Words: Sam Turner and Matt Sklar

Photo: Ethan Swadburg

At a competition like X Games, and in an event like Big Air, itís kind of hard to imagine that things wouldnít go according to plan. That, for example, it would snow so hard and so much that no one could get speed for the jump and we would see just as many straight airs as we did triples. Itís kind of hard to imagine that no one would come up with a backup plan. But, skiing is at the mercy of the elements, and sometimes thatís the way it goes.

Hereís what X Games Big Air finals looked like to us:

We are live in the Kitten Factory crewís Airbnb for XGames Big Air finals. These people have a projector and a fine sound system, and the live stream is crisp. It takes us some time to decide on the rules for this yearís drinking game, but any mention of ďamplitudeĒ is a unanimous drink. Itís snowing as hard in Aspen as it is here in Denver, and we wonder if maybe the triples wonít come out. Maybe itíll be a low-rotation contest after all. I think we should be careful what we wish for though: the comp deteriorated even quicker than the viewing party. Rookie Fabian Boesch throws the first dub. He throws the first triple too. The inrun seems like itís getting quicker, but any progress in that respect is derailed when Elias Ambuhl hurts his knee.

The crowd seemed to enjoy Henrikís dub rodeo 12 safety more, however. Elias Ambuhl got triples, too, forward 1620 with a safety (drinks for everyone). Bobby Brown throws trip 14 next, with a mute (2 drinks). It looks like the judges want the triple, Vinnieís 1260 genie wonít cut it unfortunately.

Henrik tries for a rodeo 180, yep thatís right, and gets one of the biggest ovations from the crowd here, although he couldnít put it to his feet. Henrik affirms once again that heís in the creative driver seat.

Podium:

1) Fabian Boesch

2) Bobby Brown

3) Elias Ambuhl

Thoughts and notes from the watch party:

- Fabian Boesch throws the first dub. He throws the first triple too.The inrun gets quicker with a few runs through the lineup.

- Jossi is wearing a supreme jacket.

- It looks like Ambuhl hurt his knee. In the meantime P Moore lines up a toe gun. He canít get it so Trevor tries but his feet are too sweaty and it doesnít go. The room starts to smell really pretty awful.

- The announcers question why Henrik is trying new tricks instead of triples.

- ďIs there enough time for these guys to get enough speed to triple and get a 40.Ē -The announcers.

- The SPeed is S-L-O-W, might as well bring out the knuckle tricks.

- Bob is over it. Straight air. Nice to see an athlete not push it beyond the conditions. Fabian, too. Itís getting SLLOOOWWWW-er. Vinnie, as well, I think this thing is over.

- Henrik tries again, but its rodeo 5 this time.

- This is gettin kinda loose.

- The snow almost made for a style competition, but it seems to have shut things down almost completely.

- Henrik givin er when everyone else is straight airing, dub flat 10.

- We could barely tell who actually won, because the the comp got cut for Hood Crew videos.

- Winner Fabian Boesch said it was crazy, that they couldnít see anything.