Which doubles do you have?
I’ve only got two. I got the double McTwist, which is the first one that I learned, and the Cab ten double-cork. I don’t how many it’ll take. It’ll be crazy just to make the [Olympic] team! Are you gonna have to do two just to get on the team? Who knows? But now, the standard has been set, I mean, in New Zealand, Louie Vito was doing them in f—king qualifiers.

So what it’s gonna take to win a pipe contest this year?
It’s hard to say what the judges will think, how they’ll score the doubles. They’ve really only seen them once—the Grand Prix in December will only be the second time, so I think the doubles are going to get scored super high. I think it’ll take at least two to win one of those GP events. It took Shaun [White] two to win in New Zealand. Hopefully, though, the judges will go back to the roots and see the style points, so it’s not just about doubles, and also that kids who are just hucking themselves and not grabbing will get docked. I would hope anyway. But kids are gonna be going for it, it could get sketchy. For me, learning to do them into the airbag was huge—having that sense of safety and not having to worry about getting hurt was just huge.

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Photo: Cole Barash

How scary and sketchy are these doubles?
It’s next level. I mean, I haven’t just rolled up to a pipe yet and done it. The last time I did ’em I had the airbag there to try it into first. It’s so next level compared to just going up and doing a McTwist—so far beyond “just do another one” all these other factors come into play. Just getting the rotation down took so long, then thinking about taking it from the airbag to the actual wall was such a big step. Then to think I’ve gotta be doing this in my run right off the bat …

Talk about your private pipe session in Mammoth with the airbag.
Well, we [Frends crew] were planning it for months, but some sponsors were flaking out due to budgets, the economy. Our plan wasn’t really looking so good, but it was right about when I started working with Nike and they just totally stepped up and supported it. It was so late in the season they had to farm snow from all over the mountain …
Nike let me invite Danny [Davis], and Jack and Luke [Mitrani] up, and it was just the four of us for twelve days, plus I had my brother filming. We didn’t want anyone there to get shots, we didn’t care, we just wanted to do our thing and learn some tricks and we kinda knew that was what it would take.