[splitpost intro="true" order="true"]What else would the X Games 2014 Big Air finals be but another triple cork showdown. Max Parrot took home the lion's share of the prize moolah after stomping a flawless backside triple cork 1620. The level of riding was insane, and once again we're left wondering where freestyle snowboarding can go from here.
While in the previous years if you stomped a bolts triple cork you'd be on the podium, this year if you didn't throw one down you didn't even make the finals.
Mark McMorris was notably absent from the proceedings last night, claiming to be saving himself for slopestyle today, leaving Torgeir Bergrem, who you may remember stomped the first ever backside triple cork 1620, to take his place. As it turns out, that very trick turned out to be the one to beat in yesterday's comp.
|RANK||NAME||TOP 1||TOP 2||TOP 3||TOP 4||TOP 5||BEST 2|
Both heats were stacked, and in the first, Torgeir Bergrem, Max Parrot and Stale Sandbech made it through to finals, with Sage Kotsenberg, despite chucking his ever stylish doubles with unusual grab combinations, falling by the wayside. Sebastien Toutant also couldn't do enough to make it through.
In heat two, Yuki Kadono, Sven Thorgren, and Seppe Smits made it through, culling Mr. Halldor Helgson and crowd favourite Torstein Horgmo. After his brilliantly entertaining slopestyle run yesterday, Halldor kept it real on his runs once again, blasting a massive method perhaps in defiance of the triple dipping madness:
Yuki Kadono was on top form, blasting out a bunch of triple variations including a backside triple 1620, while Sven Thorgren was whipping round flat-spun backside 1440s like they were no big thing.
The finals that followed were flat-out off the charts, with some of the highest level of snowboarding we've seen to date.
Click through to see the top two runs from the top three finishing riders:
[part title="3rd Place: Stale Sandbech"]
Stale Sandbech put down a bolts backside triple 1440 on his first run and a super stylish cab 1260 late cork on his second which saw him take the bronze medal.
[part title="2rd Place: Yuki Kadono"]
Yuki Kadono opted for a backside triple 1440 on his first run and a backside triple 1620 on his second which was enough for the silver medal.
[part title="1st Place: Max Parrot"]
Max Parrot took the gold medal with his own version of the backside triple cork 1620 (which also happened to be the slowest, cleanest looking one we've seen to date) followed by a sick cab triple.
Overall it has to be said that the standard of snowboarding last night was pretty damn superhuman. At times it was difficult to tell exactly what was going on and this is coming from somebody who watches snowboarding every single day.
While you have to applaud these guys for constantly progressing the sport and pushing the boundaries, where on earth can it all go from here? Do we really want snowboarding to be perceived as this unreachable, gymnastic-like discipline, where higher degrees of mute-grab locked-in spins and flips are celebrated more than the tricks that got us strapping into a board in the first place?