We are well into our winter which means the local Snowboarding season is in full swing. The annual Burton Park Jam Tour and Kings Cup comps took place this past weekend at the Afriski Mountain resort in Lesotho and LW Mag made sure to be there to get in on the action.
Unfortunately this year the weather gods have not blessed Afriski with as much snow as last year but this did not stop the park makers from setting up a full slopestyle park, now called the Kapoko Park, with rail garden, stair gap and butter box features as well as kickers for the boarders to show their skills on.
On the Friday the boarders where treated to a full day of practice on the park giving them enough time to get dialed in for the comp. Just from the practice we could see that a lot of the competitors had stepped up their game and the competition was going to be tight.
Saturday morning had finally arrived and was the perfect blue bird day for the competition to get under way. Each boarder in each division had 3 runs down the course which would be combined to make their final score and determine their placing.
First up was the Junior Men which, this year was missing Luke Dutton who had moved up to the Pro division and last year’s winner, Dean Van Greunen who was out due to injury. The Juniors threw down and the progression of the sports could be noticed. Smooth and consistent riding from Chad Layborn put him in first place in front of a closely matched Graham Sepatla and Ethan Tereblanche.
The Junior Girls held their own as they sessioned the Slopestyle course. Abi Clare O’Donnel took the win over 8 year old Erin Nel who is just awesome to watch and is definitely going to be a top competitor in the future.
The biggest field always comes from the Amateur Men’s division as well as some of the closest competitive riding. Nick Amoretti and Dean Stephenson had good consistent runs nailing the rail sections but it wasn’t enough to beat the defending champ, Dave Phillips, who again rode clinical runs with solid Stalefish Grabs and 50/50’s.
Mawa Jekot has basically been dominating the Women’s Open division of Snowboarding in SA for the last decade and this weekend saw nothing different. Mawa again put on a winning performance with solid runs which included dialled rails, perfect grabs and Cab 3’s. Vanessa Jackson took second place styling over the rails and landing a Frontside 180. Veronica Serdult’s strong rails and straight airs over the kicker earner her third place overall. All the women have definitely stepped up their game this year and are charging hard. This division is going to be exciting at SA champs in a few weeks time.
The Pro Men always throw down hard and it was good to see the park makers, Rueben Storbeck and Andrew Le Roux, enter this year’s comp. Marcin Jekot has always been a force to be reckoned with in the Pro Men’s division but unfortunately he couldn’t string 3 solid runs together and this put him out of contention for the podium positions. Rueben Storbeck rode solid all weekend long and his dialled rails put him into contention and a final overall of third place. Luke Dutton rode like a champ landing Frontflips off the small roller and a Frontside 7 off the kicker. He also went for a 900 off the kicker but unfortunately didn’t land it smoothly thus effecting his final score and putting him into second place. Andrew Le Roux rocked the competition with 3 solid runs which included perfect rails, spins, grabs and saw him landing a huge Switch Backside 5 off the kicker. This was enough for the judges to award Andrew the first place overall.
The final division of the day was the Freestyle Skiing. A mix of big airs, switch Backflips, Double Backflips and big crashes where the order of the day seeing Bradley Stephenson take first, Janko Krivan second and Linze Veenstra third.
As always, it was a pleasure to be invited up to Afriski and to cover such an awesome event. The Burton Park Jam Tour and Kings Cup event was yet again a huge success and by the amount of ‘messy’ the after party got, that just proved it. A big shout out goes to the sponsors involved: Burton, Mini, Skullcandy, Anon, Red Bull, Afriski and Snowboarder.co.za for making such a rad event possible. The winners of the Pro and Amateur Men’s divisions also get to take home a Mini Countryman for a month thanks to Mini South Africa, so congrats Dave and Andrew, enjoy the rides.
1. Chad Laybourn
2. Graham Sepatla
3. Ethan Tereblanche
1. Abi Clare O’Donnel
2. Erin Nel
1. Dave Phillips
2. Nick Amoretti
3. Dean Stephenson
Womans Open division
1. Mawa Jekot
2. Vanessa Jackson
3. Veronica Serdult
1. Andrew Le Roux
2. Luke Dutton
3. Rueben Storbeck
Freestye Skiing Open Division
1. Bradley Stephenson
2. Janko Krivan
3. Linze Veenstra