I just watched the big scaffolding hip gap in NYC that was Snowscrapers. Shayne Pospisil took the top spot and the $50K check with a big backside '900.' Torstein Horgmo came in second with Scotty Lago and Travis Rice wrapping up 3rd and 4th respectively. Torstein survived a crazy fall that saw him skid off the side of the take-off on his last run. He then got up to the top of the drop-in and made his last jump. Ballsy.
The format went like this, all 16 riders went at it in a 60-minute jam session which then cut to the top 8 who competed head-to-head. Oddly enough, it looked like the #1 rider from the jam rode against the #2 rider. Then, 3 vs. 4 and so on, instead of the traditional 1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, etc. The bummer in this case went to Shaun White who got knocked out by Torstein Horgmo in round 1 of the elimination. If the scores went down the same, he would have gotten knocked down by #8 Daniel Ek, too, so maybe that one didn't matter. It still seemed a bit off.
The weirdest thing about the contest was that the riders couldn't get enough speed even though the drop-in was 90 feet tall, so they got a slingshot start from two workers or a winch. The riding was pretty good, though. Not 'Air & Style' good, but OK. Pospisil's '900' in the finals deserved first place for sure. Rice had some nice rodeos, Lago ripped off some quality spins and of course Terje cranked a nice method or two. Terje also attempted a one-footed air, but washed out the landing. Super ballsy, especially considering some of the riders were barely clearing the gap fully strapped in. They gave him the best trick at the end, I can only assume it was for the big method.
It might be my inexperience with hip jumps, but it seemed like the announcers were adding an extra 180 to all the tricks. For example, in Pospisil's '900' he took off forward and landed forward. I'd have called it a 720, but I defer to the experts. Maybe they just wanted it to sound bigger or maybe I'm wrong. It wouldn't be the first time.
I thought it was cool to see Shayne win a big event like this. He's not exactly a household name, even though he rips hard. For proof, check out last year's King of Quarters and last week's Air & Style. Hopefully he had a bunch of family and friends in attendance, being a Jersey native and all. I was also really impressed with Daniel Ek's performance. He's pretty new to the scene, but he threw down with the vets and came out with a nice finish. Hopefully we can see some more of what he's capable throughout the season.
Another cool thing is that some smaller form of the jump will be kept up for a week or so for public use. How cool is that? If you're anywhere nearby, go check that out: East River Park at FDR and Houston. Now snowboarders have a chance to play out their dreams. Internal monologue, "It's come down to this last jump, for all the fame, glory and 50,000 dollars. (S)he's got to beat an 85.33 for the win..." In the words of Valient Thorr, that's what I'm talkin' about.
Here are the rest of the results, 5-8 are my best guesses based on scores from the first round of eliminations.
1. Shayne Pospisil
2. Torstein Horgmo
3. Scotty Lago
4. Travis Rice
5. Daniel Ek
6. Shaun White
7. Bjorn Leines
8. Terje Haakonsen
Next stop for me is the Mt. Baker Legendary Banked Slalom, where the goal is to not leave the ground so much. Check back for more on that one later...