down rail & out the end - sweet!!!!!!

Like i said it's sick up there, coaches are at the sides giving the feedback to riders who are corking, spinning and grabbing up a storm, we are seeing riders waste them selves & just when you think it's narly somone comes down & stomps a super clean mouth opener of a run to get everyone hooting.

Every run things are stepping up in these qualifying rounds. The standard is way up there!!!!

The light threatened to flatten out then the sky peeled back to say don't hold back boys,

Highlights are plenty with every nation showing it's style & underdogs pushing for a slot into the next round -

I stood under the top kicker beside a grommet Greg Le patoural from Vancover who just arrived back to NZ for his 3rd time, he was helping out shovelling snow around the course with the big grin on his face! anything to get up there & stand under these riders boosting!

We saw a lot of 5's and steezy 360 variations on the first kicker then rolling into the big boy, the photographers were snapping the shots of double corked f/s 7's and 900s in fast or slow options grapped or tucked among the assortment!

On the NZ front Quentin Robbins on Volkl threw the lazy style cat tail 360 to massive corked grabbed 9 off the second stomped so clean!!!
RMB of NZ on Ride also following up with the corked 5 to drifting clean 7, Louis Prucker of NZ on Volkl threw the big method grabbed b/s 900 on the 2nd kicker! Kiwi riders were representing!

164 Sabastian Runeare from Santa Cruz USA on Burton threw the mean tail grabbed 900 on the big one,
236 Kauk Lonnie of Mommoth lakes USA dropped like this - ft board sameways off the high rail to front side 5 on the first kicker to switch back 900 on the second, to transfer switch f/s boardslide on the battleship, getting all thumbs up!

167 Anthony Smits of westmalle Belgium on burton was killing it putting it all on the line with his 900 variation on the first kicker.

Stay tuned for notes from the book after we get back out there & watch these riders keep pounding the course


LUCA SOULOS
Sub20.com

 

GOOD MORNING WORLD!!!!!!

Welcome back, It's another bluebird day here at Snowpark NZ, the sun is beaming down & a light breeze is wafting across the field, breakfast is cooking & as we look out from the window of the apartment riders are already getting in practice on the Slopestyle course! As i write these words someone this moment is 20-30ft up flying through the air upside down with another rider right behind ready to go - that'll wake you up in a hurry!

What a big day ahead with the assortment of rails & two major booters making up the Slopestyle that will form the main focus of today. We'll bring you updates as the the qualifiers swing into action.

LUCA SOULOS

 

WOMENS QUALIFIER & END OF THE FIRST DAY

Welcome back to Snowpark NZ & the Burton NZ Open!!!!! The light cloud has peeled back to sharpen the vision back up and for most here; sitting on the chair lift looking out over the surrounding peaks lit up by the sun rays; life seems pretty fine!!!

Up at the womens PIPE Qualifier things were in full swing!!! 40 girls from 10 countries dropping in with tunes streaming out of the speakers lining the pipe.

I arrived just in time to meet Miles & Woody clicking away & stoked with the standard, and also see New Zealand's own Kendall Brown drop into the pipe and blaze a super clean run full of spins & grabs stoking out local onlookers. As standouts, the Japanese girls were on form boosting the amplitude & one uping each other run by run.

A few notes to drink your coffee to go like this;

121 Helen Nadig of Chur! Switzerland riding for Rome & vans threw the big f/s to backside then into a 540 & leaned nose grab combo,
122 Aoki Miho of Higashikurume-shi Japan on Moss whipped the height up going from a backside air into a clean 720 to a cab 360, then spinning 540 into a set of big straight airs finishing with the ol skool floating method - great run!

124 Rei Yoshizawa of Japan on misson 6 put in smooth frontside 540 definately worth spreading the ink for,
125 Komiichi Kimura of Sapporo Japan on Burton answered straight back pulling out the lofty frontside to backside double grab combo,
214 Queralt Castellet from Sabadell in Spain pulled the cleanest held 540 way out of the pipe of the girls comp so far followed up by a lean air & a text book method,

141 Kyla Sobieralski of Bassalt USA representing the Radio Board Shop smashed out some big frontside mutes,
163 Rika Hatta a Tokyo girl & on the Burton team streamed together a boosting f/s nose grab to backside air into back to back 540s,
126 Tech combo goes to Maki Mitsui of Machida-shi Japan on Yonex as she started with the f/s into backside then 720 tweaked to 540 to 540 then coninuing with techy spins all the way to the end - the mc's loved it!

The noise however went to 127 Miyahara Akari another Sapporo girl from Japan who sliced into her run like an axe through lettuce with a huge frontside into backside method then back to back 540s then another frontside variation into a backside tail grab followed by a 720 then a cab 360 to finish!

these are just some of the girls highlight moves and combos for the many hoping to qualify for a place! plenty more make it tough for the judges to cut the field down to the select few who will move on to Saturdays final rounds with the big names already pre qualified.

As with the mens the next few rounds promise to be spectacular, we've seen some big stuff today!!!!!!! and the competetors are pumped with the first day a big success, tonight in Wanaka the Gravis sessions are on where the partying will be mad till the small hours..............

right it's time to end the day in proper kiwi style and crack a beer, see you tomorrow!

LUCA SOULOS

 

Mens PIPE Qualifiers

Its easy to see the level stepping up as the comp. develops, after throwing down some lunch i jumped back on the lift to head up & catch a few highlights of the next stage, the qualifiers for men, 25 riders that will be sliced down to 10.

A light haze of cloud in the sky lowered the light slightly from the beaming bluebird of this morning & by the end of the second round was an extra factor for riders to deal with.

The beats rolled out & with both Neils & Jay on the mc the energy turned up another notch. One by one riders threw down hard in an attempt to make the top 10 & push through to the semis with the pre qualified.
While we wait for results to be posted here are a few of the tricks that stood out;

227 regular footer Ruben Verges of Spain fiding for Santa cruz lifted the bar with a drifting f/s crail into big long 720,
226 Spencer Shaw USA for O'neill popped the 900 to big backside air to 540 combo,

162 Matt Lindenmuth of Kutztown USA for axia boards put in the crippler to tail tweak to a mean 900 over head,
217 Drew Brighton of USA park city and Head boards with the big f/s to backside to back to back grabbed 900s,

154 Ben Stewart of Wanaka/Whangamata New Zealand on Nitro blazed his run of frontside to mc twist to f/s 900 to backside 540,
113 Eisuke Sugiura of Tokyo JPN and Burton stood tall on his first hit spinning a clean slow 900 way up there,

199 Michal Ligocki of Poland & Rossi boards an ex olympian threw the huge backside 900 tweaked corked & grapped all the way,
175 Kazumi Fujita of JPN riding K2 was blazing in the Pre's and didn't hold back with the amplitute in the Qualifiers with a sweet backside to big front 7 combo getting the motordrives clicking,

90 Bryan Daino of USA also made it through and busted a 900 twisted way out followed by a 5 to 5 to 720 to 720 - nice!
144 Ben Kilner of Banchory Great Britten riding for Billabong threw big floaty frontside & backside airs to start then turned up the speed into the fast 720,

183 Zak Stone of Collingwood Canada on volcom and riding regular put in a massive double handed b/s tail grab on the first and with mad style rolled into a ft 720 to bk 720 to 900 to 540 to alley oop - a great bag of tricks!!!

116 Daisuke Murakami from Japan & on K2 also stepped up with constant big amplitute and a b/s double poke to front 720 to Hakkon f/s 900 in sick style to b/s 540 finishing off with a tweaked frontside and getting big props from the sideline.

104 Burton rider Chris Walker from USA looked clean with the combo - b/s method to 900 to b/s 540 to ft 540 to b/s 900 finishing off with the old stalefish.

Things are looking great out there, the practice session has been on in the slopestyle course so by turning your head slightly from the pipe between runs, it's all action just a few meters away on the big kickers, keeping the day jamming with action & intense riding.

Right now the women are kicking into gear in the pipe so time to check it out.......catch you soon

LUCA SOULOS
Sub20.com

 

Pre Qual update from the Pipe

We've just ripped down from the side of the Pipe to give you an update & a feel for the highlight moves going down in the pre Quals, So here we go with a few notes that made the page:

147 Craig Moore of Calgary Canada riding for burton pushed huge 7s & b/s airs getting the whistles & lofty call from the sidelines, Japan has a big line-up here & 150 Rikuya Narita of Hakodate JPN riding for billabong represented with a massive mc twist to backside air to front 7 into air to fakie - big and smooth.

Kiwi rider young Ben Stewart riding for nitro threw in the sick mctwist to 5 to f/s 900 to bk 95 to ft.720 stepping up in his second run, Pocket rockets under 15yrs popped out of the shadows & among them182 Burton rider Taylor Watling (11yrs) of Erin Canada small in size was going over head tweaking as much as he could, along with 219 Harrison Grey of Newmarket Canada also on the burton hookup with the clean f/s 7s.

83 isaac Verges of Barcelona Spain riding for the Burton with a sweet high evergy style threw in the big corked spins & stayed solid in the amplitude all the way down, 113 Eisuke Sugiura of Tokyo Japan repping for burton went frontside to backside to ft. 900 to revert to540 to mc twist into air to fakie tail snatcher,

116 K2 rider Daisuke Murakami of Sapporo JPN riding regular was the super huge machine, big right to the end of the pipe and getting 3 ticks in my book, 128 Lib Tec rider Bryan Shuey of Incline Village USA threw sweet corked 900s,

Quentin Robbins the Cat riding for Volkl and another NZ pro lofted the big ol skool tweaks floating down the pipe in style & racking the bigest amplitude of the Kiwis so far. Roland Morley Brown for Ride and Takapuna New Zealand pushed his way out of the lip snatching from the trick bag as below in the Groomer below the pipe; Legendary Frank Wells (who was up till the early hours groomer sculpting), was pushing up snow for the monster 1/4 pipe that last year hit over 28ft!

As we write riders are still cranking through in the continuing pre qual event......

LUCA SOULOS
Sub20.com

 

Super quick taster

In the pre Quals it's all go with a mountain of riders to go through, one of the many standouts so far has been BRYAN DAINO of EDWARDS USA, straight after breakfast the 17 year old Sessions rider tore straight into a huge inverted backside 900 to b/s 5 then back to back 720s to seal the deal, he'll be happy with that as were the judges

LUCA SOULOS
Sub20.com

 

Wake up! it's wednesday morning & bluebird

Good morning brothers & sisters from around the globe!

It's another perfect bluebird day down here in NZ, The superpipe has already cranked into life with the Pre qualifiers & qualifiers for both men & women, the lifts are running & music is drifting across the park.....

This is the main focus of today for the NZ BURTON OPEN - HALFPIPE. 11.30 am - 2.40 pm Qualifiers. For local riders checking in, 11- 2pm will be open slopestyle practice so amid the pipe action a turn of the head will see that big set of booters in the middle of the field have it's warm-up.

With 16 countries represented & the big distances travelled to get here we should see some manic action in these early rounds - looking up at the pipe it's 1 min to kick off for the earlier pre - qualifiers, we've got Johnny Cash playing us some morning start up tunes to go with the coffee here then we are out the door and heading to the side of the pipe....

talk to you soon......

LUCA SOULOS

 

07 BURTON NEW ZEALAND OPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Like any excited mission, it all starts by throwing everything at a bag then trying to think of what you've forgotten. Once time runs out you have to zip it up & go no matter what......

I threw it all in the car & headed off around Queenstown to pick up Chris & Stu (the core of Boarderzone who along with myself & the rest of the crew including the miles & woody show will be bringing you as much info as fast as possible), pile their stuff on top of mine then point the truck towards the Crown range & Snowpark.

Along with over 230 competitors plus organisers, sponsors, media, crew & spectators we are on the road, decending on Snowpark NZ, a mtn dedicated to freestyle in all it's glory and based at the bottom of the world in the spectacular southern lakes area of the South Island for the 5th Annual BURTON NEW ZEALAND OPEN!,

Last year it was an incredible event so the antisipation of what we are about to see is surging through everyone.

Over the next few days we will whitness insane riding by many of the biggest names & best riders the world has to offer, we will stand open mouthed at what we see, we'll ride together, party together, & celebrate what has been thrown down & by who........

both local towns: Queenstown & Wanaka have bands rocking it up everynight for riders & supporters to fill all their needs & wants.......
yeah yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

stay tuned....even i can't wait to see what will be recorded, already Miles & Woody have photos from todays warm ups that'll put a grin on any riders face.


The Snowpark - what can you say? the drive up is a world class rally track "race to the sky" you feel like you are travelling through some kind of surreal scenery & stratosphere on the way up - raw mountainside with rockpiles towering like twisted old trees mixed with sharp flaxlike spaniards & tussocks covering the land, snowcappped mtns in every direction if you look out.

At the top : Utophia "Snowpark" - a freestyle park with X games & olympic std halfpipe, small to massive kickers everywhere, rails, boxes & a 1/4 that has graced the pages of countless international mags with the pros that have beat it in....

- to kick it off here's our experience so far, 5 people sitting around the kitchen bar in the most styling apartment on a mtn you have seen, blahing the blah, we've just finished cooking a dinner any restuarant would be proud to serve, the wine & beer is flowing & our outlook is the snowpark at night - snow guns blazing so all kickers can be groomed to perfection.

Miles is taking time exposures so maybe you'll get to see one, below us is the spa pool (one for each place), the music is flowing out & below the apartments (3 more beside us and a backpackers) is the bar and restaurant that we haven't made it to yet.

Out there in the dark lies a freestyle park any grommet or seasoned ripper would freak over & tomorrow it will turn into one big live action movie all day long.....aaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!


The Judges and a bunch of others are staying at the Cardrona hotel just below the mtn and probably having another story of a good time, this is the essence of the BURTON NZ OPEN, we are at the bottom of the world down here, good times are rolling already and tomorrow competition begins....




LUCA SOULOS

 

QUARTERPIPE

HALFPIPE MENS FINALS

HALFPIPE WOMENS FINALS

HALFPIPE MENS SEMIS

HALFPIPE WOMENS SEMIS

GRAVIS OPEN SESSIONS

SLOPESTYLE MENS SEMIS

SLOPESTYLE WOMENS SEMIS

SLOPESTYLE QUALS

SLOPESTYLE MENS PREQUALS

SLOPESTYLE MENS PRACTICE

HALFPIPE WOMENS QUALS

HALFPIPE MENS PREQUALS

halfpipe slopestyle quarterpipe
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