The 3rd annual Burton High Fives 2014, a World Snowboard Tour 5Star event, went down in Cardrona, NZ from September 14th-20th. All the top riders came to have fun on the top set-up.
In the Slopestyle event, Sochi gold medalist Jamie Anderson set the bar high for the women right from her first run where she linked a Frontside wallride to a Backside Noseslide into a Backside Tailslide, 50-50 Backside 180 out off the cannon rail into a Cab 540, Frontside 360 and a huge Backside 540 to finish with a 94.00. Taking second place was Burton rider Miyabi Onitsuka (JPN) who scored an 87.80 on her run that included a highly technical Cab 270 Boardslide to Regular through the tricky rail section. New Zealand local and team captain Christy Prior (NZL) rounded out the podium with a run that showcased her signature Frontside Rodeo 540 and earned her an 86.80.
For the men, Emil Ulsletten (NOR) set the tone on his first drop with a run that included the perfect mix of style, technicality and variety to give him the win with an 88.40. Emil started off with a 50-50 to Boardslide to Fakie, followed by a Switch Tailslide 270 out from off the top of the second wallride. Coming through the rail section he continued with a Cab 270 Boardslide to Fakie into a huge Frontside Bluntslide 450 off the cannon rail, followed by a Frontside 900, Switch Backside 1260 and a rarely seen Frontside Rodeo 1080. Young Burton rider Darcy Sharpe (CAN) closed in on his second run to land on his feet for second place with an 85.20, while Yuki Kadono (JPN) took third with an 83.40.
The next day the Halfpipe finals were scheduled. As the women began to drop, the clouds rolled over the perfect bluebird sky, and covered the resort with a fresh snowfall. Shortly thereafter, the sun came back out, and the changing conditions couldn’t stop young halfpipe specialist Chloe Kim (USA) from boosting her way into first place on her first run. Through the low visibility, Chloe set the bar high for the women, sending a massive backside air into a frontside 540, McTwist, and a corked frontside 720 before finishing with an impressive corked cab 720, which earned a 92.60. China’s Xuetong Cai landed her last run with an 86.40 to put her in second place, and fellow Burton rider Hikaru Ooe (JPN) took third place with an 85.40.
The unpredictable weather did not deter the men’s field either. Burton’s Yiwei Zhang (CHN) dominated with amplitude, technicality and style on his first run, which included a frontside 1080, cab double cork 1080, double cork 900, corked backside 540 and finally, a frontside double cork 1080 which earned him 91.00. In a historic day for the sport, yesterday marked the first time a male Chinese rider has finished first in any international snowboarding competition. To round out the men’s podium, Seamus O’Connor (IRL), who also competed in slopestyle finals yesterday placed second with a 90.60, and Nathan Johnstone (AUS) finished third with an 88.60.