Firstly, it's great to post again. When I was active, I can't remember a day when I didn’t log on, browse videos and catch up with buddies that I could only see once hills opened or when I saw them on the glacier over the summer. NS gave a lot to me because park skiing was still in its infancy at the time and there was nothing like it. You could message your idols (Mikael Deshenaux right after the Session 1242 release being one) and they would tell you without hesitation to not to buy the skis that they threw down on in your favourite video part of the year (Troublemakers remain to be the worst park ski ever made). I started skiing when parks were snowboarders only and you had to duck the ropes and dodge snowballs to rip a line. Whether you realize it or not, NS potentially had the most profound impact on the game than any skier, brand, competition or video that you can think of. I always get nostalgic watching X Games. Where I’m from, it wasn’t broadcast on TV and you could only watch it on such a low resolution that you could barely see what trick was being done if it didn’t freeze because of dial-up. It was the place to watch the highest level of skiing and arguably still is. Additionally, it was the first place to get a glimpse of the next season’s gear releases; NS didn’t do gear release or SIA coverage at the time.
With this being said, I watched big air and slopestyle for the first time in years thanks to Rona. So I ask (honesty, looking for genuine feedback here): Why is it acceptable to ski Big Air no poles? Ragetti’s trip to switch was objectively cool and looked great (he gets a lot of hate here - some of his skiing really does suck), but where are the goddamn poles? Adelisse too. Great skiing, but why is it socially acceptable to ski the most important big air comp in the world without poles? We all hate X Games judging and know how important it is to hold the grab through the rotation in this event. It all started started with Idea, which led to your favourite skier’s favourite skiers dropping poles immediately and more than a decade later (I’m guilty: Example A being my profile pic from ’08 thanks to Pollard, Pep and Tanner). It’s not an even playing field. Freedom of expression aside, it’s easier to grab your skis without poles in your hands.
Finally, where does it go from here? Do the jumps need to get bigger because you can’t throw a 1980 any faster. It is and always have been spin to win, but I genuinely don’t know how much more spinning can take place before it’s literally aerial skiing. We’ll see quads, most likely even quads both ways in the next two years, but is that what skiing wants or needs?
P.S. Tom, you have no idea who I am but we shared a beautiful chicken finger dinner in Squamish on the way to High North back in ’05. I nor, did anyone else, realize how you were going to change the game at that time but you proceeded to throw down more than anyone else on the glacier over the course of the week that I was there (2 on 4 out the s-rail being the most memorable because pretzels weren’t a thing at the time). For the love of god, stop saying “manoeuvre” and “rodeo style” bud. You’re better than this.