[splitpost intro="true" order="true"]
Taking on giant 60ft kickers are hard enough to hit properly with both feet strapped in - let alone one. Bode Merrill has made a name for himself as one of the best one-footers around, and you can see for yourself on the cover of our October issue. However, Bode's not the only one who’s stepping up without strapping up - there’s plenty still to be achieved in the one-footer game. Here are just some of the highlights in the brief history of this knee-jeopardising niche.
[part title="HEIKKI SORSA"]
With just enough time between jumps, the Finnish favourite released his back foot at high speed midway through his run at the 2008 X-Games slopestyle. Heikki went on to stomp a frontside 360, back foot trailing in the wind. It was a little sketchy, and he did throw up his arms in a shameless claim afterwards, but who could begrudge him a bit of celebration after such a massive risk? There’s enough triple-corking robotics going down at contests – we want to see more of this.
[part title="SCOTT STEVENS"]
After inventing more tricks than most riders will ever learn, Scott Stevens has become one of snowboarding’s most creative talents. The lion’s share of his output tends to involve some unstrapping; sometimes the front foot, sometimes both. He’s forever pushing the boat out with fastplants and tree taps, and there are fine examples of both to be found in 2010’s Right Brain, Left Brain (above). Then there’s his last shot in Stack Footy, where he unstraps mid-frontflip, kicking out to glory off the next hit.
[part title="SCOTTY VINE"]
Equally at home on rails, wallrides and booters, Scotty is the five-toed torment of California’s super parks. Earlier this year he landed the first ever one-footed double backflip, with a nosegrab to boot. His standout trick to date, however, has to be the massive frontside 540 that closed out his 2012 online part (above). At 60-odd feet, that’s a pretty big jump to be landing one-footed, and switch. The edit includes a brief shot of the jump at normal speed, where the implications of what he’s doing really hit home. Positively stomach-churning.
[part title="ALEK ØSTRENG"]
Norwegian slopestyle ripper Alek Østreng had a breakthrough season last winter after dominating the World Snowboarding Championships and Burton European Open before gaining a part in Forum's Vacation. He dropped a few jaws here with his one-footed booter at 13.16 in Burton's resort finale of their [Snowboarding] series at Peace Park, Squaw Valley.
[part title="NICK VISCONTI"]
Not satisfied with one-footing his way around California with Scotty Vine and the rest of the Dangerzone guys, Nick stepped things up in 2011 by dispensing with straps altogether. After approximately 40 slams off a far-from-perfect kicker, he stretched out a perfect Christ Air and rode away clean. By all accounts he’s still the only snowboarder to legitimately pull it off. Sadly, there's no online video to show it but you can check it out in the epic photo sequence (above) from Whitelines #100. What next – airwalk?
You can catch Nick's skills in this full part from ReCreation - in particular 3.21.