X Games is the big one (at least 3 years out of 4). So in a sense, it's a relief that the biggest show of the year is independent of most of the other comps, if perhaps even more commercialized. One thing is for sure though, X Games build the biggest, wildest setups of the year, and this year was no exception. The back-to-back quarterpipe takeoffs (right and left) meant that we saw the riders pushed to adapt their regular slopestyle runs, and the insane rail section made for a course with huge potential.

Unfortunately, grey skis and a pretty significant amount of snowfall during the event threw a proverbial spanner in the works. It was tough for the riders to figure out where they were in the air, particularly on the shark fin features which were critical for nailing speed for the bottom jumps. In all, it was a great looking course, but certainly tightly packed and it was tough weather for it. We still saw plenty of insane moments, but I think most of the athletes went home having kept something in their bags that they were hoping to bring out.


Run 1:

With the bad weather, it took Run 1 for most guys to figure out where they were at all, with the first riders coming up short on either the second side takeoff or the first jump. Colby Stevenson was first to put down a whole run. The back 3 swap transfer was savage and a dub 16 stale at the bottom was sick. Mac Forehand also put down a 3 swap transfer too (front 3 to switch), but 'only' went back-to-back switch dub 10s at the bottom, which is low on the tech these days. Max Moffat had a dope dub bio 14 but bobbled on the first rail feature. AHall, Birk, and Andri all showed promise but didn't get clean runs first time around. Birk and Andri went for the tech approach on the rails, while Alex was all the way out there creativity-wise with a bonkers tokyo drift under the top of the rainbow rainbow to backside 180 onto the down part (watch it) opening his run.


Run 2:

At the beginning of run 2, Ferdi raised the bar. He had a dope switch tips down 2 to continuing 4 on the final rail and then switch right dub bio 12 to both ways forward dub bio (10 then 14). The only real criticism? Too many safety grabs. He was immediately bumped out of the top spot by Colby S, who stomped both switch 2 to backslides back to back and the dub 16 again at the bottom. Mac Forehand immediately took a provisional second immediately afterward. The front 3 swap transfer back to switch was sick, and the dub cork 9 off the shark fin was a highlight too. Birk Ruud was getting silly on the rails, and he was one jump from the lead, throwing a switch 9 on the final booter when he ran low on speed. The Front swap, front swap, back 4 on the Z was wild. A Hall was an edge catch away too, the cork 9 to switch 3 from the knuckle was bonkers.


Run 3:

Fabian Boesch and Evan McEachran finally put full runs down but neither was quite executed well enough to challenge the podium. Ferdi switched up his grabs, which definitely would have bumped his score, but the switch tips down 2 wasn't as good this time around. Both AHall and Birk were probably a trick away from the lead again, but it wasn't there for them this run either, Andri Ragettli finally put one down, but the rail tricks kept him from the podium spots, although they were a step up from normal. Front swap, back swap, cont. 2 on the z, 4 on p 2 on the down. It was a sick run but perhaps missing the wow factor.


Run 4:

The weather took a turn for the worse for the final run, and it was a tough one for those guys who didn't have a score at this point. Nobody managed to improve in the final run leaving Colby Stevenson with another X Games Gold, Mac Forehand second, and Ferdi with a (perhaps surprising) X Games Bronze.



Podium Runs:

1st Place - Colby Stevenson



2nd Place - Mac Forehand


3rd Place - Ferdinand Dahl