The final stop of the Winter Dew Tour took place last weekend at Snowbasin. With a perfectly shaped pipe and slopestyle course to match, the crowd was filled with anticipation. The pressure was on for the riders to deliver their finest performances and Russ Henshaw and Jen Hudak did not disappoint. Russ' run was near perfect, with a technical rail section followed by a typically clinical display on the kickers. The Marker Völkl rider put down a leftside double corked 1080º with a double mute grab and a rightside 1260º high mute, proving he can do it all both ways. In the end Alex Schlopy took the gold, with Joss Christensen in second. Russ’ bronze medal here put him in second place in the overall standing for the Dew Tour this year, narrowly missing out to Bobby Brown, who took the overall Dew Cup. Fellow Marker Völkl rider, JF Houle also finished fourth in the overall standings after managing a sixth place finish at the final stop here in Snowbasin.
Jen Hudak’s bid for the podium got off to a great start once again after she qualified in first place with a typically superb run. The Völkl rider looked justifiably pleased as she crossed the line. Her feelings were shared by the judges and Jen’s score of 91 proved unassailable throughout the qualifiers. In the finals she repeated her form, starting with a huge 900º and throwing an alley-Oop 540º to leftside 540º, as well as finishing with a styled 720º. With 90 points it seemed likely Jen would walk away with the title. But this was no ordinary day in women’s halfpipe with all of the top five scoring more than 80 points. Eventual second place finisher Devin Logan scored 91 and the winner Brita Sigourney managed an impressive 92. On her second run Jen knew she had to go for something special and tried a 1080º, just washing out on the landing. It was a brave attempt and the Völkl rider will take encouragement from how close she came to landing the trick. Jen Hudak is now on a consistent run of form in all major competitions, and in the space of a week has managed to take silver at the FIS World Championships and bronze at the Dew Tour.
Overall it has been a great Winter Dew Tour for the Marker Völkl Freeski Team that has proven once again to be one of the strongest forces in freestyle skiing!
ABOUT: RUSS HENSHAW
To describe the young Australian Russ Henshaw seemed quite easy: the contest high-flyer from Down Under. But this over-simplification came to an end last year! Nowadays, Russ is much more than just a damn good contest rider. He is one of the coolest young freeski stars, and this has to be taken literally. He is a winter kid. For him finding something to do in the summer is easy: "I ski! Because it is winter here in Australia!" Besides his really impressive range of good contest results – he himself describes the success at the Jon Olsson Invitational 2009 as his career highlight – Russ is also riding for Matchstick Productions, a leading ski video production company. He scored his first full segment in last year’s "In Deep“ at the young age of 19 and continues to headline their cast in 2010. However, this is no surprise as he either sticks a trick or works on it until he lands it every time. This is daily business to Russ, working on his skills, performing his tricks to absolute perfection. After all, he has the necessary time to improve the details, as Russ enjoys the winter for almost 365 days per year. Either somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere or at his home spot in Thredbo, Australia.
ABOUT: JEN HUDAK
Jen Hudak is not only one of the most successful halfpipe riders you’ll find in freeskiing at the moment, she is also a very orderly girl. According to the classic US cliché, Jen worked at a supermarket as a teenager, helping customers to store their groceries in their bags. In doing so, she once found herself unpacking the bags and re-sorting the groceries neatly and orderly into it again. To arrange a successful ski career is not as easy as aligning groceries in a bag, but Jen is at least as passionate and solid about it. Since the psychology- and business student discovered halfpipe riding at the age of 14 she can’t think of anything better. “I love the freedom you have in Freeskiing. If you can imagine doing something on a pair of skis, chances are that you can go out and accomplish it.” To have better training options, Jen moved from Connecticut, Vermot, were she was born, to Salt Lake City, Utah and is to be found on the slopes usually in Alta, UT or Aspen, CO. Jen loves competitions and her fervor for Freeskiing pays off. Last year Jen won gold medal at the X-Games. For this winter she has big plans too, but another gold at the Euro X-Games is still on top of her to do list.