X Games Aspen 2016 – Max Parrot Wins Snowboard Big Air

Canadian rider unveils cab triple cork 1800 to take the win

[series align=left]In a vignette leading up to the X Games Big Air, ESPN made some comparisons between this discipline and gymnastics. There was perhaps just enough style on show in the final to keep the disctinction alive for a little longer, but at the end of the day it was tech tricks that bagged Max Parrot another X Games gold.

Darcy Sharpe hoisted the style flag high with the very first hit of the 25-minute jam, boosting a method that wowed the crowd and confounded the onboard Intel stat-gathering chip, which declared that he’d somehow spun a 720. Kyle Mack was next to drop, filling in for Torstein Horgmo, and just about landed a frontside triple cork 1440 tailgrab (or a 1080, according to Intel).

The onboard chip had better luck with Sven Thorgren‘s trademark flatspins, and seemed to have its act together by the time Max, Yuki Kadono, and Mark McMorris unleashed the first 1620s of the night.

A series of falls swiftly followed, with Yuki almost losing teeth on a botched switch backside triple cork 1620. Sven and Sebastien Toutant had a couple of big spills too, and before long it looked like it’d be a straight battle between fellow Canadians Mark and Max.

Not the most colourful Parrot we’ve ever seen.

Max was clearly on a mission, dressed all in black and aiming to add to his Air & Style Beijing gold with another in Aspen. After two runs he was topping the leaderboard, only for McLovin to squeeze past him on the very next run with a switch backside triple cork 1620. He soon got back in front, however, after stomping the first ever cab triple cork 1800 in competition. Neither the commentators, nor the poor Intel chip that had possibly just blown its circuits, acknowledged the magnitude of the trick at the time, but the judges rewarded it with the top score of the night.

Max Parrot – 1st , X Games 2016 Big Air

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Kyle Mack did what he could to stay competitive, landing a triple cork japan that almost earned him forgiveness for a fugly double shin grab version on the previous run. Darcy, meanwhile, wasn’t able to compete with the rest of the field, and stuck to double corks for the most part. Was he really the best rider to get the invite?

For shame…

Yuki spent most of the contest breaking snowboards and bindings, and for a while there was no sign of that trademark smile. He’d need something special on his last run to break the Canadian sweep of the medals, and in typical Yuki style he found it; a frontside triple cork 1440 put him ahead of Seb Toots and onto the third step.

Mark could still nick the gold from Max, though, and his countryman knew it. Max was clearly testing the waters for a cab quad underflip – and given the pre-event hype for that particular trick, we wouldn’t be surprised if he’d been given a serious incentive to make X Games the place that he first lands it in competition – but his robo-brain sensed the lack of airtime and he opened up for a triple. Still, one NBD per contest is probably enough, and Mark had no answer on his final hit.

Mark McMorris – 2nd , X Games 2016 Big Air

Yuki Kadono – 3rd, X Games 2016 Big Air

So it was much of a muchness at X Games Big Air 2016 – progression, triples, the occasionsal stylish trick and the odd stinker. We’ll give the final word to this sign-waving wag in the crowd, and his statement on X’s questionable invite policy:

Where indeed…
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