The X Games Ski Knuckle Huck: what is it? Pioneered last year at the X Games by our brethren on single planks, the Knuckle Huck is about what you’d expect: a bunch of goons jibbing around on the knuckle of the Big Air jump.
Yes, I freely admit: it’s easy to make fun of. What the hell is this? A live broadcast of a knuckle session? Aren’t there better ways we can all be spending our time? The night’s winner, Colby Stevenson, summed it up well: “To be out here with all my best buds, sending it off a knuckle, like… what? How is that an X Games event?”
Then again, on the other hand, I must also admit: it’s kind of dope. A gang of skiers throwing down creative knuckle tricks that you don’t see every day, if ever—especially not at the X Games. That’s the reason, after all, why this event exists: it’s lighthearted. It’s relatable. It’s the X Games trying to mellow the vibe a bit. And it provided an eyeful of awesome tricks to enjoy in a style of skiing most people haven’t seen before, all packed into a quick 20 minute session.
Henrik Harlaut put on a style clinic with some of the longest nose butters on record, the swerve gang of Magnus Granér and Per Peyben Hägglund was in the mix, and Tom Wallisch put on an admirable show of live commenting while skiing in the session. Yes, it was all a bit goofy, but mostly in a good way.
Of course, it eventually devolved into who can throw the biggest, spinniest tricks, Colby Stevenson holding forth with two different combos totaling 1260 degrees of rotation for the win. Those were sick too, no doubt about it—but somehow, the framing of knuckling jibbing as a ‘competitive discipline’ seems, at the end of the day, somehow obscene. Do we have to take every fun thing and turn it into a made-for-TV contest?
The answer is yes, we do.