In today’s Women’s Halfpipe final, three-time Burton U.S. Open halfpipe champion Kim was defending her 2018 title as the podium favorite. Although she qualified in first place during the semi-final, Kim came into the competition at a disadvantage. She was battling an acute ankle injury during today’s practice that flared up after a slightly missed landing on her first run in the final.
Visibly affected by the injury and limping off the course, Kim continued to fight for the top spot in a showdown all the way to the third and final run. Reaching deep into her bag of technical tricks, Kim put together an outstanding run in the 27-foot halfpipe with a huge backside method air, frontside 1080 tailgrab, Cab 900 stalefish, switch backside 540 mute, and a Cab 1080 on the last wall. But missing the grab on her last 1080 cost Kim crucial points for trick execution, bringing her final score to 84.62 points for second place and $20,000 in prize money. She finished within fractions of a point behind Maddie Mastro’s 84.74-point score for first place.
Today’s second place at the Burton U.S. Open wraps up a history-making season for Kim. She now officially holds all of snowboarding’s major titles after claiming gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics, as well as X Games Aspen 2019 and the 2019 FIS Snowboarding World Championships. Kim was listed among the ‘Most Influential People of 2018’ by TIME Magazine and has competed at every single Burton U.S. Open since winning the Junior Jam in 2012. She won her first U.S. Open halfpipe title in 2016 at age 15, followed by wins in 2017 and 2018.
In the Men’s Snowboard Halfpipe final, Kim’s teammate Totsuka was looking for his first U.S. Open podium finish after barging into the finals as the first-place qualifier. But the three-run final session quickly turned into a heavy clash of top talent worthy of a U.S. Open, with constant snowfall and breakout performances from Australia’s Scotty James and Japan’s Raibu Katayama.
After scraping the lip and barely escaping serious injury on his second run, Totsuka found his line on the third and final attempt: A huge frontside 540 Indy, backside 900 mute, frontside double cork 1440 Indy, Cab 1080 double grab and a massive frontside 1260 Indy finisher earned the rookie pro a 87.12-point score and $10,000 for a solid third place finish.
As the most recent addition to the Monster Energy snowboarding team, Totsuka has proven himself a podium threat on the international snowboard superpipe circuit despite his young age. This season’s highlights included back-to-back silver medals at X Games Aspen 2019 and the 2019 FIS Snowboard World Championships, plus a gold medal at the recent FIS Snowboard World Cup in Calgary.
Thank you for following Monster Energy snowboarding through an amazing season and once again congratulations to all our riders on their 2019 Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships performances.