The X Games Big Air is always a spectacle and this year’s iteration was no different. Some riders opted to exit the opening gates in favor of defending themselves for the Big One; For example Heinrich Harlaut and Birk Rudd (not competing in the halfpipe tomorrow). The start list was still full of heat and the boys gave it big time. It was an absolute classic… and it was very hard to keep up.
Mack Forehand, Matej Swanser and Eduardo Theriault entered the fray as X Games rookies and the word Go set fire to the youth proceedings. A 30-minute jam, counting the best two (separate) runs was the order of the day. The runs were dodged through until the conclusion of things and there were a total of 6 per rider.
Mack Forehand opened the party by throwing a switch triple 18, giving Japan a blunt lead but down the landing. Teal Harley dropped his switch triple 14, pulled back to twelve and earned a strong 40. Eduardo Theriault lost a shoe on takeoff to the triple, kept his nerve and took the slam well. Colby Stevenson dubbed the 1980 lead Blunt, Capped — he actually slipped into it, A Hall Wouldn’t Be Happy — earning a 44.
Mack Forehand earned 42 with Switch Dub 18, Lead Tail to Japan. Gucci Plateau. Teal Harley added 42 to his score and finished first in provisional place. We saw a raw Triple 16 from Colby, Evan lost a shoe, took an even nastier slam than Eduardo, Matej threw a nosebutter Triple 19 Japan and so far earned the highest singles score of the night at 48. A Hall by a dub 18 Buick and Andrey were trying out his version of the pretzel.
Teal Harley put on a triple 1980, super clean and massive. This went well with the judges, 44 putting him first, looking like it was a new move for him. Ed Theriault earned 39 with his triple 18, skiing with style and entertaining the crowd. Colby hit a triple 16 blunt which moved him to third place. Ivan, back after a bad slam, opened on a huge switch rotation, driving it backwards, though he picked up fast, he was out of the rest of the event. Matej throws a quad but doesn’t chip it. A Hall earned 38 with 16 Buick dubs to overtake Colby. Andrey brought his pretzels to his feet but caught hold of his skis in the landing.
Mack Forehand gave a Switch dab 18 as good a blunt as you’ll see in a spin that he big, with 44 and 86 in third place. Eduardo T Switch Dub 14 Dub seatbelt earned himself 47 for taking first provisional. Colby Stevenson, skiing like a man, tried 19 switches but fell. At this point the top 3, Thériault, Harley and Forehand all had scores of 86. The fight at the top was tough. Matej tried the quad again, not enough wind but he took a closer look. A Hall debuted with an incredibly clean dub of the 1980 Buick, a 46 bringing its top-place score to an 89. Andrey draws his triple 14 pull back to 12 for 39, but fails to contest from here on top.
Mack Forehands Dub 1980 made it 45 to earn second place. Teal cleared his signature, closed the pretzel early and improved his score to 43. Matej landed his Switch Quad 16, the judges didn’t reward it very much…he finished third. Andrey took a big slam, going for a Switch triple 16 attempt.
Mack Forehand added a score of 44 in his dub 18 with a switch triple 18 to give him 47 and a total score of 92 and second. Teal H threw a treble of his own (the forward variety) 18 and earned another 47. Matej scored a nosebutter double 19 tindy and 48, meaning he should have made a total of 96 and should have come first, someone missed adding something somewhere (or thought it was the same trick as his run 2 triple) And he should have taken the top spot. .. in wizard style a Hall put down the Switch 2160 Buick, landing firmly in the future, scoring 48, keeping his total at 94 and claiming the W. It was a crazy phenomenon which is now also a controversial one.
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