X Games Grow More Xtreme

Yesterday's edgiest trick is today's standard move
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2008 10:23 AM CST
ASPEN, CO - JANUARY 24: Kevin Rolland of France practices prior to the Men's Skiing Superpipe finals at Winter X Games Twelve on Buttermilk Mountain January 24, 2008 in Aspen, Colorado. (Photo by Doug...   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Snowboarders and freeskiers are waging a cold war, the New York Times reports, putting top competitors under constant pressure to develop next-generation tricks. At this year's Winter X Games, under way in Aspen, the stakes are higher than ever: A new event named big air calls for competitors to launch themselves off a 65-foot jump.

"The level is so high for the tricks that you have to be learning," says one competitor whose routine includes a backward-launch jump. Tricks such as the double cork, frontside 1080-degree spin, and double backside rodeo 1080-spin keep the outer limits moving. Unveil an innovation, says an eight-time X Games medalist, and look over your shoulder for your rivals: "They’ll learn it in a week."