Ayumu Hirano boosts above the crowd at Dew Tour Copper 2023. | Dew Tour photo.
Tucked between the atmospheric rivers pounding the west coast and intermountain west, Dew Tour Copper 2023 provided the perfect reprieve for freeskiing and riding fans and athletes to celebrate this record-setting snow season. On our count, this year ‘s Dew Tour marks the franchise's 14th winter contest with Copper Mountain at the hosting helm for the last three years. Streamlined and dialed for crowd-pleasing high energy and style, the competition line up included: Super Streetstyle, Superpipe, Superpipe High Air and Best Trick Jam. Event masterminds didn’t disappoint. Known on comp circuits for its creativity and mixed-up contest formats to achieve ultimate crowd stoke, Dew Tour 2023 delivered high airs and big tricks.
Without Winter Olympic trials this year, athletes had more freedom to bring the stoke for the crowds. Olympic Gold Medalist Snowboarder, MTN DEW team rider and Summit County local Red Gerard commented ahead of the event, “The competitions will have some fun new course evolutions, so I’m hyped about the whole weekend!”
When you really get down to it, Dew Tour 2023 proved that age truly is just a number.
“Patti Zhou” - if you haven’t heard her name, it’s only a matter of time. Born in Beijing and now calling Silverthorne, Colorado home base, Zhou made mark in her inaugural Dew Tour appearance in the snowboard Superpipe and Super Streetstyle events. Zhou’s debut resulted in a second place finish in Snowboard Superpipe, becoming the youngest athlete to ever land a winter Dew Tour podium (and the second-youngest ever at any Dew Tour event). Let’s also mention that she came in second to South Korean Gaon Choi who earned the top spot. According to Gaon’s bio, she was “practically raised riding a snowboard, and can also throw down on four wheels at skateparks and vert ramps.” All at the spritely age of 14.
Skye Clark greases a feature in Women's Ski Super Streetstyle. | Dew Tour photo.
Zhou said, "I feel so excited and so thankful to be here. All these great people mixed up all together inspired me to go bigger and have more style.” She also told the Associated Press, “I’m having so much fun learning from everybody! Contests like this make me want to skate and surf and snowboard forever.”
We’re so here for it.
And then…there’s the young at heart. Just cresting the five-decade mark at 52, Mix Master Mike brought the vibes and mixed up classic tunes to a packed crowd on Saturday night. Nestled between competitions, under the bright lights of the Streetstyle course, Mike lit up the stage, entertaining his contemporaries and those born after 2012, the year he was inducted into the Rock ’n Roll Hall of Fame with the Beastie Boys. (He may or may not have taken a few crowd selfies along the way.)
Known for his love of both DJing and snowboarding, entertaining fans surrounded by snow feels like home for this musical pioneer, named the “the world’s greatest DJ” by USA Today. From the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and 2014 Emmy Awards, Mix Master Mike has turned his tables for the people, from presidents to celebrities to packed crowds in the mountains.
According to an interview with The Denver Post, “I love it. I love the snow. I just love being out there,” he said, “It's always good to come back (to Colorado) and revisit old friends and see whole new generations of kids who aren’t really kids anymore. “ Mike continued, “Yeah, there is always a new society of kids coming up, and so you’ve just got to hammer that generation in the head with some dope new (bleep).”
On the final day of the comp, crowds got a taste of chaos, also known as the Superpipe High Air & Best Trick Jam presented by the U.S. Air Force. Bomb Hole host Chris Grenier described the session as a “complete trainwreck of awesomeness,” and analyst Todd Richards called it “the mullet portion of Dew Tour: we had the business up front, and now we have the party in the back.”
Edouard Therriault spreads his wings in Men's Ski Super Streetstyle. | Dew Tour photo.
Ayumu Hirano, sending a “wild, loose no-grab air to fakie, rolling down the windows at 22 feet, 8 inches on the edge of disaster to take the prize” according to the Dew Tour website, took home the top prize while battling it out in heavy snow conditions. With cash flowing (judges literally handing out stacks of cash for individual tricks during the contest), the athletes showed up, fired up, snow be damned. Ultimately, Hirano earned the MVP honors of the session. The judges awarded Zhou the “Best Time” honors on Sunday, as she clearly was having the best time of her 11-year old life.
Women’s Snowboard super Streetsyle Results:
1. Alexis Hernandez-Roland, 82.44
2. Egan Went, 75.66
3. Maria Thomsen, 60.00
Men’s Snowboard Super Streetstyle Results:
1. Nate Haust, 91.33
2. Benny Milam, 90.00
3. Dylan Alito, 88.00
Women’s Ski Super Streetstyle Results:
1. Lisa Zimmermann, 95.00
2. Marion Balsamo, 76.33
3. Sky Clarke, 27.00
Men’s Ski Super Streetstyle Results:
1. Colby Stevenson, 92.66
2. Tucker Fitzsimons, 89.33
3. Alex Hall 70.00
For reference, this would be the same Colby Stevenson, crowned “king” at the 2023 Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s Kings & Queens of Corbet’s comp just a few weeks ago. Colby’s proving himself to be himself to be ski royalty indeed.
Women’s Snowboard Superpipe Results:
1. Gaon Choi 98.33
2.Patti Zhou 90.66
3. Bea Kim 80.00
Men’s Snowboard Superpipe Results:
1. Ayumu Hirano 96.66
2. Taylor Gold 91.22
3. Raibu Katayama 90.00
Men’s Ski Superpipe Results:
1. Brendan Mackay, 93.00
2. David Wise, 87.00
3. Aaron Blunck, 84.00
Bonus mention for the ultimate underdog, Alex Ferreira, sliding into fourth place with his signature pole whip. We bet Hotdog Hans has some choice words for him, missing the podium and all.