Leave it to New York City to go big. Really, really big.
Thursday night at Red Bull's Snowscrapers, the largest urban snowboarding contest held in North America, local pro Shayne Pospisil beat out a field of the most talented snowboarders in the world -- including Olympic and X-Games icon Shaun White -- to capture the title and $50,000 first place prize.
Thousands of spectators braved the subfreezing temperatures and flooded to East River Park to see the best riders compete for their share of a $100,000 prize purse. Sixteen riders participated in a 60-minute jam session to perform their most creative and jaw-dropping maneuvers in front of a panel of international licensed judges, with only eight advancing to finals.
The contestants challenged the height of near-bye apartment buildings as they launched off a 90-foot tall ramp, landing on to a double-sided pyramid feature. The state-of-the-art ramp design allowed fans to get up close and personal to see their favorite pros flying roughly five-stories into the sky.
Many were there to see the ultra-popular White, who was fresh off two gold medal performances at the X-Games two weeks ago (winning in Superpipe and Slopestyle). However, he was upset by Norway's Torstein Horgmo, who pulled off a flawless backside 900 (three complete twists) in the first heat of head-to-head matchups in the finals.
Freestyle sensation Travis Rice, who won the big air competition at X- games, dug into his Santa-Claus-sized bag of tricks and stomped a perfect alley-oop, backside rodeo (a back flip with a 180-degree twist) to advance to the final four.
With only two riders left, Pospisil, from New Jersey, topped Horgmo with a frontside 900 to take home the title. Horgmo ($15,000) and Scotty Lago ($10,000) took home second and third place, respectively. Backcountry legend, Terje Haakonsen, received $5,000 for best trick when he pulled out his patented method grab, much to the delight of the crowd. Contest favorites Pat Moore and Heikki Sorsa both failed to advance to the finals.
The evening was concluded with a live performance by heavy-metal thrashers, Anthrax. If you were unable to catch the action live or on MSG Plus, it will rebroadcast Sunday, Feb. 15 on NBC.