In the last 10 years, women’s slopestyle riding has evolved from straight airs and a 360 or two to a full-blown spin fest. Today’s riders are charging harder than ever, spinning in all four directions [frontside, backside, switch frontside (aka Cab), and switch backside] and riding rails like the big boys. Come Sunday’s slopestyle final in Sochi, Russia, the best ladies from around the globe will be throwing a combination of these must-have tricks to impress the judges and step up onto the first-ever women’s Olympic slopestyle podium.
Cab 900 (aka switch frontside 900)
The breakdown: Two and a half rotations, taking off backward (switch) and landing going forward.
The backstory: Janna Meyen was the first female to land a Cab 900, in the early 2000s, but surprisingly this trick is rarely seen in women's runs despite overall rider progression.
See it in Sochi: Gold-medal favorite Jamie Anderson (USA) has attempted cab 900s at this season's events but has yet to land one. Expect to see her stomp it in Sochi.
Frontside Rodeo 720
The breakdown: Two full rotations while front-flipping.
The backstory: This trick shows the judges proficiency in spinning and flipping at the same time and is one of the more stylish inverted manuevers.
See it in Sochi: In the last year, Norwegian Sijle Norendal has taken home two X Games gold medals, one from Tignes and one from Aspen, with this trick. Expect to see her land it flawlessly in both runs.
The breakdown: Two backflips
The backstory: While the men are working on perfecting their triple cork combinations, a handful of women are working on dialing in their double corks. This trick alone won't get you on the podium, but will definitely be a crowd favorite if landed in Sochi.
See it in Sochi: Austria's Anna Gasser has been working on a Cab double underflip (two backflips perpendicular to the landing with a 180 out), and Great Britain's Aimee Fuller has been attempting a double backflip.
The breakdown: Linking two 720s on back-to-back jumps
The backstory: Most of the top riders in the women's field have a pair of 720s, but the real key to impressing the judges will be to link two 720s back to back on consecutive kickers. (There are three total jumps in the Sochi slopestyle course.)
See it in Sochi: Look to Canadian Spencer O'Brien to land a frontside 720 to backside 720 combo.
Boardslide 270 Out
The breakdown: From a frontside or backside boardslide, a three-quarter rotation off the rail, landing the same way the rider took off.
The backstory: While most women ride over the rails and do a 180-degree spin out of them, this new breed of riders is stepping it up by spinning onto the rail and boardsliding (traveling the length of the rail with the board perpendicular to the rail) the rest of the way down.
See it in Sochi: Look to technical rail riders like Sarka Pancochova (CZE), Anderson and Norendal to be landing these in Sochi.
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