Going Viral: How The Double Cork Changed Slopestyle And What The Future Holds

Half a world away, 14-year-old Seb Toutant was watching from Quebec, Canada, soaking in all the action. What he saw marinated in his mind for the next year until one day he was practicing backside 1080s at his home resort of Val Saint-Côme. As he spun, he kept coming out of the trick with a weird cork at the end. Says Seb, “I thought, ‘Dude, maybe if I take off with more cork, I can bring it into a double cork.’ I knew David did a front 10 double and Travis did a backside double rodeo, so I figured it was possible. I didn’t go riding to do a double that day, it just worked out.”

It took another full season before he was ready to try his new trick in competition. In April of 2008, he dropped it at the Empire Shakedown (a big air to rail setup now called the Ride Shakedown) in Mont Saint-Sauveur, Quebec, for the win.

Seb Toots. PHOTO: Chris Wellhausen

With competition double corks now done in both directions, slopestyle was ripe for an explosion in progression. The hardest work had been done: proving the tricks were possible and consistently doable. But it had yet to reach the tipping point. The final push, according to European contest killers Seppe Smits and Gjermund Braaten, came in two strokes, first with Travis Rice’s backside 1080 double corks in That’s It, That’s All in the fall of 2008, and with Seb’s at the Burton New Zealand Open slopestyle in 2009—the same event where double corks became the standard for winning halfpipe runs. Says Seppe, “From that point on, everyone was starting to try backside double corks 10s. It was a really big step in the evolution. And going to 1260 was kind of quick for most people.”

Seb Toots. PHOTO: Chris Wellhausen

Doing the trick still wouldn’t guarantee a win, but it was clear that if you wanted to podium in the future, you’d have to add one to your bag pretty quick.

Torstein Horgmo. PHOTO: Chris Wellhausen

Other ABDs (Already Been Dones) That Set The Bar

Double backside rodeo–Eric Willett, 2009 Burton New Zealand Open Slopestyle

Frontside 1080 double cork–Halldor Helgason, 2009 Breckenridge Dew Tour Slopestyle

Frontside 1080 double cork to double backside rodeo–Eric Willett, 2010 Burn River Jump Slopesyle, Livigno, Italy

Cab 1260 double cork–Seb Toutant, 2010 Billabong Ante Up, Whistler, BC, Canada

Backside 1260 double cork–Mark McMorris, 2010 Billabong Ante Up, Whistler, BC, Canada

Cab 1440 double cork–Sage Kotsenburg, 2011 Billabong Air & Style, Innsbruck, Austria

Cab 1260 double cork to frontside 1080 double cork to backside 1080 double cork–Seb Toutant, X Games 15 Aspen, Colorado

So double corks work, but why? Gerhard breaks it down in the next page…