Going Viral

How The Double Cork Changed Slopestyle And What The Future Holds

Pat Burgener. PHOTO Ahreil Povich

Words: Gerhard Gross

For years slopestyle was in a relatively flat state. Sure, there were rodeos, backflips, and occasional frontflips, but for the most part runs were dominated by a series of leveled-off spins. It was a kick to tune in to X Games, Dew Tour, Vans Triple Crown, and Burton US Open, but to see the true progression of riding, you had to turn to video parts. Then the double cork was injected into runs in 2008 and the script literally flipped. Since then, the idea of sending it twice-around-upside-down has spread to riders around the world, going from standout trick to the standard in just three years. The result is lines that are mind-boggling to behold. To understand how the seed for the current level was planted though, you have to go back to ground zero, the point of inception. It all started with a miscalculation.

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One Giant Misstep For Snowboarder-Kind

In 2001 JP Walker was trying to learn a frontside cork 900 when he accidentally over-rotated, flipping twice. Although he didn’t land, he started to imagine how he could make adjustments so he could stomp it. Says JP, “I didn’t have anyone else to watch or any photos to look at, so I just brewed it over in my head for a couple of years.”

Two years later he was filming for Shakedown;he had broken his jaw at the start of the season and winter was almost over. After thinking about it for so long and wanting to finish his part strong, it seemed like the perfect time to try to dump a cork over twice. He ended up landing it in four tries. JP recalls, “Everyone was tripping: ‘What are you going to call it? Call it a JP flip or a Walker roll.’ I was like, ‘Naw, I’m not going to do that.’ That would be harsh, you know? It’s just one cork, plus an additional cork on the end—a double cork.” Updated: Although other notable riders such as Jim Rippey, Ben Hinkley, and Mike Michalchuk, to name a few, did their variations of double flips before this, JP’s was the first to be truly corked. And so the term “double cork” was coined.

The progression doesn’t stop here though. Head to the next page and flip into the present day.