Danny Davis Gold Medal Halfpipe Run Winter X Games 2015
Danny Davis came through for the second year running to claim gold at the Winter X Games in Aspen, a victory that was arguably better than last time, since without the distraction of the Olympics all of the top tier pipe riders - Shaun White, iPod, Ayumu Hirano and Taku Hiraoka - were present, and all were well and truly beaten in a typically perfect Aspen pipe. After all the drama from Sochi 2014 surrounding the grooming, and the mess that all the various world tours are in, here was a level playing field for everyone's best Frend to top.
He did it in classic Danny Davis fashion, throwing his trademark switch method in on his fourth hit
He did it in classic dude fashion as well, throwing a trademark switch method in on his fourth hit rather than the second, which made it look all the more natural and impressive given that he can still boost it as high as a first hit.
He started with a Kazu-esque McTwist Japan into a front 900, followed by a back 720 and switch method before finishing up with back-to-back 1080s - the cab version of which was the only hit where he looked a bit sketchy. Again, in typical Danny Davis style he switched it up on every run, the winning one coming from his third and final attempt.
For all the technical wizardry, however, his switch slash at the very end was perhaps the most stylish hit of the night - right ahead of the priceless failed selfie attempt from a fan at the end of the clip.
Hit NEXT to check out Taku Hiraoka's second place run.
Taku Hiraoka Silver Medal Halfpipe Run Winter X Games 2015
In second place was Taku Hiraoka, putting down a run of monster proportions in which he flew out the pipe on every hit.
His first was arguably the styliest of the contest, almost hitting the twenty foot mark with a love child of the nicest front 540 and biggest crippler you've ever seen.
His first was arguably the styliest of the contest, almost hitting the twenty foot mark with a love child of the nicest front 540 and biggest crippler you've ever seen, before heading into a backside 900, back-to-back 1080s and a frontside 1260 to finish. Taku's run built tech and hype the whole way down whilst keeping everything well under control.
It must have been a close call between Danny Davis and Taku for gold, the classic argument between technicality and creativity eventually given over to the Dude's flair, but Taku can't be anything but stoked with a second major silver medal around his neck in less than a year.
Hit NEXT to watch Iouri 'iPod' Podladtchikov's third place run.
Iouri Podladtchikov Bronze Medal Halfpipe Run Winter X Games 2015
Whilst Iouri Podladtchikov took home the gold in Sochi, he was definitely deserved of the bronze last night. His knee surgery must be slowing him down somewhat as his trademark first hit backside air wasn't quite as high as normal and way off the mark of Taku Hiraoka's.
This led into a front 540, back double 1260, back-to-back 1080 and a trademark alley-oop 540 nose grab. Again, he was looking off the pace as far as the top two were concerned, but knee surgery and swotting up for a degree does do that to you. Still, third place at the X Games? Can't complain...
Hit next to watch a summary of the whole event.
Best Of Men's Halfpipe X Games 2015
Despite the pipe being in tip-top shape (Shaun going as far as calling it the best one the X Games has ever had), there were to be no triple cork attempts from the only two riders who we know to have given it a go – El Blanco or Ayumu Hirano. However, the latter did stick his own version of iPod’s ‘YOLO flip’, something we’d not seen him do before, finishing 6th overall.
Shaun once again busted out the double McTwist 12, but couldn’t improve on his second-run score of 82.00 and – as at Sochi – had to settle for 4th.
Shaun once again busted out the double McTwist 12, but couldn’t improve on his second-run score of 82.00 and – as at Sochi – had to settle for 4th. Having missed last year’s event in order to focus on the ‘lympics, that makes two Whiteless superpipe podiums in a row. He’ll have to wait at least another year to reclaim his X-crown, but with Danny on the hat-trick, it won’t come easy.