Jossi Wells adds another X Games to his collection—this time it’s gold—while Andri Ragettli makes history with back-to-back triple corks.
(cover photo: Peter Morning/ESPN Images)
It started with a bang, but didn’t quite end with a whimper: Jossi Wells just won his fifth X Games medal. This time it was finally gold, as Jossi cruised to victory in today’s Ski Slopestyle finals with unbeatable style and control from the start to the finish of the slopestyle course.
McRae Williams warms up during a practice session that featured far better weather than today’s flat-light finals. Photo: Tomas Zuccareno/ESPN Images
Gus Kenworthy battled his way to the silver medal in his third and final run—his second silver of this year’s X Games—while bumping Norwegian trickster Øystein Bråten into third.
The “bang” that started the competition came in the form of Swiss youngster Andri Ragettli, who made history on his first-ever X Games slopestyle run by landing back-to-back triple corks—a first in ski slopestyle. But they also happened to be knee-grab triple corks, which the judges, correctly, didn’t reward well—Ragettli earned a middle-of-the-road 80.00 points for his run.
Due partially to this judging decision, but mostly because of the low light and speed problems on the course, most of the competitors to follow opted to style out their double corks rather than “tuck for triple”—although it looked like many of them gladly would have taken the opportunity, if conditions had permitted. But most played it smart and safe, resulting in a variety of polished double flips in the jump section, while competitors tried to make their runs stand out in the rails.
Jossi Wells’ rail game was on point: his winning run included a perfectly executed right 270 on, 270 out; a skate-style hockey-stop switch 270 up onto the second rail platform, and a left 270 on to switch off it; and a flawless switch 450 onto the last rail.
In the jumps, his years of experience and ever-more-consistent style shone in a left double cork 1260 mute, a switch right double cork 1080 safety, and a switch left double cork 1440 safety, all stomped with authority.
Kenworthy nailed a technical rail transfer in the top section and a snappy 270 on, pretzel 450 out of the final rail to set himself up for his well-honed jump tricks: left double cork 1080 blunt, right double cork 12 mute, and switch right double cork 1080 japan, stomped well down the landing.
Øystein Bråten picked up his first X Games medal today. Photo: Peter Morning/ESPN Images
Bråten front-swap, front 270ed the top rail transfer before nailing all his doubles, with his first-run score of 84.00 still good enough for third place, three runs later. James “Woodsy” Woods narrowly missed the podium with an equally clean run and an 83.00.
Other moments of note included some insane rail trickery from Nick Goepper, uncharacteristic falls from Joss Christiansen, and a livestream feed that regrettably cut to an adaptive snowboarding documentary for much of the time that the ski slopestyle contest was taking place. Not that we’ve got anything against adaptive snowboarding—but if you’re going to take the time and effort to livestream a contest, we think it makes sense to show that competition in its entirety.
1. Jossi Wells (90.00)
2. Gus Kenworthy (87.33)
3. Øystein Bråten (84.33)