Ruki Tomita, Maddie Mastro top women’s halfpipe semifinals at Burton US Open |

Ruki Tomita, Maddie Mastro top women’s halfpipe semifinals at Burton US Open

Maddie Mastro grabs after tapping the tombstone feature on the modified halfpipe for the Burton US Open Thursday in Vail. Mastro qualified second.
Chris Dillmann, Vail Daily

Fifteen of the world’s elite female halfpipe riders competed Thursday for one of six finalist spots at the Burton US Open.

Maddie Mastro, last year’s winner, made some quick executive decisions on her pipe plan to help solidify the number two spot.

“I came in with one plan and I was holding onto that plan up until yesterday with my hands wrapped around it, not wanting to switch it up,” Mastro said in an interview following the competition. “It wasn’t working so we had to switch up things and find new rhythms and routes though things.”

Ruki Tomita, of Japan, qualified in the top spot.

Not your standard halfpipe

The halfpipe at the Burton US Open is a “mod pipe,” or modified halfpipe, meaning the standard halfpipe has been adapted into a different apparatus than a normal competition venue.

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At this year’s Burton US Open mod pipe competition, snowboarders start out on a 13-foot mini pipe, which contains several six-foot “tombstones,” or wall extensions, allowing riders to perform maneuvers you don’t usually see in the halfpipe, like hand plants and tail taps. Competitors then have the option of hitting jumps into the standard, 22-foot halfpipe, where they perform an abbreviated version of a normal halfpipe run.

Mastro said in finals, she’s hoping to find a better run through the opening section of the course.

“There’s definitely a few things I want to work on and find, hopefully, another creative line through that mini pipe section,” she said.

Mastro was the only American snowboarder to make finals in the women’s competition.

Below are the finalists to compete on the women’s halfpipe finals on Saturday, scheduled for 11 a.m. Spectators can watch for free at Golden Peak in Vail, or online at

  1. Ruki Tomita
  2. Maddie Mastro
  3. Haruna Matsumoto
  4. Xuetong Cai
  5. Shaotong Wu
  6. Mitsuki Ono

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