Shaun White stays frosty during practice at X Games 2017. Photo: Chris Tedesco / ESPN
It’s far from perfect, but the X Games Aspen is still the best place to see the very highest level of competitive snowboarding.
The invite-only format has been criticised in the past, but at least everyone who gets the call tends to turn up. As a result the standard is consistently sky-high in all three freestyle events – halfpipe, slopestyle and Big Air – and the names confirmed suggest that’ll be the case again in 2018.
“Here’s who to look out for in Aspen”
It’s where a lot of firsts get put down in competition, and this year there’s the added element of a pre-Olympic testing of the waters. Don’t expect anyone to hold back, though; Mark McMorris went all out in his attempt to best Max Parrot in 2014, resulting in a busted rib that still hadn’t fully healed by the time Sochi rolled around.
If you can stomach the aggressive advertising, as well as the potential TV-scheduling clusterfuck that sees the action cut away from the slopestyle to the likes of snowmobile long jump, then be sure to tun in for the X Games from 25th-28th January.
Here’s who to look out for in Aspen: