US Open Snowboarding turns "Dirty 30" - Powder & Rails 1 of 3

Uploaded by vice on Mar 5, 2012

DANNY KASS: If you go to the US Open and you've been
practicing a run for three months and you've landed it
for two months straight, well then, you know what?
Your run ain't good enough.
Because it's got to be something that you come up
with that is there.
You've got to feed off the crowd, and the energy to
really do it.
And I did it.
I did my first ever frontside 1080 after a
cab 1080 in the 2002.
And it was a time where, I think, a lot of people thought
that the sport really wasn't going to
progress much further.
And when they saw this young kid from Jersey just kind of
pushing and pushing, I think a lot of people really realized
that it was time to shit or get off the pot.
ANNOUNCER: This is Danny Kass.

JAKE BURTON: I think Danny Kass, he just epitomizes, I
think, what the Open's about, which is amplitude, technical
tricks, and style.
TOM MONTEROSSO: Take any pro snowboarder that's alive
today, any big name pro snowboarder, chances are at
some point they either went to the US Open or
competed in the US Open.
I remember in the early 2000s when Danny Kass went on his
crazy winning streak, once he won the US Open, which is one
of the last contests of the year, that's when it was like,
holy shit, Danny Kass is hands down the best pipe
rider in the world.
The Open was a huge, huge win for anybody.
ROSS POWERS: I always looked at it like, I want to just go,
put on the best show I can, have the best
time, and go for it.
And nowadays in snowboarding, there's so many events that it
gets all the top riders together.
And end of the year battle, everyone's been working hard
through the year.
What tricks have you got?
Throw 'em down.

TODD KOHLMAN: Just with the US Open being the longest running
event in snowboarding, and keeping it an open, where
people can sign up and then work their way up to ride
against the big riders, kind of has a soulful feel to
snowboarding, just back to the roots.

BARRY DUGAN: There were pros you kind of knew who was going
to show up and contend.
But there was always that mystery about what teenager or
tween was going to show up and throw down.
JASON FORD: Not only has it been an iconic competition for
Vermont and the East Coast and all the people that drive four
or five hours to attend it, but it's been good for
snowboarding, because having a US Open title or win or even
podium has been, for many people, a
highlight in their career.
TOM MONTEROSSO: You didn't really have a lot of events on
the East Coast that you could go to.
It was the US Open every March, where you could see
Jamie Lynn would make an appearance, Mike Michalchuck,
Jim Rippey, Daniel Franck, all these icons.
KELLY CLARK: The people who drive up from Jersey all
night, sleep in their car to come watch the US Open, it's
almost got a, whatever you want to call
it, a cultish following.
PAT BRIDGES: Just kind of like a meeting of the tribe.
And you had all these college kids and ex ski racers and
sort of like burnouts, dropouts, the kind of people
who wanted to be a part of a fringe group.
SETH NEARY: I remember being at the gondola and seeing Noah
Salasnek and Chris Roach and just being
completely star struck.
I mean like, holy shit.
These dudes are here.
One hand, you're kind of like fanning out.
But at the other side, you're like competing.
You want to compete against them and win.

ANDY COHGLAN: Back then, it was just a
straight shot downhill.
And I had Vans high top checkered shoes on.
Man, was it scary.
You're just on this old equipment--
This stuff just made it so much harder.
JAKE BURTON: It was sort of the daredevil type scene.
Probably an appropriate word.
And table upside down the starting gate.
And it was wow.
Because in the beginning, it was like downhill.
I don't know.
It was sort of where we were at, like just
charging down the hill.
DONNA CARPENTER: If you were willing, you were welcome.
I do remember the first woman rider.
And she cried at the top for like 20 minutes until we
talked her into going.
So it was very intimidating.
I mean, it was these alpine courses.
They were icy.
We didn't have great equipment.
ANDY COHGLAN: The US Open was really important for Jake.
And he took it over from Paul Graves who ran the first one
in Woodstock, Vermont in '82, and wasn't
going to do it again.
And so Jake, kind of out of necessity, was trying to find
a way to expose snowboarding to the world.
JAKE BURTON: The freestyle thing hadn't really happened.
And a lot of people look back and say, why not?
But it was a necessary time for snowboarding.
We had to develop boards, riders had to develop the
technique, and we had to develop product that you could
get down the hill on and turn right and left and stop and do
all those sort of necessary functions.
ANDY COHGLAN: It was great.
I mean, especially when Burton started making the halfpipe, I
think the whole sport really progressed, and the media
really started to cover it.
TERRY KIDWELL: It was 1988.
They had their first halfpipe.
And I was surprised.
We get out there and they have this huge
backhoe digging the pipe.
And that's first time I've ever seen a piece of equipment
digging the walls for us.
Probably the best pipe to date.
I mean, it had to have been.
Jake always put a lot of effort into having that event
be the event of the year.
JAKE BURTON: We had Craig Kelly riding
for us at the time.
And he was a phenomenal pipe rider.
I can remember that first year.
Terry Kidwell won it.
And he and Craig would just go at it.
And it was an incredible competition.
It was super fun to see.
ANDY COHGLAN: It was also kind of a changing of the guard.
Because that was the year that all the young guns were
supposed to win.
Terry Kidwell won the halfpipe.
And I won the downhill.
So the two old guys ended up winning for one more year
until the young guys came the next year and took over.
MIKE HAYES: As soon as they introduced the halfpipe,
that's when we started to see the crowds show up.
Basically, the whole event started to gravitate towards
the freestyle events, just because that was the real
crowd pleaser.
It's a lot more fun to watch the halfpipe than it is to
watch some slalom races.
And so eventually, they phased out the alpine events, and
that's pretty much when I retired.
They retired me.
PAT BRIDGES: So there used to be an underground where you'd
hear the Stratton pipe got cut, you'd go there.
And then part of the mythology of the Open was the fact that,
not only was it open to competing, but once that last
competitor dropped in for the finals, that pipe was open.
And it was mayhem.

CHRIS COPLEY: As an announcer, it was really tough.
Because we would have to say, all right, hold the course,
they're cutting to a commercial right now.
And so everyone's standing around going, come on, man.
It broke up the whole flow of the event.
And then a couple dudes were like, hey, I don't care.
I'm just bombing it.
And they would just cut under the fence and charge it.
And the crowd would go so berserk.

HANNAH TETER: People love to see the poachers in between.
It just adds the fun element to it and the non-seriousness
effect kind of goes away, which is nice.
JAKE BURTON: Not that anybody's encouraging
anybody to do it.
I mean, you've got to have a certain amount of balls and
Abe Teter, I think, probably gets the best career poacher.
I mean, that guy just always went huge and people loved to
see him ride so nobody ever complained about him.
BARRY DUGAN: It was to see who was going
to be King and Queen.
That's for damn sure.
But it was to have a lot of fun doing it, and be within
touching distance and getting the high fives from the crowd
and being able to hear that roar and walk through the
crowd and be at the same parties with the athletes.
I think that's the legacy of the Open, is being
the best of the best.
TERRY KIDWELL: There are a lot of big events around the world
from the past to the present.
But I think US Open has stood the test of time.
And I'm super stoked.
I hear they're going to their 30th year.
That is super cool.