Practice for tonight’s men’s superpipe finals was a telling affair. Iouri Podlatchikov was stomping multiple double corks in one run. Kazu Kokubo was clocking massive amplitude. And Shaun White was doing his thing—handling business, but also struggling a bit with his double McTwist. In fact, one run saw him literally smash his face on the lip of the pipe when he under-rotated the trick. It was a gruesome fall, but he got up and smiled with a nice raspberry on his chin.

It was clear that White wanted to step it up tonight by landing the move that no one else was doing. Whether it was the halfpipe wall where he was trying it (the last frontside hit for regular footers might’ve been a little laid back, as it seemed to be giving a number a riders problems), or maybe it was just that the double McTwist is impossibly hard, but he didn’t land it Shaun-style clean all night long. However, White’s winning first run did contain a semi-stomped double McTwist (he landed with his board slightly parallel to the pipe wall and scrubbed some speed). The judges rewarded him for with an impressive 95 points. That winning run also included a boosty backside air and a frontside double-cork 1080.

Another rider lacing up two double-corks in his run was iPod, who landed both a front double-cork 10 up top and a backside double-cork 10 at the bottom, solidifying his spot on the podium and marking the first time he has ever landed two double corks in a competition. Kazu was hot on iPod’s heels with a ballistic run of all huge airs, whether he was linking up 10 to 10 to couble cork 10, or just straight airin’ simply for the pleasure of tweaking his board.

Hmmm, let’s see. Greg Bretz landed a savage third run containing a multiple 1080 combos (including a double cork) into one of the more stylee 1260s we’ve ever seen. J.J. Thomas rode big and smooth, 1080ing it up even after he thought he’d “lost” the front 10 in practice. Luke Mitrani absolutely had all the makings of a podium run but couldn’t quite wrangle it all together. Steve Fisher was a master of precision with 10s and a 1260—but might’ve lacked a little of the other rider’s pizzazz? Who knows. We’re down for Steve. And last but not least, Louie Vito had some form of trouble on all three runs but still rips anyways, I mean it’s only a contest, right?

Men’s Superpipe Results

1.         Shaun White
2.         Iouri Podladtchikov
3.         Kazuhiro Kokubo
4.         Greg Bretz
5.         J.J. Thomas
6.         Steve Fisher
7.         Luke Mitrani
8.         Louie Vito