Rookies vs. VetsDec 17 2006 / Breckenridge, CO
Who will prevail in ’07?
In skateboarding, the guys pushing 30 are often found on transition, while the guys pushing 20 are way more likely to take it to the streets. But in snowboarding, halfpipe competition brings everyone together. And that has never been truer than for this season.
The roster of your average snowboard competition, more importantly the top ten, is pretty even between the rookies and the veterans these days. In Breckenridge, at the Grand Prix, Tommy Czeschin (who at 27 years old is a senior member of the competition) qualified first. Czeschin has been no stranger to the top of the podium over the years, so it’s nothing new. But in the finals, it was Danny Davis (18) and Mason Aguirre (19) besting Czeschin on the podium. Don’t let their ages fool you, but rather refer to their results. They definitely have Czeschin and the other vets scrambling to keep up.
Other more established riders such as Ross Powers (27), Luke Wynen (29) and Keir Dillon (29) are still charging full steam ahead. They have done their best to stay on par with the kids, and as evidenced by their recent performances, are doing a pretty good job.
“I think the good thing for Tommy and I and the rest of the older guys is we’ve done it all before,” Powers said. “We’ve gone to the Olympics, we’ve gotten plenty of podiums, so we’re out there having fun. The young guys are out here pushing our riding and it’s good because they are the next major guys, or actually, they are the guys doing it right now.”
The host of new kids are using their real knees and youthful energy to move in on the older guys’ territory. We already mentioned Aguirre and Davis, but also watch out for Luke Mitrani (16), Jack Mitrani (17), Kevin Peace (19), Scotty Lago (19), Mike Goldschmidt (19) and Louie Vito (18). Last year each made it clear that they were to be watched, and this season, are ready to shed the rookie status.
“I still feel privledged to watch and ride with guys like Ross and Kier and Xaver Hoffman,” Aguirre said. “Those guys are legends in the sport. It’s cool to ride against them, but it’s also cool seeing the new faces coming up.”
One thing is for sure, snowboarding halfpipe competition is not going to slow down anytime soon. In a few years the current rookies will be the ones trying to keep up with the young kids, and with back to back 1080s already becoming stock, who knows what that means for the level of riding.