Slopestyle Olympic preview: what's Russ gotta do to metal?

snow action team 05.02.2014

Freestyle Editor Jodan Cook checks out what its going to take to medal after X-Games upped the ante.

With X-Games just passed and the Olympics a matter of days away, there is little rest for the wicked as they head into historical territory. No pressure though guys.

With all of the hype around the new Olympic acknowledgement of ski slope and pipe, I am looking forward to seeing what kind of course they throw together over there, what the judging is like and who’s strengths will be emphasised.

In many ways I feel that the recent X-Games runs, while providing an insight into potential Olympic runs, will be entirely re thought for the big O based on the progression which has happened at X.

X Games Aspen 2014 - January 26, 2014

Nick Goepper got to bite the gold at X-Games. Photo by Christian Pondella / ESPN

X Games Aspen 2104 - January 22, 2014

Nick Goepper Nick Goepper seems to have taken his stance on the ye old question of whether to pole or not to pole, first made public by mr. Fujas and Pollard – No one seems to be too concerned with the debate these days…. might have something to do with all those inverts he packed into his run.
photo Peter Morning / ESPN Images

X Games Aspen 2014 - January 24, 2014

Russ revved up to 5850º with 6 inversions over his run. Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images.

To break it all down a little bit, lets take a quick look at the winning run of Nick Goeper:

Down bar: switch 270 on to pretzel 450 out

Flat down box: Front swap to front 270 out

Cannon: Switch on, rodeo 450 out

Jump 1: Left dub 12 mute

Jump 2: Switch left dub rodeo 10 Japan

Jump 3: Switch right dub 12 genie grab (coooool)

Money Booter: Right triple cork 1440 mute.

Now just to give some arbitrary measurements to this run; on only seven features Nick G has whipped around 6480º of rotation with 10 inversions. Now as abstract and unrelated to style that is; that is pretty damn impressive all the same.

Needless to say he took almost every hit safely into the shin-bang zone.

So where does this leave our golden boy Russ?

Unfortunately things didn’t go Russ’s way at X, getting consistently caught up on a switch right 1080 on jump 2.

However, if he had cleaned up the execution and stuck his run I think he would have been in with a solid shot at a podium.

Russ’s run went a little something like this:

Down bar: lip 270 on

Cannon-Wall: 270 out to wall-ride

Flat-Down: disaster 630 on

Jump 1: Right dub 12 mute – Where he took a beating

Jump 2: Switch right 10 mute (the previous trouble maker)

Jump 3: Switch left dub 12 japan

Money Booter: Left dub 10 blunt.

Given the same treatment, Russ revved up to 5850º with 6 inversions over his run.

A fairly significant drop, even from Mcrea Williams (X-games 2nd) who got up to 6210º and 8 flipz.

So is any hope lost for Olympic redemption for Russ? Hell no – get out of town! We all know Russ was among the first to nail the infamous triple and has been throwing them around on the odd occasion since 2011.

Make no mistake, in the coming Olympic show down – Russ has more than enough under the hood to take home that neck craning bling.

My prediction (course dependent of course) is that runs will follow a general dub, dub, dub, triple format, with the triple being as necessary on the money booter as the dub was 5 years ago.

One thing I would like to see across the board is some more creativity on the rail features. It is risky biscuits for sure, but if you can combine progressive rail gardening skills with the future-spins a little lower down – your on a winner.

Something E-Dollo didn’t shy away from in his qualifying Slopestyle runs.