Tribute to the late Jake Burton Carpenter at heart of Dew Tour’s team challenge
COPPER MOUNTAIN RESORT — As this weekend’s storm rolled over Copper Mountain Resort on Thursday morning, Danny Davis said on the chairlift that he was probably most excited about riding powder this week at Dew Tour.
As the snowfall grew heavier a few hours later, Davis looked to the cloudy skies above the Dew Tour modified superpipe and thanked a friend who was missed at Dew Tour for the first time: Jake Burton Carpenter. The 65-year-old founder of Burton died earlier this winter after complications from a second bout of cancer.
“Jake’s giving us some snow for the week, so we can ride some pow,” Davis said shortly before he represented Team Burton in the team challenge competition. “He never really cared too much for the contests. He just always liked to ride, so this is a beautiful thing — lots of snow falling. We never want to wish away the snow.”
Before Dew Tour hosted its ski and snowboard team competitions, Davis led a seemingly endless brigade of snowboarders in a snake run through the Dew Tour modified superpipe course.
“He just was so much about community and camaraderie,” Canadian star and Burton rider Mark McMorris said about Burton Carpenter. “So this is everything he would have imagined and more.”
Behind Davis and McMorris were fellow Burton riders Red Gerard, Scotty James and a slew of other athletes, all kicking up powder as they passed through the pipe.
“That was a nice one to see for Jake — all plumy and cloudy, tons of riders,” Davis said. “So that was really fun. A good way to kick it off.”
Moments later, the fan-favorite Michigan rider Davis stylishly made a statement in the modified superpipe. Competing against the Australian star James, a Burton rider who rode for Team Oakley on Thursday, Davis helped Burton win the modified superpipe portion of the team event with a 90-point run that include a cab 900 on the quarter-pipe takeoff into the slopestyle landing heading into the traditional pipe, where he landed a soaring McTwist.
In the end, Oakley won the snowboard team challenge, which also included slopestyle and streetstyle, on the strength of Norwegian star Stale Sandbech’s wild line through the rail portion of the slopestyle course that was heavily affected by snow. Despite the slow, flat-light conditions, Sandbech earned a 95.00 on the abbreviated slopestyle course, which skipped out on the jumps portion because of the weather.
The defending Dew Tour slopestyle champion looked as strong as ever executing a pretzel off an up-rail into the side-hit shark fin redirect feature at the top of the course before he concluded the rails with a speedy cab 540 off a similar up-rail. Riding for Team Burton, Gerard scored a 74.33 on the strength of a frontside cork 720 dismount off the up-bar at the bottom of the rail course.
As for the ski competition, Atomic won yet another Dew Tour team challenge led by New Zealand star Nico Porteous’ 85-point run and win in the modified superpipe. When Porteous dropped in for his second run, shortly before he executed a switch front flip on one of the transition elements above the traditional pipe, he had one thing to say. In many ways, it was the same thing so many were thinking at Copper Mountain on Thursday.
“Oh my God,” he said. “There’s so much snow out there.”
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