American ski star pips Byron Wells in the halfpipe


Snowy conditions didn’t stop epic tricks being pulled at the NZ Freeski Open halfpipe finals on Saturday.

United States star Taylor Seaton took out the competition at Cardrona, narrowly stealing first place honours from Wanaka’s Byron Wells.

Seaton’s alley-oop 900 move clinched him the title head judge Rafael Regazzoni says. 

“Taylor and Byron showed the most amplitude of all the riders,” Regazzoni says. 

“In the end the difference for Taylor was that he was able to combine more tricks in his run and was slightly better technically.” 

Canada’s Noah Bowman was third in the men’s competition.

Wanakarite Janina Kuzma also claimed a podium finish, second behind winner Megan Gunning, while American Jamie Crane-Mauzy was third.