The men’s skiing Big Air elimination round went down at the X Games in Aspen, Colorado today and the outcome was dizzying. Eight skiers threw down in a heated 25-minute session, looking to land their best leftside and rightside tricks to win one of five tickets to the final.
“Spin to win” is a tried and true maxim of big air competition, but frankly this is getting a bit ridiculous: in 40 jumps, this contest saw a total of 56,340 degrees of rotation. 56,340 — that’s an average of 1408.5 degrees rotation per jump. 56,340 — that’s 156.5 360-degree rotations, or how much the Earth rotates in about half a year.
Today’s leader was Evan McEachran. His top jumps were 1800 degrees of rotation to the left, with a switch takeoff, two corks and a tail grab, and 1620 degrees of rotation to the right, with three corks and a safety grab.
To put it more simply, it was an absolute throwdown on the Big Air jump today. McEachran topped the field ahead of Birk Ruud, who landed matching left and right double cork 1440 tail-to-tail grabs, and Alex Beaulieau-Marchand with a switch left triple 1440 bow-and-arrow grab and a switch right double 1440 tail.
Alex Hall and Christian Nummedal rounded out the five skiers headed out of the elims for the finals. A-Hall came packing with a switch right double 14 reverse mute and a switch left double 1440 seatbelt tail grab, while Nummedal unleashed a switch right double 1440 safety and an incredible switch left triple cork 1800 mute.
Missing a ride to the finals was Fabian Bösch, who landed the biggest spin of the day, a left triple cork 1980 safety as well as a triple 1620 to the right. It was, let’s say, interesting, to see the Buhschman get scored a full six points lower than Evan McEachran on the same trick.
Also missing the cut were Gus Kenworthy, who landed a big dub 16 tail to the left but couldn’t get a matching 16 to the right, and Oscar Wester, who needs to get some serious props for his triple kangaroo flip — a triple flatspin 1260 japan to the bottom of the landing, stomped like a boss.
The stage is now set for a crazy Big Air final as the top qualifiers meet up with last year’s pre-qualified medalists: Henrik Harlaut, Øystein Bråten and James Woods. Finals go down on Saturday night at 8:00PM MST — that’s 4:00AM CET for you European fans crazy enough to stay up and watch.
Men's Ski Big Air elimination results