With the Olympics just around the corner we thought it should be time to start dropping some of our insider knowledge on who might do well in the men's slopestyle, the big event in many people's eyes.
And what better way is there to introduce the creme de la creme of the Sochi 2014 slopestyle than with everyone's favourite vomit-inducing car journey game; Top Trumps.
[part title="The Rules"]
We've utilised our patented Whitelines R&D techniques (ahem...) and come up with the top stats you'll need to play out your very own slopestyle event from the comfort of your coach/the bus/tube. PLus we've gone with Top Trumps tradition and included some truly cringe-worthy pictures of our favourite Olympians; you already know the rules, but here's the low down on our unique ratings system:
Simple really, you choose if you think age before beauty holds true, or if being able to throw a pre-pubescent triple cork is more impressive and play accordingly.
Again who wins here is down to player's preference.
Date of First Triple
As these things are usually held tight to the chest for a while, we've gone with first appearance on the internet. Torstein is the ultimate to have in this case; his frontside triple cork 1440 was a world first, and possibly still one of the most stylish to date. By 'triple' we mean any trick where the rider goes upside down three times.
X Games Medals
We thought rather than tallying all medals ever obtained we'd go for just those earned at the Winter X Games, normally the biggest event on the slopestyle calender. We know this gives a couple of guys like Billy and Jamie a bit of a disadvantage seeing as they haven't been invited yet, but we have a feeling they'll make up for it in other categories...
Should read as 'highest slopestyle score we could find online.' Not super scientific, but we feel it gives a good idea of how the games could go.
The most important stat, obviously. The Official Whitelines Radness Rating system takes into account all of the above statistics, plus others such as total magazine photos, web series popularity, signature video game graphics quality and trouser tightness, to name but a few. Oh, and a quick office poll...
[part title="Billy Morgan"]
Some say the UK's best hope for a snowboard medal, others say class clown, Billy has a couple of triples under his belt, including the first landed in a southern hemisphere competition.
Although he's going into Sochi with about a third of one of his knees missing, we have high hopes for Billy; in our opinion one of the more stylish riders to be hitting the course.
[part title="Gjermund Braaten"]
Just announced the other day as part of the Norwegian contingent heading to the games, Gjermund Braaten could be a dark horse for the podium. He's been on our radar radar for a while now but hasn't won an international competition for a couple of years now, but now with a backside triple cork 1440 under his belt we'll have to see how that affects his podium position.
[part title="Jamie Nicholls"]
Another one of ours and another Whitelines favourite; Jamie has been killing it on the UK scene for years now and he's also considered to be one of the best rail riders in the world. Here's hoping that he can get his backside triple nailed in his run and blow up on to the world stage.
[part title="Mark McMorris"]
Odds-on favourite to take the gold medal home in Sochi, Mark is one of a handful of athletes tipped to put down back-to-back triple corks in Russia, as of yet this has never been done. He was the first to attempt a triple in a slopestyle run and has put down the most in competition out of any other riders on this list.
His brother Craig, who stars alongside him in their own TV series, is even presenting the Canadian coverage of the 'Lympics.
[part title="Sage Kotsenburg"]
Although he's the only top trump not to have landed a triple cork so far (the last time he tried he literally shit his pants), Sage puts his own twist on slopestyle riding with unusual grabs and cork combinations. He may be one of the underdogs but he'll certainly be one of the more interesting to watch.
[part title="Sebastien Toutant"]
The other Canadian to watch out for; where McMorris focuses more on contests; Seb Toots, as he's know, spends his time away from the circuit filming some of the most progressive urban riding we've seen. He was the third person ever to land a triple cork, snapping close on the heels of Torstein and Mark, so if given the chance could sneak into the podium.
[part title="Seppe Smits"]
Usually heralded as 'the nicest guy in snowboarding,' Seppe Smits is an unusual rider in that he comes from Belgium, one of the flattest lands in Europe. Not that that holds him back though, he's been smashing podiums for years now and is another that could easily make the cut for a medal.
[part title="Shaun White"]
The Ginger Ninja, the Flying Tomato, the Tomahawking Tangerine, El Blanco, the list of nicknames goes one. More words have been written about Mr White than any other snowboarder in history.
Also competing in halfpipe, he'll definitely be aiming for gold in both disciplines to make it four wins in three Olympics; but as he's now one of the oldest riders in the line up has he spread himself too thin?
[part title="Stale Sandbech"]
He's already qualified top out of the Norwegian pack, expected to do very well on the podium, Stale is coming into these games hot. Another with multiple triples in his bag of tricks, he's also a popular one with the fans from his edits with the RK1 crew and all round fun-seeking attitude to contest riding.
Rumours are that he may even go all Heikki Sorsa and dedicate a special Olympic mohawk to the ledgend, we can but hope...
Definite podium potential.
[part title="Torstein Horgmo"]
Last but not least, Torstein Horgmo, the man who kicked off all the triple cork craziness, has the most variations landed and so far the only one to do so into powder, is tipped by some to be the man to beat.
Lately though he hasn't seen so much success in slopestyle competitions, though he still dominates big air. Whatever the outcome, he'll be one of the fan favourites coming into Sochi, and you can bet on a few Shred Bots edits getting dropped along the way.
Anyway, that's all from us for now; we're sure you have your own opinions on the radness rating so be sure to drop them in the box below. And why not have a practice game with the X Games kicking off later tonight?