Remember when the coolest kid on the block had a Nintendo64? Do you remember how long that lasted before the Xbox and Playstation2 turned all that into yesterday’s news? Do you remember the Motorola Razor?
Time marches on. So do video games, cell phones and action sports.
Used to be only one male rider had the gall to throw tricks involving two inverted aerials in competition. Now skier Peter Olenick has some company.
“(The double flip) is one of the elements we are seeing this winter as a way to separate the field,” said Tim Reed, X Games’ director of sports and competition.
The double cork move has been a litmus test in the men’s snowboarding Grand Prix events that determined the U.S. Olympic Team for the halfpipe. Shaun White has raised the bar by throwing a 1080 double cork move.
“Who knows where else to go,” said skier Simon Dumont, who has landed a double flip move in competition this year. “How much more can you spin?
“I guess the double cork phase has hit us,” Dumont continues. “I think it will separate some people out.”
Another element that might be required to win in the men’s superpipe this year in both skiing and snowboarding is the ability to throw double flips consecutively — meaning riders will need to have the trick down off both of the superpipe’s icy, 22-foot high walls.
Judges will also be looking for skiers and riders who can spin in both directions, Reed said.
Women’s snowboard susperpipe defending gold medalist Torah Bright said she has been practicing the trick, but it’s not “100 percent perfected” as of Monday.
“I have to work myself up every time for it,” Bright said.
Bright said her older brother and coach, Ben Bright, convinced her the trick was possible.
“He was the one who decided I could do it,” Bright said.
Bright wouldn’t say for certain if she planned to throw the move in competition at the X Games and hinted that she “might keep a few things up here sleeve for the Olympics.”
But X Games being what they are, “you never know what you are going to see,” Bright said.
In the men’s snowboarding field, the double cork has an eerie significance now, since top rider Kevin Pearce sustained a serious brain injury while practicing the move in late December.
But as Bright points out, “it’s a high risk trick, but any injury on something like that could be done on a straight air.”
Slideshow by Sylas Wright/Sierra Sun
Danny Davis pulls off a Double Cork in the superpipe at Mammoth Mountain on Jan. 6 during the U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix competition.