Interview: Maddie Mastro Becomes First Female Pro To Land Double Crippler

Maddie Mastro. p: Clavin
Maddie Mastro. p: Clavin

Maddie Mastro Becomes First Female Pro To Land Double Crippler

Nearly three decades ago, the world of transition riding was turned upside down by a tweaked and twisted regular footer from Utah named Jeff Davis. With his nose pointed at the frontside wall, Davis left the lip, leaned back, put base to sky, and sent a half-twisting backflip down the line. Jeff christened his groundbreaking maneuver with the ominous moniker, The Crippler. Fifteen years later, Gretchen Bleiler dropped her shoulder in a similar fashion to become the first member of the fairer sex to follow Davis’ lead. Now in 2018, Maddie Mastro has done them both one better by becoming the first lady to land a double crippler. Mastro, a So-Cal native turned Mammoth local has recently made a name for herself as one of the most promising talents on the contest scene today, as scene at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. While Spring training earlier this week, in a private U.S. team halfpipe in Mammoth, the stars aligned for 19-year-old Maddie to break new ground.

Mastro competing in the same pipe just a few months ago. p: Clavin

First off, how important is it to know how to crippler before attempting a double crippler?
Well, doing a double crippler without knowing a single would be like eating your cereal in the morning with no milk. It also depends on if your eyes are opened or closed .

How does it feel to be the first female pro to land the double crippler?
I'm really stoked, I've been wanting to do it for awhile now so I'm really happy to pull the trigger on it and being the first female was an added bonus. These past few years I've watched the women's slope progress with doubles and the men's halfpipe doing doubles to infinity and beyond and I think women's halfpipe should be working towards that. I mean no one likes being left out.

What is the difference between a double crippler and a double quarter pounder with cheese?
The difference is 35 miles, or my mom’s answer is, "One is cheesy and the other is steezy."

Are there any other doubles you have attempted?
As of right now I'm just working and focusing on the double crippler, but I definitely have a few others in mind.

If the goal of spring training is to leap higher, then why don't people do it in December or January instead of May and June?
They do in New Zealand and Australia. Haha.
But seriously spring training is the best training, soft snow means softer lands.

How is Spring training going?
It's gone really good so far, I don't think I'd be answering these questions if it wasn't haha. I've been able to do the double which was high on my list of things to do and I'm just excited to see what I can learn in the next few weeks of spring camp. Plus it’s been frickin’ fun.

At the risk of sounding random, how annoying do you find all the roundabouts while driving in Bend, Oregon?
Pretty bendy.

We noticed you did not put your hands above your head before you dropped in and it seemed to work out? What is up with that?
Hahaha. The good ol’ Namaste. She comes and goes in times or nervousness. She'll probably make an appearance again soon we'll just have to wait and see.

What were you listening to when you went for it?
I was listening to Grace Vanderwaal. Haha. I'm a teenage girl cut me some slack.

(We looked up Grace Vanderwaal, so listen to this if you want to double Crippler.)

Any Cripplers from other riders out there that inspired you?
Ben Ferguson's crippler and double crippler are something that inspired me. Although I don't think mine looks anything like his sadly. A girl can only try.

When did you first try it? Who helped coach you through it?
Yesterday (Sunday) was the first time I tried it on snow. I did 4 doubles into the bag, they all felt really good, and I was feeling ready to try it on snow. Ben Wisner helped coach me through it, and he has been helping me for the past few years at chipping away at. I trust Ben with my snowboarding, so when he thinks I'm ready I believe him. Both him and I were feeling confident doing it on snow. It was just a matter of ripping the band aid off and doing it.

Mastro competing in PyeongChang, South Korea for the 2018 Winter Olympics back in February. p: Clavin

How many times did you try it?
I tried it three times, I landed my first two and slid out on my third. According to my calculations that's passing grade, and a pretty decent batting average.

How important was an airbag in taking the double crippler to the snow?
It's like jumping into a safety net, so I was able to get the double to a place I felt comfortable to try it on snow. For me personally, I used the airbag to build my confidence, so it was huge to have the airbag there. I was able to the hit the bag then move up the pipe and do it on snow, all in the same halfpipe which was rad.

Finally, do you think Nate Bozung was framed?
I bet ya a face tattoo he wasn't.

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