Dew Tour Recap: Scotty James Calls Superpipe a ‘Minefield,’ Wins Gold
Mother Nature didn't disappoint for Dew Tour's debut at Copper Mountain
Copper Mountain was pounded with three feet of snow last weekend, severely halting the start of Dew Tour and adding challenges to superpipe events.
The weather conditions affected several competitions, with the men’s ski and snowboard slopestyle qualifiers cancelled and the women’s ski modified superpipe final postponed a day.
However, the high-pow weekend, which is great for backcountry skiing but horrible for competitions such as the superpipe that thrive off smooth, packed surfaces, couldn’t stop Australian snowboarder Scotty James.
Days after describing Copper’s conditions as some of the “the deepest powder” he’s ever seen, James secured his 11th straight halfpipe victory since his 2018 Olympic bronze. The gold medal in the Men's Modified Superpipe Final came two weeks after we took gold at the X Games for a similar event.
James told Summit Daily that the snow (with five inches falling the night before the final) made the already challenging modified superpipe much more difficult. The transition between the top and bottom halves of the pipe created a “minefield” for the world’s best skiers and snowboarders with uneven surface snow forming “tough-to-read packed powder,” he said.
“Many skiers and snowboarders failed to stay upright,” James said. “We are coming out with quite a lot of speed from that transition and then you have to slow down and find yourself again to then drop into the halfpipe. That was pretty challenging for me.”
James nevertheless walked away with the event's highest scores: a 95.33 on his first run and a 94.33 on his second. His tricks included a cab double-cork 900 off the quarter-pipe and back-to-back 1260s. Japan’s Yuto Totsuka and Switzerland’s Pat Burgener rounded out the top three with scores of 93.33 and 91.00, respectively.
Elsewhere at Dew Tour, Norwegian Christian Nummedal made his Dew Tour debut with a gold in men’s ski slopestyle. The event’s runner-up was Alex Hall, who won Male skier of the year at the inaugural Newschoolers Awards. The awards are meant to celebrate the rising generation of grassroots-level up-and-comers.
(Taylor Lundquist, winner of the Women’s Skier of the Year)
Hall was recognized for new tricks, such as the double cork 1620 and switch left double cork 1800, and for winning slopestyle gold at X Games Aspen and big air gold at X Games Norway. He also took two big air wins and a slopestyle win on the FIS World Cup circuit and co-starred in a short film called Magma. The 11-minute low-budget film, which had no funding and was made “just purely for the love of skiing,” was recorded over a month at Mt. Hood in Oregon.
American Taylor Lundquist won female skier of the year. Lundquist, who took bronze in the Women’s Ski Streetstyle final, was recognized for her role in the film 2019 in Jyosei, a month-long street and powder filming project in Japan that boasted an all-female crew of riders and a female director. Lundquist's speech was “delightfully full of f-bombs,” said Oswaldo Sanchez, Dew Tour’s online editor and social media manager.
“This is f***ing insane, I could cry right now,” Lundquist said on stage. “I’m so excited for the future…what the f***?”