Today was the qualifier round of HP#2 out here and it was another fine day of sun and quality riding. Things started with a bump as James Haffner had a difficult morning trying to keep pace with the worlds finest riders on a cracked tail. Rather than try and adjust to a new ride and burn his remaining practice run having his bindings switched he elected to try and make it work but couldn't put together the type of run we know he is capable of. James was disappointed but doing
better now and remains one of our all time favorite
riders. The rest of the world will just have to wait to see it.
In the next heat Joe Mensch and Spencer Shaw enjoyed a nicer practice and some better results. Joe claimed one of the high Backside Airs of the heat, 900's to the left and the right. Spencer laid down the best SMS HP run of the year with a beautiful Crail to front ten, cab seven, front nine, back nine. Nice to see him feeling some satisfaction, knowing as we do the expectations he places on himself and his riding. Ian will show footage soon but here are shots of Joes BS air and Spencers BS Crail...
For the elite girls team I can say that all three HalfPipe riders are riding better every day. Serena, Shelby and Jenn all have different styles but each are spinning more comfortably out of these twenty two foot walls and linking these spins between more articulate and amped straight airs with every session they get. So after they all landed their first runs they made the next run a more aggressive attempt to get into the final or at least bag a few more points. Progression is a snowboarders best friend and the girls are enjoying the climb. Shelby Simpson landed her first run and then next run her biggest back five of the year made the front five tough to hang in there for. Jenn Cohen has added front fives back into her runs out here along with a truckdriver grab (front and back edge at the same time, like driving a truck.) in her frontside 360, and an air-to-fakie to set up her caballerial five forty which is likely to become cab-seven...almost too much progression for a single sentence but still we are looking forward. And then there is Serena Shaw...Serena is the youngest girl in the event and once again Serena stomped her front and back fives, grabbed her threes and styled out some four to five foot airs. Another top twenty for Serena and Jenn as well this time. Serena put up a great bid for a frontside seven in her second run today and it was over three feet out. Courage and determination to start and finish tricks equals progression and I can't wait to see what that equals throughout the rest of the season. Enjoy the pics and the footage on the way...We get to watch some great riding by SMS alumns and this years Olympians while we do a little training tomorrow and sunday. It has been a great experience for our crew to see what lies ahead and where we stand. They should be as proud of the effort as they are eager for the challenge. Click on these photos pulled from video of their runs. Can't show their big straight airs every time so check out the spins.
Serena fs five.
Jenn method air
Shelby sw.back three sixty