American rider Maddie Mastro took the top spot in the Women’s Snowboard Superpipe qualifier on Thursday, the first snowboard event at Dew Tour this week, opening Run 2 with a big method air to set up for the double crippler that has become her signature, then following it up with a backside 540 Weddle, frontside 720 frontside grab, Cab 720 stalefish, and frontside 540 stalefish skyhook air.
Her score of 92.75 vaulted her ahead of her closest competitor Chloe Kim, the perennial favorite.
“I’ve put a lot of work in and a lot of reps – and a lot of years, actually – to fully have the double crippler in my bag and have confidence in that trick,” Mastro said. “I’m stoked that it’s all starting to pay off.”
Mastro is the only woman ever to land the double crippler in the halfpipe competition. It helped her win the 2019 Burton U.S. Open, a career highlight.
In November she learned another double that will be a gamechanger when she brings it to competition: the frontside double cork 1080. Mastro was coy about it when asked if she’s planning to try it in the Dew Tour final.
“We shall see: I don’t know! Come watch!” Mastro said. “I don’t try to base any day or run around committing to one single trick. I just want to see how the day is and how the contest is going and see what the day brings.”
Mastro will almost certainly be one of four women representing Team U.S.A. at the 2022 Beijing Olympics, but she skipped the U.S. Grand Prix last week, also an Olympic qualifier, and says she tries not to think about the points race.
“I try to put as little thought as possible into all of that, because I just want to focus on my tricks, my runs, and my snowboarding, and hopefully it will speak for itself and I won’t have to worry about the qualifying points,” Mastro said. “It’s going to be a long season: it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
After Thursday’s qualifier, Mastro said she was eager to attend the Boarding for Breast Cancer 25th anniversary event at Copper Mountain later Thursday night with a performance by the Clash cover band, Nuns of Brixton. Boarding for Breast Cancer has been a Dew Tour partner since the Dew Tour’s founding in 2005, and Mastro is an ambassador for the non-profit organization.
“This Christmas season, please donate to Boarding for Breast Cancer because it’s a great group and they’re doing great things,” Mastro said.
Chloe Kim finished 2nd in the qualifier, scoring 91.25 in Run 2 with a big backside 360 Indy poke on the first wall, a switch backside air, then into a Cab 900 frontside grab, switch backside 540 Weddle, and Cab 720 Weddle.
Kim won the first Olympic qualifier event in March at a FIS World Cup contest in Aspen, and every major contest in the 2020-2021 season including the 2021 FIS World Snowboard Championships, X Games Aspen, and the FIS Laax Open World Cup.
Xuetong Cai, representing China, finished 3rd with a score of 87.00, starting off with a big method air to set up for her frontside 900 frontside grab, backside 540 Weddle, frontside melon air to fakie, and Cab 720 stalefish.