What better time than an Olympic year for a contest that is about as polar opposite (bar perhaps the Ultra Natural or Holy Bowly) as you can get to what will be going down in Sochi in a month's time? X Games Real Snow is back with 8 heavy-as-hell parts that ESPN want you lot to vote on.
We've got all the videos right here including our verdicts on who's gonna make it through round 1 of voting.[splitpost intro="true"]
First up? Bode Merrill vs. Frank April - click through to watch the edits and read our verdicts on each match-up:
[part title="Bode Merrill vs. Frank April"]
Woah. Way to start things off strong ESPN. Now we all know Bode is a machine and all, but this part is just flat out ridiculous. There's massive transfers, one-footers that you'll have to play over and over, and a crazy transfer UP onto a down flat down rail (you'll see what we mean when you watch it).
Thought Frank's part in Deja Vu was nuts? Well some of this shit fully one-ups it. Every single trick is hammer, simple as that. That backside 50-50 on the gap rail and that drop ender? Both switch. We've said it before, but for a tall guy, Frank has got incredible style too.
Damn this one's a really tough one to call. Both of these parts pretty much blew our minds already and we're just getting started. It's close but we're gonna have to go with Bode on this one.
[part title="Dylan Thompson vs. Louif Paradis"]
When it comes to X Games Real Snow, Dylan is technically a rookie, but his riding sure as hell ain't. How Dylan doesn't blow his ACL out every season is beyond us and this part has some SERIOUS rail to drop-offs. Can you imagine hooking up on that last trick? The rail has a freaking knob on it AND the gap is over a wall... so damn insane. Louif is gonna have to have brought is a-game to top this one...
Well we'll be damned, Louif has done it again. Another technically mind-blowing part that has risk, big spots and flat out super-human snowboarding in equal measure. It may not be as immediately as impressive as Bode's or Dylan's but anyone that hits rails will be able to tell you how ridiculously sick some of these tricks are. Louif will be getting a medal again this year, guaranteed.
Dylan's part is gnarly as hell but it just has to be Louif on this one. That dude is just too damn good.
[part title="Forest Bailey vs. Dan Brisse"]
Forest Bailey is rad. The kid does what the hell he wants to with his snowboarding and it's always a breath of fresh air to watch him shred. His part is calculated, crazy stylish and has amazing flow, with some standout tricks for sure (that ender is one way to knock all your teeth out...).
Dan Brisse does the kind of shit on his snowboard that most other riders wouldn't even consider looking at. Much like Dylan, every single trick is bloody massive. As much as we want to say we're always after something a little extra from Dan's style and that his riding is getting a little played out, we totally can't make those statements when he's still putting out parts as crazy as this.
While we love the look and feel of Forest's part, we feel like the masses are going to be pulling Brisse through on this one.
[part title="Eiki Helgason vs. Jaeger Bailey"]
It always amazes me how we constantly see new spots from the Helgasons. I mean, sure, everyone knows Iceland has a bunch of sick street spots but it's got a population of like 300,000. How many perfect handrails does a little(ish) island in the middle of the Atlantic need? Anyway, everyone knows Eiki kills it and there's some super creative, tech stuff in his part. We thought the 360 flip thing was crazy enough and then he went and did a double frontflip by practically jamming his nose into a massive column...
Jaeger Bailey is a super cool kid and his breed of extra creative, stunt based snowboarding alongside tech stuff like back lips through harsh-as-shit kink rails is pretty exciting to watch. You can definitely see the Scott Stevens influence in his riding and props to him for trying to do original stuff with his snowboard.
Although Jaeger's first ever Real Snow part is a super solid one, we think that Eiki's tops it this time around.
Caught your breath yet? We're putting it out there that the riding in these parts is some of the most mind blowing we've ever seen. They should totally film twice as many of these and make a full movie or something because it's rare to see so many hammers of this quality thrown in such a short space of time. Utter, utter madness. Anyways, we think this thing is gonna come down to two (perhaps three) parts: Bode Merrill and/or Frank April, Louif Paradis and maybe Dan Brisse.
To be fair though, every damn one of these dudes should give themselves a pat on the back and go sit down for a while.