The sun was out, and the stoke was high for the men’s Superpipe comp this Saturday. The competitors were putting down some super clean runs and going huge in their warmup runs. For sure, a good sign they were feeling it today.
In the first round,
Matt Labaugh kicked it off for us with big back-to-back doubles and then finished off his run with a hefty slam on the pipe deck. He had so much pop on his last hit that he ran out of pipe to transition back into.
Hunter Hess delivers us our first and only 1600 of the day. Didn’t quite get the full grab, and landed a little low in the pipe, but still put on a fantastic show with this run.
So many great runs in the first round, but ultimately, David Wise would put out the best of them. His run started with a switch 900 blunt, followed by a switch dub 10 with a locked-in Japan grab. The last two hits of the round for David were a left dub 12 and right dub 12, both times grabbing mute. Stellar amplitude on this run and a big grin on his face when he pulled into the corral. This run would ultimately put him at the top of the board after the first round with a score of 87.
The second round held a few more washouts from the competitors, but also provided some big runs.
Ben Harrington gave us some of the biggest amplitude of the competition, all while throwing huge, corked-out 12s. For sure, a fan favorite, Ben and his style in the pipe really stand out, which makes him an absolute blast to watch.
Aaron Blunck threw it down on his second run. Going big on a right 10 with a locked-in tail grab, then following it up with a super clean switch left dub 9 Japan. Finally, his right dub 12 while grabbing tail would help him achieve the highest score in this round, but it would only be enough to push him back up to second with a score of 84.
The third run saw so much refinement from the competitors. Really, everyone did a great job of cleaning it up, and putting down solid runs.
Brendan MacKay put down the biggest run this round, delivering consecutive knock-out punches on every hit. Kicking it off with a switch double 9 Alley-oop, followed by a switch left dub 10 while securely grabbing safety. This run would be finished off with back-to-back double cork 12s, getting them spinning both ways. Brendan’s run included some amplitude unmatched by any other competitor, boosting almost 19 feet out of the pipe. This was such a solid run; he earned himself the first score in the 90s for the day, a 90.66. This would end up nudging David Wise out of the top spot, and provide a narrow lead for MacKay.
Our 4th and Final round was again dominated by MacKay.
MacKay sent the same run as last round but went a little bit bigger and cleaned it up well enough to bump his score up to a 93.
Brendan would have to wait for the final 3 competitors to take their runs to see if he would retain that top spot. Ultimately, this score would hold, and Brendan MacKay prevailed as the 2023 Dew Tour Superpipe Champion.
Massive props to all the competitors for putting on such a great show, and good luck to those heading off to throw down in Georgia!
I got a chance to chat first with David Wise about the conditions in the pipe and the competition in general.
The sun finally came out, and they tweaked the pipe overnight. How did it feel today compared to yesterday?
D Wise: Oh, yeah. Yesterday, despite their best efforts, the pipe was terrible. It was so slow and a little undervert it was like, I basically didn’t train yesterday. I just figured out, okay—this is how many hits I’m gonna get. And then we did it all today. So the pipe was great, the sun was out and, everybody’s vibes are better.
In terms of the competition, do you have more fun when you’re dealing with a little bit of a chiller event like this?
D Wise: Yeah, I mean, the upside to getting invited is, you know, you got a pretty good shot at the podium. It’s really hard to get invited, but once you’re here, oh, it’s a one-in-seven shot here we go! And it was fun. You know, the guys who were out here, we’re all were out here to have a good time and we did so I definitely couldn’t be more stoked.
I also caught Brendan McKay before he ran off, and this is what he had to say about the day.
Is it important for you to get an early lead? You know, you’re the first to break into the 90s and back it up with another one. How important is knocking that out fast and getting on top quickly?
Brendan McKay: Yeah, I think I work really well when I’ve put down runs and can build off some momentum. A lot of these guys will win a comp last run, like a bunch of them, have some legendary last-round wins last round like David in the Olympics, but that’s not usually where I come in clutch like I prefer to just put down runs and build some momentum. So putting down a run like my first round, I kind of fell but for me, it was still a landing I made to the bottom on my feet. And that gave me the confidence to start skiing harder, going bigger, doing some bigger tricks like, that’s important for me.
Men’s Ski Superpipe Results
1.) Brendan Mackay, 93.00
2.) David Wise, 87.00
3.) Aaron Blunck, 84.00
4.) Alexander Ferreira, 82.33
5.) Ben Harrington, 76.66
6.) Hunter Hess, 70.66
7.) Matt Labaugh, 32.66