Sunday, August 16, 2009
Guest Post from NZ Open Best Trick winner Liz Beerman
Hey, this is Lizzy Beerman. Here is the low down from my perspective of the Burton New Zealand Open.
Arriving at the top of the half pipe yesterday morning for an hour of Semi-Finals practice, the weather was looking like it was shaping up to be a perfect day. During that practice it seemed as though we were in the middle of a very competitive season with men and women throwing down new and different tricks bigger than I have ever seen. After my somewhat stressful two contest runs I barley squeaked into finals sitting in eighth, with Jiayu Liu qualifying first, Kelly Clark second, and Lin Haug in third . Soon after the women finished the men dove into the most progressive mind blowing Semi-Final this sport has ever seen. SMS's own alum Loui Vito was the first to land a double corked front-side 1080, qualifying first into Finals, followed by Luke Mitrani in second, and Shaun White in third.
By far one of the coolest things I experienced during finals was looking around and seeing the whole SMS crew cheering me and other SMS alums on, sending good vibes and just enjoying the contest. During my third and final run after not landing my first two, I ended up falling again and getting a little banged up on a back-side 540 but not before landing a front-side 900 that earned me the Female Best Trick and 6th place. For the other women in finals, Kelly Clark took first, Jiayu Liu in second, and Zhifeng Sun in third. For the men Shaun White stole first place in his second run with back to back double corked 1080s, Luke Mitrani took second with an impressive double corked micheal chuck on his first hit, and Kazuhiro Kokubo ended up in third. Overall the day was almost as fun to watch as it was to experience, and I think I can speak for everyone when I say that the tricks that were thrown down yesterday took the level of this sport that we know and love to a new level.
Yeah Lizzy! This is Ian again, and Liz nailed the vibe of yesterday's comp. Historic to say the least, and I've been in this sport for over 20 years. While we all enjoyed sitting at the top of the pipe checking out history, you know we had to get our shred on too! When we arrived I took a crew of jump-hungry shred heads over to the slope course which had opened to the public. We grabbed Tikos to take some photos and he got some amazing, professional-quality shots. He has the eye and could easily make a living shooting photos. Check out this banger of James Haffner off the 60 footer (take some time to appreciate the graphics on his new ride). Oh yeah, James was out for a day or two but as you can see he is back with that JH style.
One of my camp highlights occurred during this session. As I rushed over to the slope park with my heavy-hitters, young Serena Shaw fell into line behind us and let me know she was coming with us. These jumps are pretty big and we had work to do, but I was immediately taken by her confidence and determination to ride with the big dogs. Serena fit right in. She had no intentions of just following the crew around, she wanted to learn tricks. Backside 360s were on her mind and she picked jump two to learn them on. Few girls her age (or boys for that matter) choose to learn new tricks on 25 foot tables, but Serena does! After 3 slammed attempts she landed a smooth, grabbed backside 360. Here is the proof. She knows how to make an impression on this slope-oriented coach. Big things ahead for this shredette.