Titans of Slopestyle
Heroes of X Games Slopestyle
Because of its inclusion in the 2014 Winter Olympics, the world will soon come to know (and possibly love) the slopestyle side of snowboarding, and the riders who are best at it. But the discipline has been around for a long time, and always had its heroes. Here's a look back at some who made history at the X Games.
Kevin Jones wasn't just a contest hero. He could ride it all: park, rails and the big mountain faces of Alaska. Here he is -- back before action-sports photographers learned how to get takeoffs and landings in the frame of a shot -- on the way to winning one of his four X Games Slopestyle medals (two silver, two gold).
Then along came a guy nobody had ever heard of before. A kid from Wyoming, by the name of Travis Rice, showed up to his first-ever X Games and schooled the competition, becoming the first X Games "rookie" to win Slopestyle gold. And the rest, as they say, is history.
As famous as he is for pipe, Shaun White's first X Games four-peat was actually in Slopestyle. White won his first gold medals in both pipe and slope in 2003. He continued to dominate slope for the next three years, but didn't win his second gold medal in pipe until 2006.
In a recent interview Shaun White described Andreas Wiig as, "that big Norwegian, super-handsome guy [who was] dating a Norwegian pop star " But Wiig, who won silver in 2006, also was the guy whose two gold medals, in 2007 and 2008, ended White's Slopestyle streak.
Though much has been made of Shaun White and Kevin Pearce's rivalry in the halfpipe, Pearce was a pretty good slopestyle rider too. He was good enough to win X Games silver in 2008, behind Andreas Wiig and ahead of White, who had to settle for bronze.
Eero Ettala mostly cruises around riding everything from powder to park to handrails with equal amounts of skill and style, while people get it all on film. But in 2010 he showed up to the X Games and rode away with gold. This year he's gunning for a top spot in Real Snow.
Seb Toots showed up to his first X Games in 2011 and became the second rookie in history to win Slopestyle gold. But before that, he posted the highest score ever recorded in a qualifying run. Don't count Toutant out for future gold. He really is just that good.
And then there's this guy. McMorris showed up as a rookie in 2011 and nabbed Slopestyle silver. Then he went off and became the first person to land a backside triple cork 1440, came back to the X Games in 2012 and won gold in both Slopestyle and Big Air. Can he do it again in 2013?