Photos: Chris Wellhausen, Nick Hamilton, and Frode Sandbech
Max Parrot spins his way into first place at big air X Games 2014
Whoa. The big air contest at X Games 2014 was like no contest we’ve seen before. The level of snowboarding that went down was insane. Just two years ago if you did a triple cork, you won the contest. Now you won’t make finals if you don’t do a triple.
Some of the biggest news of the night was that Mark McMorris pulled out of big air. He was supposed to be in the contest, but he decided to pull out and save himself for slope, which is tomorrow. Because he did that, Torgier Bergrem was able to be in the contest, which is crazy on its own accord, because dude was partying pretty damn hard the night before.
The way that big air works in the X Games is that they do two rounds of five people, and then a finals round of the six top guys. The riders in the first heat were Torgeir Bergrem, Max Parrot, Stale Sandbech, Seb Toots, and Sage Kotsenburg. This heat was heavy. Max Parrot can do a triple cork like he’s doing a 720. It looks so effortless for him. Sage Kotesnburg was also killing it with his signuature style of awesome grabs and cool double corks, but unfortunately he didn’t do any triple corks, so he didn’t make the finals. The guys who made the finals were Max Parrot, Stale Sandbech, and Torgeir Bergrem.
Max Parrot’s Winning Jumps:
In the second round we saw riding from Yuki Kadono, Sven Thorgren, Seppe Smits, Halldor Helgason, and Torstein Horgmo. Before we go any further we just have to say how big of fans we are of Halldor. For a dude to bust a sick method in a contest where triple corks are the norm, now that’s sick. Halldor didn’t make the finals, in fact the scores to make the finals were separated by just one point, but it was a strong showing. The dudes who did make the finals were Yuki Kadono, Sven Thorgren, and Seppe Smits. These dudes put on a show. Yuki Kadono, at just 17, showed us tonight that he’s here to stay. He blasted a ton of different triple cork variations including a switch backside 1620 one. Oh yeah, Sven Thorgren did an 1800 or something like that.
Yuki Kadono’s second place jumps
The finals were like nothing I personally had ever seen before. The level of the riding was so high that it was kind of hard to tell what the tricks were. Some highlights however were Stale’s 1440 triple cork, as well as his backside 1440, and his cab 1080. Also, Seppe Smits did a sick cab 1260 truck driver, and Sven Thorgren did a rad flat 1440. The dudes who were shining however were Max Parrot and Yuki Cadono. These guys were battling. Every time one of them would stomp a trick, the next guy was right there putting on the heat. At one point it got so heated it looked like Max was going to try a quad cork. Some of their highlights were Yuki’s switch backside 1620 triple, and Max’s triples that look so effortless that they look like he’s doing a 900. It’s insane how on lock he has triple corks. In the end it was Max who got the best of Yuki, and he ended up in first, with Yuki in second, and Stale in third.
Stale Sandbech’s third place jumps
Big air snowboarding is a funny thing. On the one hand it’s pretty insane seeing people do tricks that just two years ago were unthinkable. But on the other hand, it’s overwhelming. The tricks that went down were so crazy that they were almost impossible to distinguish. Something might have to change to the formula of big air, because there’s only so much these guys can spin and flip. But, what that change will be we’re going to have to wait and see.
Full Results from the finals: