24/02/2014 | by Sam McMahon
Whitelines spent a fair bit of time watching the X Games live stream this weekend, sitting through innumerable ads for Jeep, and somehow resisting the urge to sign up for America’s Navy (a global force for good dontcha know).
But the reward (apart from watching the epic men’s and women’s slopestyle finals obviously) was that we were introduced to an entirely new sport – and a whole new world of weirdness.
They’re claiming Snowmobile Long Jump as a new introduction to the X Games this winter (which is strange, because they had the exact same thing back in 2010), but if you haven’t seen it before, don’t worry cos it doesn’t need much explanation: That Ronseal name tells you all you need to know.
Which is why we think it’s a bit strange. OK so watching a bunch of petrol-head hicks huck themselves off a massive kicker could be considered entertaining in a kind of Evil Knievel kind of way, but does it really constitute a sport?
One dude jumping a whole bunch of double decker busses, fine. 15 dudes repeatedly jumping the same kicker and going just slightly further each time? Rubbish.
Surely the distance you fly has everything to do with the weight and power of the sled and almost bugger all to do with the rider? And even if there is a bit of skill involved, it’s pretty niche, and doesn’t exactly make for riveting viewing.
Even if they called it what it is, a stunt show, it would still fall a bit short. One dude jumping a whole bunch of double decker busses, fine. 15 dudes repeatedly jumping the same kicker and going just slightly further each time? Rubbish. Can you imagine a snowboard long jump contest? No, cos it would be wack.
We know that sleds are a useful tool for accessing the backcountry, and we’ll even go as far as to concede that racing them, Moto X style, is a legitimate pursuit. But just jumping a long way? Meh.
In fact, the only redeeming feature of the whole thing in our eyes was this moustachio-ed, who ran on with his measuring tape after every jump like the geeky school teacher on sports day and called out the distances. It was almost worth watching just for his enthusiasm alone. Almost.
What do you think, have the X Games hit on a winner here? Should this ‘new’ sport return next year? Or should it be consigned to the dustbin of history alongside abominations like ski ballet…?