2020 was a hell of a year, in both meanings of the phrase. Before we even knew what a coronavirus, Newschoolers hosted our 20th Anniversary at Dew Tour in Copper Mountain. One of the coveted awards we asked you guys to vote for was Trick Of The Year, and last year, Hunter Hess's QP triple took home the prize in front of a room packed full of skiing's greatest talents. Fast forward 12 months and the world is looking very different. The Newschoolers Awards will return, but things will be very different.
Of course, Trick Of The Year will return too and despite the shortened resort season, we had an epic list of stunts to whittle down. It was tough to cut our nominations list to 10 but with the help of the community, we've done it. There's a quad on this shortlist, but also a straight air. There are park stunts, street shots, not to mention backcountry bangers. The beauty of skiing is that it's impossible to define what is 'best' in any kind of objective way because there are so many factors at play. And so we continue to turn the decision over to you guys. The winner of the poll at the bottom of this article will be crowned champion at the Awards in February, whatever form the presentation may take. So without further ado, here are the ten nominations for best trick of 2020. Make sure to cast your vote.
[Editor's Note: Only tricks from free-to-all release content were considered for Trick Of The Year]
Jake Mageau - Fakie ollie misty 5
One of the very few things that 2020 made good on was Mango taking home a medal in Real Ski. The fact that it was gold was a nice bonus, as was this self-one-upmanship of his nollie backflip from the previous year. Mango is one of those scarce natural talents for whom physics apparently does not apply, and this is a perfect example.
Alex Hackel - Switch carve under
The art of the turn is back, and what better way to show that off than by taking it to the... streets!? I have no idea how the judges separated the top three in Real Ski this year, they were all incredible, but Hackel's was my personal favorite. He has a talent for taking things that are relatively simple and elevating them to something that is truly, wonderfully unique... and this is how it's done.
Antti Ollila - Switch alleyoop safety
Sometimes, the simplest things in life are the best. Sometimes they are hidden in plain sight. Nestled in the middle of the intro section of Keeshfile 20 is this gem, which is about as unlike the other pipe trick to make this list as humanly possible. With echos of Duncan Adams' time as the best pipe skier to watch, Antti once again proves he can do it all and that whatever he does will look inhumanly good.
Henrik Harlaut - Nosebutter frontflip AKA Griselda Flip
Newscholers' best trick has always been about stuff that is freely available on the internet because that is what Newschoolers is about. In Salute Henrik had about ten minutes worth of stunts that all could have made this list, but as a pay-to-watch movie, those tricks aren't eligible here. However, this insane nosebutter front flip was a shoo-in regardless, just look how he stalls it out before the flip. However, I do feel we need to give a shoutout to Bård Smukkestad, who stomped one of these way back in 2015.
Cal Carson - Front swap back 4
Cal Carson is something of an enigma. He clearly has the talent to be in that highest echelon of PRO skiers. For whatever reason, he either doesn't have the desire or see the need to sell his skiing. But tricks like this are clear as day evidence that his rail skills are arguably the best out there. And, while this has been said for far to many people, he really does deserve a shot in Real Ski.
Sammy Carlson - 360 to transfer to pillow line
It was insanely difficult to pick a single trick from Resilience, we could have made a list of ten just from that. We considered the huge 360/720 at the end and the flat 3 with the perfect light. But at the end of the day, Sammy is on a whole other level in terms of backcountry stunting, his skiing is uniquely his and we love it. This line captured what he does so well perfectly, so this is what we went with.
Parker White - Cab 900
Some skiers just come to 'own' tricks. Tons of people do them, but there's one guy who just does them the best. JP's backflip mutes, Tom Wallisch's switch dub 10s, Parker White's front flips... and after this one, Parker White's cab 9s too. When I first watched through Nothing my first thought was 'trick of the year' and lo and behold, here it is on the list.
Ben Fethke - Bone scare
I'm sorry what now? Before this, we had never heard of Ben Fethke. Skiing is a funny old game, Pipe skiing triply so, so we may never again unless he starts stacking comp results but this, this is fucking madness. Even a single one of these is nigh incomprehensible but to go double is just straight fucked. Oh, and he's 14 apparently.
Mathilde Gremaud - Switch dub 14
The final two tricks on this list are simply bar raisers... both thrown on the same jump. Mathilde is first up with, by a margin, the most technical trick thrown on the women's side of the sport. Like when we first started seeing dubs, this is a clear indication of things to come. Tricks like this are the new benchmark and Mathilde is leading the way.
Matej Svancer - Switch quad 1620
This one has actually been done once before, by Wacko Wells, but the thing that's so potentially game-changing about is this quad from Matej is that the jump really isn't that big. You could easily find its equivalent on a slopestyle course, let alone in big air, so it opens the door for quads to enter the contest realm. Oh and Matej is 16.