Kevin Rolland unleashes three double flips to take Winter X Games Ski Superpipe gold

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 31, 2010 4:52 pm

As has been the name of the game for skiers throughout Winter X Games 14, double flips were hugely important tonight in the superpipe contest. The elimination round on Saturday night saw only a handful of riders throwing doubles in the pipe, but tonight it was virtually a must-have move to be taken seriously as a pipe contender.

Leading the double charge tonight was France’s Kevin Rolland, the only competitor throwing more than one double flip. In fact, he would toss three different doubles to take a gold medal tonight and cement his status as one of the best pipe skiers around.


Kevin’s gold medal run

Kevin would drop in and begin his run by launching a massive double flip with a super tweaked mute grab that had everyone in Aspen drooling. Following that jaw-dropping move, Rolland would launch a 720 to a switch 720. Then out of seemingly nowhere, the French skier would throw an unnatural double flip on the left wall and cap his run off with a brilliant double cork 1260. For Rolland’s effort he would earn a 95.00, tying for the highest ski superpipe score ever awarded at Winter X Games.

After Rolland, it was a dogfight amongst the remaining skiers for the remaining podium spots.

Top qualifier Jossi Wells continued his stylish skiing tonight in the superpipe finals. Jossi would once again open with back-to-back left and right 900s, but would add the elusive double flip to his already amazing run. Following the double, Jossi would lay down a huge 720 to his patented switch 720 shifty. To finish the Kiwi’s run, Jossi would boost an alley-oop flatspin 540 and lay down a perfect 1080 on the right wall. Wells’ performance once again proves he may be the most well-rounded park and pipe skier out there at the moment.

After watching his fellow countryman Kevin Rolland put down the most progressive skiing pipe run of all-time, Xavier Bertoni earned his second Winter X Games medal with his third place finish. Bertoni’s smooth style and boosted airs made his skiing look effortless at times. Bertoni also became the first skier to land both right and left 1260s in a superpipe run. However, a few missed grabs would hinder Bertoni tonight. Unfortunately for competitive pipe skiers everywhere, Bertoni is sure to continue training with tonight’s winner, a move that should continue to elevate his pipe skiing.

Just missing the podium tonight was Simon Dumont. Dumont didn’t seem to have the same amplitude he has been known for during past Winter X Games. Without the same technical run as the podium finishers, Dumont needed to be boosting 20-foot airs that  just weren’t there tonight. One has to think that Dumont’s crash earlier this week had to be playing more of a factor then the Target-sponsored skier would have you believe.

One skier not throwing doubles tonight, but still charging it was 17-year-old Duncan Adams. The Level 1 Productions film star began his run very differently then the other competitors. Ignoring the trend of opening with a 900, Adams would drop a massive air to switch that he would take into a massive switch 180 once again landing backwards. To the viewing public used to seeing the big spins, it might not have been super impressive, but to skiers and judges this move is exceedingly difficult. Adams still had the big spins in his run, but the lack of double really did kill his podium chances. Look for Duncan to be leading the next generation of pipe skiers, this kid has a lot left in the tank.

Men’s Skier Superpipe Final Results

1. Kevin Rolland
2. Jossi Wells
3. Xavier Bertoni
4. Simon Dumont
5. Duncan Adams
6. Tucker Perkins
7. Colby West
8. Peter Olenick