Earlier today, the X Games Norway jump played host to Men's Qualification. 8 guys had to compete for just 2 spots, with the other 6 finalists pre-qualified. The guys who made it, Alex Hall and Birk Ruud, killed it and fully deserved their spots but other guys, Oscar Wester for one, slayed and didn't make it. It seems super harsh to have that high a percentage of spots pre-qualified but it is what it is.
For Norway, the both spin directions requirement from Aspen was dropped, in favour of two different rotations (out of right, left, switch right, switch left). No jam session this year either, with a more standard 3 run, best two count format. Bitching aside, the finals were a great show of how insane big air skiing has become. On a pretty scary looking scaffolding jump, we saw triples, butter landing attempts, insane double grabs and more. We also saw some trademark judging controversy with Birk Ruud scoring a 47 despite putting both hands down on a trip 16, Oystein scoring super high for great grabs on simpler tricks (we're in favour, most seem not to be).
In finals Alex Hall stomped an insane dub 12 seatbelt japan + tail double grab, 5 out of 8 guys stomped a triple and Kai Mahler broke his ski (we think) attempting to switch dub in to a nosebutter. Ultimately, Birk Ruud's switch dub 14 tail and triple 16 were enough to put him in the lead with Henrik last to drop. And shortly afterwards, were enough for the win when Henrik narrowly missed the grab on his last attempt nosebutter dub 16.
Gold: Birk Ruud
Silver: Henrik Harlaut
Bronze: Oystein Braten
Birk Ruud - Switch left dub 14 tail , huge left triple 16 mute (hands down...) (47, seemed high given the landing).
Alex Hall - Dub 12 seatbelt japan + tail (double grab) (41), switch dub 14 seatbelt japan (35.6, maybe underscored).
Christian Nummedal - Switch dub 14 mute, triple 16 safety (39).
Kai Mahler - Switch dub 10 safety to nosebutter attempt (broken ski?), cork 3 insane tweaked japan.
Fabian Boesch - Left triple 16 safety (44), switch dub 10 opp mute (so dope, shafted), switch dub 14 double japan (short grab).
James Woods - Switch triple 14 safety (crash 2x), forward dub 14 tail.
Oystein Braaten - Switch dub 14 tail (like he had magnets) (40.66), left dub 12 tail (magnets again) (36.66).
Dollo - Nosebutter double cork 16 tail (missed blunt went tindy), switch triple 14 mute (trademark Henrik style, huge!) (49.33).