It’s that time of year again shred-oholics, from the 23rd to the 26th of January Winter X-Games returns to Aspen, Colorado. The moment that all competitive athletes at the top of their game have been working towards all year. This is the true Olympics of our sport, X-Games accepted freeskiing way before the Olympics did, making an X-Games gold one of the biggest competitive achievements in our sport.
The main skiing events within the schedule are Slopestyle, Halfpipe and Big Air. For those unfamiliar with the disciplines: Slopestyle is a course with various rails and jumps, Halfpipe is a long stunt ditch, and Big Air with one big jump for the biggest air and the biggest tricks. Across all of these disciplines, the aim is to display the most technical and / or creative tricks, with the best style, perfect execution and largest amplitude.
You can begin to imagine the number of completely outrageous tricks that are going to be thrown down in 2020. We’re another year into the future, which means - another year of progression that’s spiralled completely out of control, and out of this world. Unfortunately James Woodsy Woods will not be competing this season due to a knee injury, so we are wishing him a speedy recovery, but no doubt he will be tuned in to all of the action.
Before we head into the future though, and most probably get a little bit dizzy in doing so - let’s take a look back at some X-Games highlights across recent history. Up first we have Candide Thovex, an OG pioneer of freesking, with his gold medal slopestyle run from X-Games back in 2007. This run displays a definitive push towards a new age of skiing, that we now know as newschool movement, hugely technical tricks with alien levels of style and perfection.
Secondly we have Tom Wallisch, AKA the king of after-bang, with the run that gave him the highest score in men’s slopestyle history, with a display of effortless perfection and a level of flow that even water would struggle with.
Next up we have the world’s favourite skier, Henrik Harlaut, with the first ever triple cork 1620 at X-Games Big Air back in 2013. If you’re not already a huge fan of Henrik, he radiates nothing but positive vibes, an influential skier who has definitely made his mark in history.
For the next highlight, I want you to think back to what you were doing at the age of 14 for a moment. What were you up to? Well, Kelly Sildaru was winning her second gold medal in X-Games Slopestyle back in 2017. The technical difficulty and flawless execution really raised the bar for women’s competitive Slopestyle. The previous year, she made history by becoming the youngest competitor ever to win a medal at Winter X-Games.
The fifth highlight of X-Games history goes to the all rounded legend Tanner Hall, AKA Ski Boss, who was a pioneer of our sport alongside Candide Thovex. He has successfully almost dominated every possible area of freeskiing there is to be explored, and at the age of 35 he is still a dominant player in the ski world. Tanner has set the record for the most medals won at X-Games Aspen - ever.
Last, but almost certainly not least, it’s our boy James ‘Woodsy’ Woods. The UK myth that became a legend, winning X-Games Big Air Gold with both way triples in 2017. For UK skiers, this was a huge moment, as he had become the first British skier to win a gold medal at the Winter X-Games.
We hope you enjoyed your trip back in time with us. Now it’s time to buckle up, grab some popcorn, and enjoy the show. It’s gonna be off the charts! Make sure you tune in between the 23rd and 26th of January.
Peace, love and powder turns. ✌️😎