Words by Jeff Schmuck
Photos by John Vandervalk www.majestyphoto.com
The most legendary big air contest in freeskiing history went off last night at Winter X Games 14 in Aspen, Colorado.
The progression of skiing was brought to a whole new level under a majestic full moon brighter than the Hollywood-esque X Games flood lights in front of a maniacal and massive crowd of 20,000 people.
In third place, Switzerland’s Elias Ambuhl stepped things up to a whole new level early with a switch double cork 1440, which sent the capacity crowd at the base into an absolute frenzy, although it was just a sign of things to come.
TJ Schiller, who failed to make the cut for today’s slopestyle finals, went all out tonight, throwing a double cork 1620 for the first time in history on skis, or a snowboard. It was a trick that would have won any given big air competition on any given night, had it not been for Bobby Brown.
Bobby Brown began his tenure in finals by also throwing a brand new and new before seen trick, a switch double misty flip 1260. The trick deservingly earned Brown a perfect score, which would have been historic enough on its own, until he went back up to the top and stepped it up with a switch double misty flip 1440, earning him yet another perfect score for a total of 100 points out of 100. A first at Winter X Games…or any ski competition for that matter.
To say that Elias, TJ and Bobby set the bar for the remainder of the weekend would be an understatement of greater magnitude than what transpired last night in Aspen, which was unquestionably one of, if not the most impressive big air contest in the history of skiing. Get ready for more of the same in today’s ski slopestyle finals and superpipe eliminations, followed by Sunday night’s ski superpipe finals and pipe high air. It’s going to be one hell of a ride.