Copper Mountain Ski Resort hosted the 2013 USASA National Championships from March 30 to April 4. The largest snowboard and freeskiing event worldwide, the competition showcased talent from around the nation in slalom, giant slalom, halfpipe, slopestyle and boardercross events.
Silverthorne local Brett Esser shone during the competition, coming away with first place in both the halfpipe and slopestyle events. Esser has competed in the national championships since 2006 and said that while he has won the halfpipe and slopestyle competitions before, this is the first time he was won them both at the same time.
"It's exciting, because I haven't ridden much slopestyle this year," he said. "So to win (half)pipe, that was definitely an expectation and then the slopestyle, I tried my best and came out on top and couldn't have been happier."
Esser, at 20 years old, has been snowboarding professionally for three years. He is a member of the U.S. Snowboard team and often trains with the Vail Ski and Snowboard Club.
The weather at the event was good for the most part, Esser said, particularly for the halfpipe qualifiers and the slopestyle final. But then it got tricky.
"Qualifiers for Halfpipe were beautiful, it was sunny and warm, and then right as finals started it just started to dump," he said.
Despite that challenge, Esser said he thoroughly enjoyed the courses and during his runs felt that he had done well.
"I would say Slopestyle was probably the best nationals course I've ever been on, to be honest," he said. "It was good, and (halfpipe) was good."
Now that the championships are over, Esser's plans are to "soak up the sun at Breckenridge until they close, then head off into some summer camps." His summer is pretty solidly booked for snowboarding, spending time at Mammoth, Calif., then New Zealand and some camps in Oregon.
Right behind Esser in the halfpipe was Taylor Gold of Breckenridge in second place. In the slopestyle, Breckenridge competitor Sy Moran finished fifth, with Asher Humphreys of Breckenridge in 10th place and Dillon Wilson of Silverthorne in 14th place. In the boardercross competition, Frisco representative Chris Mahaney took third place.
The women of Summit County also represented themselves well in the championships, with Lindsea Lumpkin of Frisco taking a fourth place finish in the slopestyle event. Mandy Cloud, also of Frisco, finished 28th in the same event.