Avon snowboarder Zoe Kalapos 4th at Dew Tour in career best result
The Dew Tour’s modified halfpipe format suited Zoe Kalapos well as the Avon snowboarder cruised to her best-ever finish at a major event on Saturday.
Kalapos is not only thankful for the result, she’s thankful she made it to the competition at all. Driving in from Avon, conditions on Vail Pass were treacherous.
“I had tried to get over to Copper three times, but the pass kept getting shut down,” she said.
She made it, though, and found enough time to get a difficult run dialed in.
A shortened halfpipe preceded by a couple of jumps, the “mod pipe” format, as it’s known, is becoming a more popular alternative to the traditional halfpipe competition. The Dew Tour debuted the idea last year.
“I think Dew Tour is the most fun because it’s not your average pipe contest,” Kalapos said. “It’s not really judged on how many spins you do, or how many directions you spin, it’s more how you can add your own personal style into it.”
Hoping for Burton invite
Kalapos was able to work a variety of spins into her routine nevertheless, spinning backwards or “alley-oop” off the first feature, and then spinning backside, frontside, and ending her routine with non-spinning switch to regular trick.
She said she had to think about the routine quite a bit to make sure her tricks showcased variety.
“And I really tried to focus on my grabs,” she said.
The judges rewarded her with a score of 80 on her first of three runs, which was good enough for fourth place.
Now, Kalapos is hoping her strong finish in the Dew Tour mod pipe earns her an invite to the next mod pipe event, the Burton US Open, scheduled for Feb. 25-29 in Vail.
“Copper is going to re-open their pipe on Friday, so I can train for the Open, in case I get an invite,” Kalapos said. “Fingers crossed.”
‘Fuel for the fire’
In January, Kalapos finished ninth at the Laax Open in Switzerland, which was her first top-10 at a World Cup event since 2017.
She said Saturday’s fourth place finish has her motivated to keep competing.
“It was just fuel for the fire,” she said.
After enjoying a spot on the U.S. Snowboard Team’s rookie squad as a teenager, Kalapos, 22, has not been named to the pro team in the years that followed. She said while it has been difficult, she has learned from the experience.
“You really appreciate it more when you start to do it for yourself and you realize how much you’re really putting into it,” she said.