Ayumu Hirano‘s rise to fame begun in 2011 when, as a 12-year-old, he was seen poaching the U.S. Open pipe. As he continued to improve – under the tutelage of Kazuhiro Kokubo – he was soon anointed the most likely successor to Shaun White.
He’s bothered a lot of podiums in recent years, including 2nd at the 2014 Olympics and 2015 Burton European Open, as well as 3rd at the 2015 US Open, but he’s yet to achieve the kind of dominance many expected of him in a post-Shaun world. Still, he’s a phenomenal talent – and will he perhaps be the first to land the elusive pipe triple? We’ll see.