Vail’s Baskins gets his ﬁrst podium as pro
LAKE TAHOE, Calif – With the year’s final X Games invitation on the line, Vail’s Patty Baskins earned his first podium finish at a major professional event on Sunday. The inaugural North Face Park & Pipe Open, held at Northstar-at-Tahoe, Calif., attracted a high level of competition hoping to clinch the final spot in Aspen.The 19-year-old Baskins had the best finish of his young career, however he missed qualifying for the X Games by a single step on the podium. It was awarded instead to British Columbia’s Matt Margetts, who took second in the final round. Dave Wise from Reno, Nev., won the event, but he had already pre-qualified for the X Games.”Considering it was an 18-foot pipe and the first two comps of the season were on 22-footers, I adjusted pretty well, and I was able to transition the whole way. So I was stoked on that – definitely pretty good,” Baskins said. With a huge first hit switch 900, into a switch right 720, to cork 900, into an alley-oop flat 540, to 720 and finishing off with a switch right 900, his run in the finals was his best of the competition.A criticism that has been leveled against the freeride system is a lack of consistency among the various governing bodies, such as the Dew Tour, X Games and FIS. As a result, a young competitor such as Baskins may have to wait for his solid results to translate into invitations to high-level events. Baskins is optimistic, however, that he can use Sunday’s finish to lobby his way into a wild-card spot at the remaining stops on the Dew Tour. But there’s no guarantee for this season, as the caliber of competition at a Dew Tour Finals is pretty close to the highest in the world. However, the qualifying round is a bit broader. Fellow local Taylor Seaton, who pre-qualified for the X Games back in November, took sixth.