Snowboarding's best compete at Stratton - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Snowboarding's best compete at Stratton

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From the tricks to the terrain, a lot has changed at the Burton US Open in 30 years.

"The tricks the athletes are doing today would be unheard of 20 or 30 years ago," said Myra Foster, the communications manager at Stratton Mountain.

"The sport has gotten so big and this contest has gotten so big my head is spinning. This is nuts," snowboarder Seth Miller said.

Seth Miller and Seth Neary were riders at the event 20 years ago. The Vermont neighbors-turned-pros were back Friday for the Washed Up Cup, where old legends compete once again.

"This is like our high school reunion," Neary said. "We're not afraid to say we're washed up. We're here to have a good time."

But not much has remained the same since these two first competed in the Burton US Open back in 1992.

"Everything has gotten bigger," Miller said. "People go higher, faster."

"We can see the future this week from the riders from Scandinavia and Japan going back to back doing tricks. Every year the bar is raised-- literally," Foster said.

The Burton US Open wasn't always this extreme. They didn't even have a half-pipe until 1985 and even then the walls of that half-pipe were only about 4 or 5 feet tall. Now the walls are 22 feet.

Jamie Anderson from the USA team won Friday's women's slopeside finals. This is her sixth Burton US Open.

"They've gone back so far and it's so rad what they've done for this sport and like the competitive scene-- it's amazing," Anderson said.

And this 30th year of the event is a win for Burton and Vermont.

"It's amazing to see this level of competition to celebrate a sport that was born and raised in Vermont," Foster said. "To see the eyes of the world on Stratton Mountain, on Vermont, on Burton, on snowboarding for five days in March."

Organizers say the event has grown from just a few hundred spectators to over 15,000. Stratton Mountain resort says they don't see ever holding this event anywhere else.

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