From amplitude to monster dub 16s, Alex Ferreira was unstoppable on the way to his third X Games gold. Trevor Brown, Jr./X Games

Event News


best pipe comp in years?

A resurgence of creativity in X Games Men’s Superpipe finals

By: Adam Herman January 29, 2024

The last event of the 2024 Winter X Games went down in perfect conditions as the sun set over Aspen. Alex Ferreira reclaimed the gold medal in front of a hometown crowd, but it was the runner-ups who made this the most exciting pipe event we’ve seen in years. Namely, that was Nico Porteous in second, Hunter Hess in third, and a jeans-clad Nick Goepper who just barely missed the podium.

The event started off with two dub 12 crashes by Jon Sallinen and Hunter Hess, who brought brought some serious small spin steeze with his switch 540 tweaked safety opener. The first one to put down a cleanish run was Brendan Mackay, setting the bar with 81 points. Nick Goepper didn’t disappoint, showing up in jeans, red hair and a flame helmet. The holder of six X Games medals in slopestyle, Nick kicked off his halfpipe debut with a solid run featuring back-to-back dub 12s and 9s, but went down on his last switch double hit.

Nick Goepper competes at 2024 X games superpipe
Nick Goepper, aka the Texan Tourist, competed in pipe finals in jeans. Legend. Joshua Duplechian/X Games

Then came Nico Porteous, who’s returned to halfpipe competition after a year off, and oh boy we’re glad he’s back. Starting with a steezy switch 3 drop in into an even steezier switch straight air, Nico then took everyone by surprise by carving in the bottom of the pipe to hit the same wall again. He didn’t seem to lose any speed as his last-hit dub 16 was to the moon, but unfortunately he didn’t manage to land it clean enough and scored 71.33. Next to drop in, Aaron Blunck had a solid run going with a unique switch lip coping slide, but lost a ski that shot up into the stratosphere and almost hit the deck, but managed to save his life and continue to the next round. Alex Ferreira, being the pipe monster he is, landed a very solid 93.33 on his first attempt, going absolutely massive on his dub 16s. Pole whip at the bottom: check.

Jon Sallinen opened up the second run with a solid-looking run but went down hard on his last hit, stopping the contest for a second. We really hope he’s OK, but it didn’t look good. Hunter landed his run clean this time with an extra nice misty 540 mute ender, putting him into second with 89 points. However, he got replaced straight away by Brendan, who put down a solid 90.66. The Texan Tourist a.k.a. Nick Goepper improved on his previous effort as well with an 87.33. Nico’s last landing problem from the first run showed up again, and Aaron’s surfy wall hit got the better of him in run 2. The last two to drop, Alex Ferreira and David Wise, both went down, setting the stage for a high-stakes third run.

Nico Porteous moments before the carve. Mark Kohlman/X Games

Jon Sallinen didn’t drop in for his third attempt, and Hunter upped the ante on his run, swapping his switch 5 for a switch double and earning a deserved 92, back into second place. Brendan Mackay went too small on his switch dub 16 and Nick put his run down clean, complete with a goofy dance and all, for 91.33 into third place. Not for long though, as Nico finally cleaned up the best pipe run I’ve ever seen. But his amplitude was lacking compared to Alex, and he ended up in second with 92.66. The third time was the charm for Aaron, but the wavy lip hit wasn’t nearly as radical as the previous attempts, scoring him a 68.66. Then Alex Ferreira came out guns blazing on his last run, going even higher then last time (hitting a max of 17.5 feet above the deck), leaving last-to-drop David Wise with a score to beat of 95.33. But David went down again, and that was the end of one of the best pipe contests we’ve ever seen.

I’m not gonna lie, we called it in our preview article, even down to Nick’s hair. But seriously, it looks like halfpipe’s getting fun to watch again with people like Nico, Hunter and Aaron bringing style and creativity, and Alex still going huge as he does. A proper ending to an X Games weekend for sure. Peep the replay down below if you missed it!

2024 X Games Men's Ski SuperPipe | Full Replay X Games YouTube