With baguettes and wine clasped in their hands, a group of five Frenchmen made their way to the bottom of the superpipe for the Men’s Finals at the Winter X Games in Tignes, France. When asked what they were looking forward to, they didn’t mention tricks they hoped to see, or who their favorite rider was, but instead exclaimed “qui, qui, we’re pumped for life!”
Now in it’s third year, it seems that the main difference between Euro X Games and its American counterpart is the mentality of competitors and fans. While a competitive nature still remains, the atmosphere of the French village encourages an appreciation for the finer things in life– like simply eating a baguette and watching snowboarding with friends.
The action in Europe is also on par with the American version, as the world’s best pipe riders stomped many progressive tricks.
Following a stellar performance and first place finish, Shaun White was asked what he thought about the Euro X Games, and stated, “To everybody here tonight, this is far better than Aspen.”
Many other competitors and industry folks shared White’s sentiment. Here are the top reasons why Euro X Games 2012 is better than Aspen X Games as told by the sport’s elite.
1) “The setting: Tignes, France is in the middle of the Alps, so there’s amazing backcountry surrounding it, and the conditions allow for an pristine pipe and great vibes.” – Gary Greenshields, Quiksilver Team Manager and former pro snowboarder.
2) “The European fan base makes this contest great. They are all excited and the atmosphere is awesome.” – Louie Vito, second place in Men’s Halfpipe
3) “The apres scene is so much better here than in Aspen. In Tignes, you can drink huge steins of beer, and have awesome dance parties on top of tables, and still watch the contest. Never would happen in Aspen.” Fredirk Austbo, Olympic Snowboarder
4) “It’s the end of the season, and everyone is riding their very best. So, on one hand it’s the most competitive [event] of the year. But it’s in France, so everyone’s here to have a good time.” -Larry Nunez, Vans Snow, former Editor of Snowboarder Magazine
As the last major halfpipe contest of the year, the Euro X Games proved the perfect way to cap-off the competitive season.
Check out the winning runs and full details from the contest here.
Photo: ESPN Event Media
Shaun’s Winning Run
Kelly Clark’s Winning Run