PringleHey...buddy!... You just blow in from stupid town?
What's wrong with Sam Zahner? He can spin and scissor like crazy on rails and is pretty good on jumps too. That plus style. Watch his season edit. It's something like Sam zahner season edit 14/15. There are some bangers such as: front 8, future fed, front 3 swap to switch on a flat tube (not surface swap, but 3 all in the air), and his mole grab is unique and not being attempted by anyone else right now and it's sick af. There's tons of more impressive shit that I don't remember since I haven't seen it in a while.
But why don't you just shut the fuck up and not be such a dick. He can't do some of the shit that someone like Keegan can do but the super unknown contestants don't get further because they are necessarily better.
To get to the finals you need to have a really good edit. Edits don't show you exactly how good someone is. They just show you what the skier can do. And you can bet that the skiers can do more than what is shown on their edits because they are limited in time. So the skier has to choose which tricks to use out of many. keegan can do many sick tricks but he simply can't show them all off in a short edit. Same with Sam zahner. If the edits were really long(5 min+) then we could see a big difference because we would start seeing a better idea of what that skier could overall do. But the edits aren't long.
2 minutes is only enough for the skiers to show their very best tricks. This will give us such a variety of things to watch in many different edits. How do we compare the aerial abilities of 2 skiers who put out 2 edits that have only a few jump shots. 1 edit might only show only really big kickers while the other might only have time to show spins with crazy sick grabs and tweaks. We cant know for sure how the first person stands up against second when it comes to innovative grabs and how the second does on a kicker with a massive grab. How does an urbanless edit compare with an urban only edit? Of course the latter skier can do urban but how well?
And so not necessarily do the best skiers go on to the finals. It doesn't matter how good we know someone is, what matters is how good of a very short edit can they put out. It's not such a concrete black and white thing. There's a lot of variability and uncertainty to what can happen.
So it's not that fucking long of a shot that Sam zahner makes it to the finals and the finals are a whole new story.
Keegan can double but what if there isn't a jump for that. Correct me if I'm wrong but they didn't have a big enough jump last year to show off many doubles. There was an interesting whale tail that gave such a potential to get creative.
What if they have a very flowy park with rails that are very close together this year? How can you say that sam zahner isn't very good at doing tricks one right after another and Keegan doesn't need more time to prep before a rail? Point is, the park can be built to fit any style and can cater more to one athlete than another.
In conclusion, the competition is very variable and prone to unexpected things happening. It's not such an easy thing to predict because of all the things at play. So while it's still unlikely that zahner will win, it's not completely ridiculous to have some hope for the guy. He has talent but will be challenged by the many other people going against him. All this judging on skiers is pretty damn subjective too. Exchange all the judges out for new ones and you probably will have a different winner. This shit doesn't all go down as simply as you think.