We decided to take a stab at sharing our thoughts on who will snag the medals for the America’s Navy Snowboard Big Air Final happening this evening at Buttermilk Mountain!
The Snowboard Big Air Event at X Games Aspen is an extreme version of Slopestyle — it’s all about the tricks. Last year, the event came down to the battle of the triple corks. Now that those crazy tricks are out of the way, the competitors are worried about topping the triple corks and nailing their quads.
However, not all competitors are down for a battle of the quads, so we are excited to see who is willing to take the risk or who will play it safe.
Check out our predictions for America’s Navy Snowboard Big Air Final below. Make sure to watch your favorite athletes compete in America’s Navy Snowboard Big Air Final on January 29, 2016 at 10:15pm ET on ESPN!
1st place: Max Parrot
Max Parrot has been crushing Big Air podiums since last January and is hell bent on bringing quads to the X Games. The 21-year-old is the second person ever to land a quad — he stuck a quadruple Cab underflip in April of 2015 — and he hopes to be the first to land a quad in competition at X Games Aspen. If he pulls it off, he can definitely take home the gold medal. He is also coming to Aspen hot off a win at the Air+Style Beijing December, where he landed a backside triple cork 1440 and an even higher-scoring frontside triple cork 1440.
2nd place: Mark McMorris
Mark McMorris is the defending Big Air gold medalist, and although it would be great to see him take home another gold medal, we aren’t quite sure he will be able to pull it off. Mark has said that he won’t have his quad spins ready for the X Games, but he has learned the switch backside triple cork 1620, which he landed in November. Now, every competitor needs to have two amazing tricks up their sleeves, so maybe this trick and another great triple cork will push him into the top three, but if his other competitors attempt and succeed in pulling off a quad, he won’t be walking away with the gold. However, the 22-year-old is coming into the X Games after a Dew Tour Slopestyle win in December and a second place Big Air finish, so we definitely think he will place.
3rd place: Yuki Kadono
Anything can happen today for Yuki Kadono. Besides Max Parrot, he is the only other competitor who has said he’d like to try a quad at X Games Aspen 2016. However, unlike Parrot, he has yet to actually land one. Kadono does have a history of attempting new tricks at X Games, so if he actually goes for it and successfully pulls off a quad, he can place, if not actually walk away with the gold. We aren’t quite sure if he will be able to pull it off, but he’s been landing some big tricks, such as the backside triple cork 1620 that we think might still make him one of the top three contenders.
Photos: Getty Images, Diamond Peek