What a battle! Monster Energy congratulates team rider Sven Thorgren on taking second place in Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle at the 37th annual Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships today. Facing the world freestyle snowboarding elite and challenging weather conditions at Colorado’s Vail Mountain Resort, the 24-year-old from Stockholm, Sweden took home $20,000 in prize money in a heated three-run final.
As the world’s longest-running snowboard event, the annual Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships have been showcasing the sport’s progression since 1982. What started from humble beginnings when snowboarding was still in its infancy has grown into a spectacle broadcast live across the globe with a $343,000 prize purse. One thing remains unchanged since the early days: Both male and female competitors are paid the exact same amount of prize money in all disciplines.
This year’s Slopestyle course was stacked with an assortment of three rail sections followed by three consecutive jumps, including a new transition element. The scoring system at the Burton U.S. Open once again rewarded well-rounded runs, as each of the six obstacles factored equally into the final score; meaning technical rail tricks counted just as much as the spectacular aerials favored at most other events.
Adding to the challenge, today’s Slopestyle finals went down amid pouring snowfall and limited visibility. No stranger to challenging course conditions, Thorgren found his line straight out the gate and put down a high-scoring run on his first attempt: After hitting the rail section with 50-50 backside 270, frontside 270 on 270 off and a highly technical switch boardslide to Rippey flip out, Thorgren blasted through the jump section landing a Cab 1260 tailgrab, double cork 1080 mute, and backside stalefish 1440 for 79.60 points, and a close second place. Thorgren finished less than a full point behind Colorado local Redmond Gerard who took the win, while Thorgren’s Monster Energy teammates Ståle Sandbech and Darcy Sharpe had to settle for sixth and eighth place, respectively.
When the official competition wrapped up, Thorgren was in for a special surprise: The Burton Bonus Hit competition encouraged viewers to vote on the best tricks over the final jump from competitors who fell or otherwise washed out on their runs. With 74 percent of the vote, the top honor went to Thorgren, who on his throwaway second run posted a styled-out backside rodeo 540 nosegrab for the $5,000 cash prize. In Women’s Slopestyle, Monster Energy’s Jamie Anderson closely missed the final, but also took home the Burton Bonus Hit for landing a huge backside 180 that netted 55 percent of the vote.
Today’s second place finish wraps up a successful season for Thorgren, who is stoked to be back on board after a collarbone injury and surgery prevented him from entering major events in 2018. Fully recovered, the ultra-progressive Scandinavian rider took bronze in Men’s Snowboard Big Air at X Games Aspen 2019 in January, claiming his third career X Games medal.