X Games and Snow Sports

Posted: February 1, 2011 in sports
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Before you look at the title and completely disregard this post because snow sports aren’t too mainstream, please give it at least a read

The Winter Xgames and Snow Sports

They need more publicity.  Few people pay the appreciation these winter sports athletes deserve.  Except snowmobilers.  Who the hell snowmobiles.  Who, in their childhood, when asked in a second grade class, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” answers, “A professional snowmobiler!!!!”  How the hell do you even get the chance to learn tricks on a snowmobile, which are unoriginal blatant ripoffs of dirtbike tricks.  Anyway, skiers and snowboarders shine above these sledding jokesters, because they have:


2. Tremendous control of the entire body

3. An incredible sense of balance

4. Amazing executional skills

5. Style and ease = steeze

1.  Huge Balls!

Does your crotch area house balls as big as freeskier Tom Wallisch’s?  The risk of injury when flying distances of up to 100+ feet (yes, 100 feet from takeoff to landing) outweighs that of almost every other sport, besides football, because in football superhumans who are stronger and faster than just about everybody on this planet are on a mission to end your day.

2. Tremendous control of the entire body

Skiers entering competitions today won’t earn a podium place if they don’t bring a top-of-the-pack arsenal of tricks.  These days, this top tier consists of double corks (i’ll explain in a second) mixed in with at least three full rotaions, culminating in what we call a double cork 1260 (1,260 degrees of rotation.)  A cork essentially means that when you spin, your axis of rotation changes. When you normally spin, your head stays directly over your feet, as if you were a ballerina or figure skater.  However, when you cork a rotation, your head does not stay over your feet the entire time–at a point your feet are over your head.  When these pros do double corks, this means they start the spin with their head over their feet, then their feet go over their head, then their head goes back over their feet (completing one full cork,) then their feet go back over their head, then their head goes back over their feet (completing two full corks,) then they land.  All while doing three and a half rotations, grabbing the ski, and making it look easy and stylish.  Yeah I know it’s confusing, but it’s the simplest way I can explain it.  Here’s what it looks like, try to notice the rotations and the subtle corking

This is Bobby Brown’s winning X Games slopestyle run from last year.  The second to last jump is a double cork 1260. Notice the feet going over the head two separate times.

3.  An Incredible Sense of Balance

When skiers jump, they land after  on two sticks that are each about 10cm wide.   Yeah.  Not that wide.  Pretty impressive yeah?  When they slide rails, they balance on two sticks each 10cm wide, perpendicular to a metal pole also about 10 cm wide.  And they don’t only balance on it, they spin on it.  Here, Tom Wallisch does all eight variations of a certain trick.  The trick is a switch up to 270 out.  A switch up is rotating 180 degrees while still sliding (pretty much jumping and and you land your facing the opposite way you were when you took off.)  A 270 means you spin 270 degrees off the rail.  Because you can spin left and right on both the switch up and 270, there are 8 possible combinations.  Here they are:

4. Amazing executional skills

Like golf, skiing is an executor’s sport, whereas sports like baseball and basketball and hockey are predominantly reactor’s sports.  In skiing, it’s all about executing your premeditated run–you can envision what you do in your head.  In a reactor’s sport, you cannot predict what the opposing team is going to do, so you read and react.  Football is a combination of both, which is why it’s f**king awesome.  Skiers must string together a series of perfected carried out tricks, epitomizing execution.  They must learn to spin to the left and spin to the right, which is particularly difficult because people are born with natural tendencies to spin one way of the other.  It’s like being a righty or a lefty, and learning to throw with both hands, or golf lefty and rigthy.  A gold level slopestyle run isn’t just about executing spins both ways–the skier must grab a ski.  If he doesn’t he won’t win.  Straight up.  No matter what.  To think about executing all of these minute details of a proper run can overwhelm a skier, which is why it becomes even more impressive when a full run is completed.

5. Style and ease = steeze

A huge portion of freeSTYLE skiing is steeze:  the mixture of style and ease.  You have to make the trick you are doing look easy while looking good doing it.  If your arms are flailing or you don’t stomp the sh*t out of your landing, good luck to ya winning a gold.  Nobody wants to see an unsure or wobbly landing–you have to look like you just tricked in your sleep.  The king of style today is undoubtedly, guess who, Tom Wallisch.  Pay particular attention to how he rides away after his flawless landings.  Also notice how when he faces forwards when he lands, he throws one arm behind him.  That’s to say “f*ck it, I can do this all day.”

At 21 seconds, Tom Wallisch dips his head down and raises it up, exclaiming the landing.  Yes, it’s done on purpose.  No, I’m not kidding.  If you think I’m full of sh*t delve into the skiing community and get your sh*t kicked.

Now take everything I just said about skiing and apply it to snowboarding.  Snowboarding can keep right up there with skiing.  Now give the snow sport community some respect and attention.  Go to your local mountain and try some jumps and rails and realize just how impressive it is to be able to ride away from one.

In this video you can see some point of view shots, from, once again, Tom Wallisch.  Cool Stuff.

If you’re interested in the freeskiing community, please visit http://www.newschoolers.com/index.html

It’s a great forum where you can learn a multitude of skiing tips and knowledge.  Check it.

Comments?  Questions?  If you’re confused by all this dizzying spinning trick stuff, please ask me.  I live for this sh*t.

  1. mrauz says:

    i enjoyed this blog very much

  2. Anthony says:

    keep doin freeskiin stuff… x-games was dope this year

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