With the conditions getting icier and the landings more chewed up as the evening wore on, the 11 th annual Sapient Showcase Showdown turned into something of a survivor series. Big tricks and huge air were a must for riders, but in the end it was all about who could land what.
The pipestyle course started with a drop-in from a platform, followed by a huge hip jump. This set up riders to make one halfpipe trick before tackling one of the C boxes planted on the side of the pipe. Some riders squeezed in another halfpipe trick, but most headed to the bottom where they had their choice of a flat box, a kinked flat box and a rail.
After two days of qualifiers and eliminations, 10 men and six women were picked to compete in the finals under the lights on Saturday night. $25,000 in cash was up for grabs, along with another $25,000 in prizing.
Organizers also sold raffle tickets for 20 Sapient snowboards to raise money for Zero Ceiling, and tossed out thousands of dollars of product to people in the crowd. At least 2,000 people watched the event, three deep on either side of the pipe, and clustered at the bottom.
Each rider was given two chances in the finals, with the best run counting.
Crispin Lipscomb won both runs to take the Showdown title and a cheque for $10,000.
“I had fun today, I really needed to push myself and get out of the headspace I’ve been in the past few weeks,” said Lipscomb, a member of the national halfpipe team who has been disappointed with his results this season.
“This was just awesome fun, and the whole vibe reminded me why I started competing — it’s just everybody hanging out at the top, kind of nervous, but everyone is having fun, everyone’s friends. That’s where I came from, and that’s what I want to go back to in (the World Cup at) Stoneham next weekend.
“I’m not at the point of my career where I need to be developing, I’m at the point where I need to be enjoying myself and working on the mental game. That said, it was good to be able to go to events like this, play with stuff and throw in a few variations to see what happens.
Lipscomb’s run included back-to-back 720s off the hip and pipe wall, followed by a backside 50-50 over the C-Box, and 270 onto the flat box at the bottom.
Lipscomb said his experience competing on icy halfpipes was definitely an asset, although he was a bit more nervous about the rails.