Going Huge at The US Open - Powder & Rails 2 of 3

Uploaded by vice on Apr 5, 2012

MALE SPEAKER: Every year this time everyone on the eastern
seaboard who knows anything about snowboarding shows up
for the US Open half pipe.
We're expecting crowds of up to 10,000 people here today.
This thing goes off.
It's the biggest snowboard competition in the world.
SHEM ROOSE: The Opens through the '90s were definitely--
they could get out of control.
JEFF BRUSHIE: People had kegs going on the side of the pipe.
People lined up drinking and screaming.
SHEM ROOSE: I think one of the top highlights from the any of
the Opens was the cage.
Everyone talks about the cage.
JEFF BRUSHIE: Some years people would bring fencing and
make their own little beer cage that only their crew
could be in.
It was crazy.
TRICIA BYRNES: Pat Bridges, Mark Sullivan, all those guys.
They built this sketchy chicken wire cage with two by
fours, that was not up to code, for sure.
And they pretty much just got wasted all day and cheered on
It was sick.
PAT BRIDGES: So we'd get up at 5:00 in the morning.
We'd go up to the bottom of the pipe.
We'd start dragging these two by fours and all this chicken
wire up there.
And this guy comes up on a snowmobile, and this is where
I think it's all going to come to an end, and this guy's
like, Hey, what are you guys doing?
We're like, Oh, we're creating a private viewing area for
Burton employees.
And the guy's like, Oh, really?
Can we get you anything?
You guys need some trash barrels?
Some chairs?
Some tables?
Are we were like, we need all of the above.
TOM MONTEROSSO: My friends and I had absolutely no idea what
was going on.
We saw that there was a bouncer letting
people in and out.
People were partying in it.
It was just all out mayhem.
SETH NEARY: If you walked up the left side of the pipe
during the Open, during the contest, you were probably
going to drink one or two beers.
Every run.
You were going to stop, say hello to a
bunch of locals, friends.
Everybody was partying.
And if you needed a break from that you'd walk
up the right side.
Which I never did.
It's a serious event, but at the same time you're partying
with the crowd, and you're partying with the other
competitors, and yeah, left wall.
JEFF BRUSHIE: There would we be dudes hanging out of the
cage going, Rushie, get over here!
Trying to drag you in.
Have a drink.
And you're trying to do your runs.
NEIL KORN: There were so many people in there that the cage
just broke.
Where people were standing on the backside, fell
off the half pipe.
PAT BRIDGES: I was thinking that these 60 people on
chicken wire were going to fly down and
take down 3,000 people.
Didn't happen, thank God.
And nobody got hurt.
I mean, there were some incidents.
CRIS DABICA: Pat's one of the greatest
snowboarders in the world.
And Pat did eggplants and his weird hand plant variations in
that pipe, trashed, wearing a tiger costume.
And It's hard enough to walk down the road wearing a tiger
costume drunk, and he was rolling in from the deck,
doing inverts in that costume.
And that's just mind-boggling.
BARRY DUGAN: Those are the moments that you can't script.
You know, people going like, We're going to the Open.
Let's fill in the blank.
Like let's throw up a cage and get some costumes, and bring
in stacks of beer, and just go for it.
Why not?
TOM MONTEROSSO: And just to see this whole thing unfold.
I mean, I think it's a really big part of why I kept
Because I just wanted to constantly feel that excited
about something.
CRIS DABICA: They just went up and acted like they owned the
place, and created this thing, and nobody asked
them to take it down.
That, I think, was one of the higher points of participation
from a crowd standpoint.
It was symbolic of the freedom that you had as a
spectator at the event.
The Open doesn't belong to the sponsors, doesn't belong to
Stratton, it belongs to the people that have come year
after year after year.
That's those 5,000 people that came from between the second
they started doing pipe and the end of that
next decade, basically.
TERJE HAAKONSEN: Yeah, it was hilarious.
People, you know, climbing up in trees.
Snowball fights.
A lot of drinking on the side.
A lot of cheering.
A lot of shit-talking.
JEFF BRUSHIE: It was sick.
It was like you wanted to ride to please the crowd there.
You wanted to be up over the crowd looking down, and people
going, Yeah.
ANDY COGHLAN: You know, I think that really ups the
level of every competitor.
And that's kind of the legacy of the US Open.
And then, started by Jeff Brushie back in the day, I
think in 1990, he came onto the scene and just started
doing big airs.
DANNY KASS: Brushie was just throwing out the illest
crails, and just like boning it out, and it was just that
vibe of, this is snowboarding.
There's no rules.
TERJE HAAKONSEN: You know, I rode with Brushie a lot, and
obviously he went the biggest of the time, and I was really
influenced by Craig.
So my philosophy was, if I can be as technical as Craig at
the time, and go as big as Brushie and Palmer, I would do
pretty good.
ANDY COGHLAN: We didn't see Terje at
the Open as a superstar.
When he came he was definitely one of the up and coming
groms, but he didn't roll right in and win.
It took a few years.
MALE SPEAKER: Was there a little bit of a
grudge match going on?
You came in second to Terje Haakonsen at the Worlds at
South Lake Tahoe, and today you squeezed him
by 3/10 of a point.
TODD RICHARDS: The only grudge match between Haakonsen is
because he blasted me in the face with champagne at the
Worlds, then he ran away from me and I
couldn't get him back.
No, there's no grudge match there.
That kid just pushes me.
Pushes me super hard.
His last run was probably one of the most diverse runs I've
seen him do in a long time, and it's rad to see that.
TERJE HAAKONSEN: All of the guys I looked up to were
really cool to me, but I know there was a lot of hate from
other guys.
I could totally feel it.

Jimi Scott was a pretty good example.
He was really trying to psych out every noob who came out.
Not only me, but everybody else.
But then you have Palmer and Brushie kind of like helping
you to gain some psychological power against him.
Palmer always told me, when Jimi drops you just drop right
after him and go twice as big as him.
He always used to tell me that.
And Jimi would drop in, and Palmer would
drop, and I would drop.
JAKE BURTON: You know, I think that probably my best Terje
moment at the Open was when I first saw the sticker, the
Bootleg sticker, that said, "I saw Terje go fucking huge at
the US Open." It was great.
Terje really changed the whole thing.
I think he made it more fun and more exciting for
spectators, and everybody.
ANDY COGHLAN: You know, He came in
and he improved everyone.
And he was one of those riders that everyone started to copy,
because not only could he go big, but he was also doing
very technical tricks, and really pushed the direction to
where it is today.
DANNY KASS: At that time he was like this God.
Like, we didn't really know much about him.
We just knew that one day we wanted to be like him.
We kind of snuck up from behind and we just literally
touched him.
And then he'd turn around, look around, we'd kind of be
there, like, What?
I don't know.
Give him a weird look, and then he'd turn around again.
Then the next person in the crew would go
up and just be like--
And then we left and it was like, that was US Open 1998.
SKY CHALMERS: There's a few photos that really jump out to
me when I think of all the pictures I took at the Open.
One definitely is Terje.
CHRIS COPLEY: We used to do this autograph session in this
courtyard at the Open, and it would be mayhem.
There would be 500, 600 people in this courtyard.
TOM MONTEROSSO: And there's that big kind of clock tower
hotel where all the riders would stay, and they would
congregate up on the top floor.
CHRIS COPLEY: And Haakonsen was on the fifth story, and he
opens up his window, and he had his board that he'd just
won the pipe with, and he's dangling it out the window.
And he threw the board out the window.
Dude, there was like a riot.
SKY CHALMERS: And then there was a fight.
People are going after the board.
I'm surprised someone didn't get killed.
CHRIS COPLEY: Every cop from down in that area was called
in, because people were just beating on each other trying
to grab Haakonsen's board.
That got ugly, and that's where, wooo, there were
certain rules that got put in place.
BARRY DUGAN: And you had this convergence, because it was a
pretty rowdy, snowboard only, not made for TV event.
It was for the snowboarding industry.
And that was pure.
PAT BRIDGES: I mean, it was easy to see what the
importance of the US Open was, because it was the Olympics
for freestyle snowboarding before there was an Olympics.
It was the X Games for freestyle snowboarding before
there was an X Games.
And because it really was universal.
You would get everybody of relevance who had a place of
prominence within freestyle snowboarding was there.
TRICIA BYRNES: At that point you're getting to see a bigger
international field.
It wasn't on television as much, on the
web, all that stuff.
So people would come out to see these Finnish, or crazy
Japanese riders that you'd maybe heard
about but never seen.
So I feel like there was a lot of firsts at the Open.
MALE SPEAKER: Here he comes.
It's the first hit.
Front side Alley-oop, putting that down smooth.
Nice little front side [INAUDIBLE] there.
KAZUHIRO KOKUBO: I won two time US
Open, in 2010 and 2011.
MALE SPEAKER: He's got it going on.
Come on, guy.
There's a double cork.
Putting that one down smooth.
KAZUHIRO KOKUBO: After that it's so much better with my
Yeah, everything's so free, and it's so much fun.
MALE SPEAKER: Dude, the Japanese are [INAUDIBLE].