Snowboard halfpipe phenom Chloe Kim gives slopestyle a try at Rev Tour at Copper
On the heels of the 2014 Dew Tour Mountain Championships — which once again featured a stacked field of Olympic and X Games veterans — the next generation of aspiring pros took to the slopes at Copper Mountain Resort this week for the first stop on the 2014 Revolution Tour.
Fresh off a second-place finish in women’s superpipe at the Dew Tour, 14-year-old snowboard phenom Chloe Kim used the week to test her skills at slopestyle. While Kim has already made surprising podium appearances in the halfpipe at the Dew Tour, X Games and the Burton U.S. Open, she’s yet to compete at the pro level in slopestyle.
“I didn’t want to do pipe after Dew Tour,” Kim said of the decision not to compete in the discipline where she’s already near the top of her game. The rising star would have qualified for halfpipe in February’s Winter Olympics, if not for the age requirement.
“I didn’t want to be that person,” she added.
The Rev Tour is considered a largely amateur-level competition that gives athletes an opportunity to make a name for themselves and move on to the next level.
Kim said she felt that competing in a discipline she’s had less time with and wants to build on was more appropriate. “I just did it for fun ’cause I was there,” the La Palma, California, native said. “I was just like, ‘Oh they have a slopestyle competition going on.’ I might as well just do it.”
She walked away with second in the event, behind Finnish rider Kristiina Nisula.
Moving forward Kim hopes to start competing in both halfpipe and slopestyle at higher level competitions like the Dew Tour and X Games.
“I want to do both but I’m going to wait till I’m ready to balance them,” she said. “I think it’s really challenging. If I do both, my pipe goes downhill. It’s hard to balance (competing in both).”
Few pros compete in both snowboard disciplines, opting instead to focus on one. Shaun White famously attempted to compete in both for the Sochi Olympics but withdrew from slopestyle to focus on halfpipe — and finished off the podium.
On the freeski side, Teluride’s Gus Kenworthy and Vermont’s Devin Logan are two of the few who do compete in both disiplines at the pro level. They each, however, only qualified for slope for the Olympics.
Kim wasn’t the only U.S. team member to join the mix at the Rev Tour this week. Gabe Ferguson, 15, of Bend, Oregon, claimed the top spot in men’s snowboard halfpipe.
Massachusetts native Annalisa Drew took the top spot in women’s ski halfpipe, and Eagle’s Jake Pates claimed the top of the men’s snowboard slope podium. Both Pates and Ferguson are on the U.S. rookie team. Drew is a member of the pro halfpipe ski team.
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