The Launch continues to be both the stomping grounds and proving grounds for some of the best up-and-coming young talent in Snowboarding. From it's debut in 2008 at the Northstar-At-Tahoe it has attracted the likes of Mark McMorris, Zak Hale, Sage Kotsenberg, and more who seem to be household names in the world of snowboarding today. However this may have not always been the case before they attended this event, and that is one thing that makes The Launch what it is. The playing field is leveled, and young riders are given the opportunity to really stand out and make an impression. Speaking of standing out, we have compiled some of our favorite photos from the past years of The Launch in order to hype up the upcoming event at Bear Mountain, April 3rd-6th. Take a click through the history of The Launch in the gallery above and keep you eyes peeled for coverage of this year's Launch during the first week of April, 2012.Read More
Words & Photos: Laura Austin
Another sunny day with nothing but blue skies graced Mammoth Mountain for the Grand Prix Halfpipe finals. You have to hand it to the park crews this year, despite the less than optimal snow conditions plaguing North America they are still able to step up with amazing features, and that definitely was the case with the pipe today.
The men took to the pipe first in their two run final. Most having trouble sticking their initial run all the way through with a score of 68.2 holding the top spot through most of run one until Zack Black snuck in with an 86.4. Luke Mitrani was definitely a standout with his lofty double Michael Chuck right out of the gate, earning him the Maloof Best Trick that was accompanied with a $10,000 check. Top qualifier, Louie Vito, threw down an impressive first run which included a double crippler and higher amplitude on every hit than most of the competition. This run put him into the lead with a 94.2.
As the second run rolled around it was Greg Bretz who knocked Louie Vito out of the top podium position with a solid run earning him a 95. Luke came back and cleaned up his second run, landing everything smoothly, and once again throwing a giant double Michael Chuck on his first hit. Luke improved to a 90, locking him into a 3rd place position. The only rider left, Louie Vito, earned himself a victory lap which he took full advantage of throwing 3 double-corks and a HUGE roast beef on his last hit, improving his score to a 98.2. This win made him the national champ earning him a 20k purse, plus the 10k for first place. Definitely not a bad day for Louie Vito. Following Louie was Greg Bretz, and then Luke Mitrani with that third place spot.
On the ladies side, the field was opened up with the absence of Kelly Clark but Elena Hight, Kaitlyn Farrington, and Ellery Hollingsworth were still in the mix. Young 14-year-old Arielle Gold was a head turner, not only because of her full tiger print outfit, but she held pretty good amplitude throughout her whole run earning her a 84.6. Kaitlyn Farrington put down a solid first run. Ellery stepped up next including a cab 9 and an inverted 720 into her run moving her into 3rd place. But after all was said and done with not much moving of positions, it was Elena Hight earning herself a victory lap which included a beautiful alley oop backside rodeo on her last hit.
Couldn’t have asked for better conditions for a halfpipe contest, granted the sun made one side of the pipe pretty soft, but everyone was in high spirits. Congrats to all the riders, and as for the Grand Prix… see you next year.
Mammoth Grand Prix Halfpipe Results
1st - Louie Vito
2nd - Greg Bretz
3rd - Luke Mitrani
1st - Elena Hight
2nd - Kaitlyn Farrington
3rd - Ellery Hollingsworth
It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years already since Mammoth put on the first WCI, but in honor of its decade anniversary, the park staff took the setup to another level.Read More
Between the TTR, FIS, Dew Tour and Winter X Games, there have been 27 major snowboard contests scheduled between December 2010 and March 2011 at venues all across the world. Each organization schedules its event series without taking into account the event schedule set by other organizations, which results in a contest calendar that is not only crowded, but where major competitions conflict with each other. Scheduling conflicts force riders to choose between events, which not only divides the competitive field, it devalues the viewing experience for fans who watch competitions where not all the top riders are participating.Read More
That's a wrap for the Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain. See how the superpipe finals unfolded in this full recap of the event.Read More
The sunny slopes of Snowbasin, Utah played host to the final Dew Tour stop of the season, with more on the line that a simple podium placing. Check the recap from the Superpipe finals.Read More
This may be a bit of an inside joke, but it is hard not to give Greg Bretz a hard time about his Valentine's day last year. Check out his Guestbook.Read More
Another blizzard set the scene for Superpipe finals at the Dew Tour in Breckenridge, but Louie Vito and Queralt Castellet were able to come out on top.Read More
With Mammoth opening and Play Big Productions new movie premiering this weekend, we thought we would bring you their full movie from last year "Hot Laps".Read More