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Which Snowboarders Will Be At X Games 2018?

Find out who's on the invite list

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:

WOMEN’S BIG AIR

This event has the most potential for NBDs, as all the biggest names try to out-rad each other ahead of Big Air’s debut at the five rings.

Don’t be surprised if defending champ Hayley Langland holds on to the X-bling, although there’s a good chance that an in-form Anna Gasser might take her down this year.

The rest of the field have had more success in slopestyle than Big Air, but Jamie Anderson loves a medal so it’s never wise to rule her out. It’s a shame that there’s no sign of Cheryl Maas or Kjersti Østgaard Buaas, but then they might have struggled to keep up with the ever-improving pack of younger riders.

Full list: Jamie Anderson, Anna Gasser, Hailey Langland, Julia Marino, Klaudia Medlova, Silje Norendal, Katie Ormerod.

 

MEN’S BIG AIR

With last year’s medallists (Max Parrot, Marcus Kleveland and a newly-regenerated Mark McMorris) amongst the riders, this won’t be one to watch if you get dizzy easily.

Yuki Kadono will also be there, and might even whip out the quad cork 1980. No sign of fellow quad-chuckers Chris Corning or Billy Morgan, though.

Full list: Yuki Kadono, Markus Kleveland, Mark McMorris, Max Parrot, Stale Standbech, Sven Thorgren, Sebastien Toutant

WOMEN’S SUPERPIPE

There’s no sign of 2017’s winner Elena Hight – but with only six riders confirmed, perhaps there’ll be further announcements to come.

Xuetong Cai may well take the gold this year, but any women’s pipe event feels like it’s Chloe Kim’s to lose. If she can put down the run she wants, expect to see her on the top step.

Full list: Xuetong Cai, Kelly Clark, Elena Hight, Chloe Kim, Jiayu Liu, Maddie Mastro

MEN’S SUPERPIPE

The men’s pipe event at X Games always tends to be heavy on American riders, and this year is no exception. Five of the eight confirmed riders are from the States, with Japan, Switzerland and Australia making up the numbers.

Oz’s Scotty James won last year, in what was a brilliant run of form that saw him clean up on the contest circuit. And while not many expected Shaun White to still be gunning for golds in the pipe four years on from Sochi, his US Open form shows that he’s still a contender.

Full list: Danny Davis, Ben Ferguson, Taylor Gold, Ayumi Hirano, Scotty James, Matt Ladley, Iouri Podlatchikov, Shaun White

WOMEN’S SLOPESTYLE

With the exception of Spencer O’Brien, all of the riders in this event will also be competing in Big Air.

Julia Marino will be looking to hold on to her title, but after four consecutive silvers Jamie Anderson will be looking to break the streak and get back on top.

Full list: Jamie Anderson, Anna Gasser, Hailey Langland, Julia Marino, Spencer O’Brien, Katie Ormerod

MEN’S SlopestylE

Yuki Kadono and Sven Thorgren are back in the mix this year, with Darcy Sharpe also joining the returning names.

Marcus Kleveland, Tyler Nicholson and Mark McMorris took home the trinkets last time, but with a field this stacked things could be very different in 2018.

Full list: Brock Crouch, Red Gerard, Yuki Kadono, Marcus Kleveland, Mark McMorris, Tyler Nicholson, Max Parrot, Mons Røisland, Stale Sandbech, Darcy Sharpe, Sven Thorgren, Sebastian Toutant

You can see the full line-up for each event at the X Games website.

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