Team Oakley Wins Snowboard Team Challenge at Dew Tour Copper 2020!
words by Mary Walsh
The 2020 Dew Tour kicked off at Copper Mountain, Colorado on Thursday, February 8th with the Team Challenge. As Mother Nature bared down with cold temps and the beginning of a massive snowstorm, Oakley, Volcom, and Burton headed to the top of the slopestyle course for the three-part competition. Broken up into slopestyle, modified halfpipe, and streetstyle, a male and female duo from each team dropped into each section for two scored runs, the best of which were taken for a combined team score of the specific section. The combined scores earned points based on first, second, or third and were added with the scores from the other two sections to crown the overall winning team. The addition of female riders was a first for the annual competition, a push to get have more ladies represented in the Dew Tour field and an appreciated nod to the deep levels of talent on the women’s side of snowboarding both in competition and beyond.
From the start of the event, it was clear that the riders were having a really good time. The top of a contest drop in generally has a fairly serious tone, but the crew vibes and collaboration of Team Challenge cut through the stress of competition. While the riders were still putting of course down impressive tricks while riding in challenging weather, it was obvious that everything was really fun. Snow was dumping, conditions were tough, and Eero Ettala, Lenny Mazotti, Danny Davis, Benny Milam, Maria Thomsen, Red Gerard, Jamie Anderson, and more were high fiving at the top, cheering at the bottom, and well, just snowboarding with their friends.
While the atmosphere was loaded with good times, the competition was still next level. The teams were stacked with talent. Team Oakley had Stale Sanbech and Jamie Anderson for slopestyle, Scotty James and Haruna Matsumoto in modified pipe and Jamie Anderson and Rene Rinnekangas in streetstyle. Team Burton had Red Gerard and Anna Gasser in slopestyle, Danny Davis and Jaiyu Liu in modified pipe, and Luke Winkelmann and Maria Thomsen in steetstyle. Team Volcom was comprised of Hailey Langland and Torgier Bergrem in slopestyle, Leilani Ettel and Valentino Guseli in modified pipe, and Hannah Peterson and Benny Milam in streetstyle.
The weather closed down the slope jumps, so the first section was four jib and transition hits. Team Oakley came out firing as Jamie Anderson and Stale Sandbech put down hammer first runs, moved into first place and never looked back. Red Gerard put down a solid showing for Team Burton on his home turf, but it wasn’t enough to surpass Oakley.
Modified pipe was up next and vying for the top spot came down to Scotty James and Danny Davis. It was ultimately Danny’s day and his run, along with teammate Jaiyu Liu gave Burton the top spot in the section.
Going into the streetstyle, the team’s scores were close enough that it was anyone’s Team Challenge to win. Excitingly, this part of the event brought a handful of non-contest riders to the melee. Maria Thomsen, best known for her video parts with The Uninvited and Absinthe, as well as her 2019 X Games Real Snow, had no trouble adapting her street talents to the contest scene for the Burton squad. Trollhaugen rail mavens, Benny Milam and Hannah Peterson, both on Team Volcom, put down some of the most insane rail tricks of the day. Benny’s runs, in particular, were mental and earned him the highest score of the event. But it was Team Oakley’s Rene Rinnekangas whose Finnish fury added enough points to Oakley’s score and bumped his team into first place, overall.
As the first event of the weekend, Team Challenge ushered in Dew Tour with a snowboarder’s snowboard contest, bringing together riders from the various strata of snowboarding for a crew-centric competition. It was a good time with good riding, setting the tone for the rest of the weekend.