25-year-old Austrian rider Anna Gasser has quickly made a name for herself in a relatively short time.
Anna first caught international attention landing a Cab double cork 900 during the winter of 2013, only two short years after making her debut on the contest circuit. The following year she competed in the 2014 Winter Olympics slopestyle finishing in 10th place. She has since cemented her dominant reputation in big air and slopestyle.
Coming back from a hiatus due to an injury last January, Anna kicked off the 2016/17 contest season winning three consecutive World Cup Big Airs in Milan (ITA), Alpensia (KOR), and Monchengladbach (GER). Anna’s inaugural Burton USOpen appearance was in 2015, where she took 2nd in slopestyle behind Jamie Anderson. She’s coming into the 2017 Burton USOpen fully healed up and with a confidence-building string of wins to her name, which is why she’s our pick for a rider to watch at this year’s Burton USOpen.
You’ve successfully worked your way back from several injuries, including one early this season, how has this experience of injury and recovery changed you as a rider?
Being forced to watch the season go by from the sidelines only made me more motivated to get healthy and get back out there as soon as possible.
With a trio of wins already under your belt for the 2016-17 season, are you feeling fully confident about your riding?
It definitely gives me a comfortable feeling coming into the season with a couple wins. But it’s still a long season to go and all the girls are stepping it up.
Which win so far this season has been the most meaningful?
The World Cup in Milan, Italy, because it was my first contest back after a long break away from the contest series. And not only was it the first contest back, but also my first-ever scaffolding jump where I then managed to land the tricks I had in mind.
The competition has never been more heated in women’s slopestyle, in your experience what does it take to make it to the top of the podium?
With all the women’s progression happening right now, you not only need to do bigger tricks, but also do them with style and execute them well.
You’ve been competing seriously since first making your mark in the 2010/11 season, what are your thoughts on the current state of women’s competitive snowboarding?
I think it’s really cool to see the progression that’s going on right now. There are so many young riders coming up that are pushing the level with new tricks and style. It makes it much more exciting to watch and compete!
You’ve had a lot of time to think about your plans as you worked your way through recovery this past year. What goals have you identified for this season both short and long term?
For longer term goals, I would like to keep pushing myself to become a better snowboarder, not only on the contest side, but also get out of my element and explore other aspects of snowboarding, like backcountry riding. Short term goals, I would say X Games has always been a contest I wanted to compete and do well in, along with the USOpen. Besides that, I’ve got my eyes on the upcoming Olympic Games.
What board qualities have you found works best for your style of riding? What setup will you be riding at the USOpen?
You landed in second place at your first USOpen appearance in 2015 but had to miss last season due to injury, how do you feel going into this year’s event?
It was hard to watch the contest from the couch last year, but I’m very excited for this year’s event. The USOpen is one of the most unique and prestigious contests and they always manage to build a creative and challenging course.
What stands out about competing in and attending the Burton USOpen compared to other events?
For sure the vibes during the whole event are just really mellow—people poaching the contest like back in the day, plus so much stuff happening around the whole base of the mountain—music and concerts playing every day. With the vibes being so laid back and relaxed, it makes it that much more fun to compete, and makes everyone push the level a little higher.
Will Anna continue her winning streak at the 2017 Burton USOpen? The women’s slopestyle semi-finals kick off on Wednesday, March 1st at 10:00am MST at Vail Mountain. Catch the action in person or tune into the live webcast at BurtonUSOpen.com. ∆
From record-breaking riding to free nightly concerts, broomball, après, and more, the Burton USOpen is an annual snowboarding event featuring the world’s best riders in slopestyle and halfpipe. Head over to BurtonUSOpen.com for full event, concert, and webcast details.