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).
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.
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.