Winter X Games 14 Skier Big Air results, Bobby Brown earns a perfect score of 100 en route to victory

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 29, 2010 4:30 pm

The text message format for Winter X Games Big Air is dead. Thank god. No more popularity contests, and no more letting the ignorant cell phone user steal away an X Games title from a more deserving winner.

The Big Air event has switched to a rapid scoring, multi-heat event. The format is simple, all riders are judged each round based on their two best jumps that are then summed to give them a score out of 100. The top two riders from each preliminary heat advance to the final round. Additionally, a fifth rider is selected between the two third place finishers from each heat, with the higher scoring skier getting the nod.

First Heat

The first heat started with a bang, as half of Team “Down Under” Russ Henshaw unleashed a textbook switch double cork 1080 double japan grab to the cheers of the Aspen crowd. Henshaw would continue his exploits on his next jump as he upped the ante with double cork 1080s and 1260s featuring mute to japan grabs. The spectacle of the Big Air event even brought out trick progression, as we witnessed Henshaw attempt a switch double cork 1440 double grab and barely washed out on the landing.

Dropping behind Henshaw was the second half of Team “Down Under,” Mr. Jossi Wells. Adorned with his fresh Nike 6.0 outerwear, the Kiwi dropped an arsenal of doubles including a double cork 1260 double mute, and a switch double cork 1080 high mute.

PK Hunder, back after a nasty broken neck, started with a double cork 1080 that featured a slight poke. Knowing he had to up the caliber of tricks, Hunder went for what looked like a double cork 1440 attempt causing him to land awkwardly. Following the attempt, it was announced Hunder had dropped out from the competition. Let’s hope the Norwegian didn’t tweak anything in his rehabbed neck. Having broken my own neck just last year, I know how easy it can be to jar the neck unless you literally stomp your landing perfectly.

Continuing the “after bang” behind PK was Pittsburgh’s own Tom Wallisch. The Newschoolers favorite had some trouble early on as he opened with a switch double rodeo 1080 japan that saw him under-rotate slightly causing a wash out on the landing. He would recover enough to lace a double cork 1260,  but continued to look slightly off tonight. Perhaps the rookie pressure at Winter X is  more real than people would have you believe. Nerves or not, you got to prop Wallisch as his last jump saw him put down the only landed switch double cork 1440 of the first round. Unfortunately the landing was somewhat sketchy, preventing him from making the finals.

Our last of the first round competitors was Bobby Brown. Brown blew the field away with the only switch double misty of the contest, and a textbook double cork 1260 tail grab. The Breckenridge native scored an almost perfect combined 95, as his score moved him well into the finals.

 

A look at Bobby’s two tricks, but thrown during the slopestyle contest

After Bobby Brown and Jossi Wells had secured their final spots after the first round, the second heat began.

Second Heat

Straight out of his backyard Norwegian terrain park, top Winter X slopestyle qualifier Andreas Hatveit dropped an epic switch 1440 mute ala Henrik Harlaut (hurt for Winter X Games). Hatveit mostly stuck with non-corked switch spins, hoping to rely on his smooth style to send him to the next round. Unfortunately, the judges seemed to be looking for more doubles, which left the Scandinavian on the outside looking in at the finals.

Speaking of Scandinavians, Swede Jacob Wester would stick to double cork 1260s for the majority of his hits, to the dismay of the judges. With each repeated trick Wester seemed to score lower and lower. Tough break for one of the inventors of the double cork.

Vernon, BC native TJ Schiller had a rough go of it during slopestyle qualifiers. The defending 2009 slopestyle champion had a series of uncharacteristic bobbles that left him out of finals. Thankfully, TJ rebounded with authority, as he had the highest combined score of the second heat with an 89. Schiller launched a beautifully landed double cork 1260 mute, along with a switch double rodeo 1080 mute sent to the very bottom of the landing. Both were so flawless they looked as if he was skiing in the infamous Mega-Mo vision.

Unveiling a new trick with his switch 1260 late cork, Sammy Carlson seemed somewhat confused on how to most impress the judges on the behemoth jump. His tricks didn’t necessarily receive the highest scores, and even his patented double cork 1080 mute with a massive poke went somewhat unwelcome by judges. Fortunately, Sammy looks much more dialed in on the slopestyle side of things, which should bode well for finals this weekend.

Armada rider Elias Ambuhl out of Switzerland proved tonight he is truly a Big Air master. After having some trouble with the rails in slopestyle, Ambuhl was ready to murder the competition with his barrage of doubles in a strictly jumping event. He opened with an unrivaled double cork 1260 tailgrab and a perfectly stomped switch double rodeo double mute grab. His combined score of 84 led for most of the heat until Schiller just edged him out enough for the round’s top spot. However, Ambuhl and Schiller would still both move on to the finals to face Bobby Brown and Jossi Wells. Additionally, Russ Henshaw was given the fifth and final spot in the championship round after scoring higher than the other third place finisher.

Finals

After getting some much needed time to catch their breath, the final 5 competitors took to the course to determine the podium spots.

Jossi Wells would start off finals by throwing a rather “basic” double cork 1260 mute grab. Wells would follow that trick up with a switch double 1080 double mute grab held all the way to the landing. Jossi Wells, always the envelope pusher, would shock even the commentators by attempting and landing a switch double cork 1440. Yes, you read that right. Surprisingly, the move was once again not that impressive to judges even with Jossi’s clean landing.

Swiss skier Elias Ambuhl would begin his tricks by lacing a perfect switch double cork 1080 double grab. After seeing fellow competitor Bobby Brown drop the double cork 1260 tail grab, Ambuhl would match the maneuver verbatim helping his cause.

Russ Henshaw continued the action by throwing a very technical double cork 1260 with a mute grab that he shifted to a japan grab mid-rotation.

But in the end, it would come down to a dog fight between two skiers, Bobby Brown and TJ Schiller.

Downtown Bobby Brown would open things open with his disturbingly easy-looking switch double misty 1260 mute grab.  For the move he would earn a perfect score of 50! I’m no history major, but the score may have been the only perfect score ever awarded at the Winter X Games. He would back that trick with another double in the form of a double cork 1260 tail grab. For those not aware, a tail grab is one of the toughest grabs to pull off, as the skier must lean backseat to reach for the tail of their skis.

Following that was TJ Schiller with a super inverted switch double rodeo 1080 mute grab. But then Schiller would throw out the “triple dog dare” so to speak. Skipping the “standard” double cork 1440, TJ bucked the trend and went for the jugular – landing a perfect industry-first double cork 1620 mute grab. TJ would drop his shoulder twice, spin a total of four-and-a-half times, and in the process earn the second perfect score of the evening. Insane.

Clips of Brown and Schiller’s history-making tricks

But Brown would fight back with a vengeance. Brown tossed in all his chips as he unloaded a switch double misty 1440 mute grab to earn his 2nd perfect score of the evening.The teen heartthrob would walk away with a complete perfect score for the feat, something never before accomplished at Winter X Games. Not to say I told you so, but I did predict Bobby to win this contest. Congrats, and thanks for making me look like a genius Bobby.

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