The X games is an invite only competition where not only snowboarders compete but also skiers, snowmobile riders and more. It’s a bit like the American version of the Olympics but exclusively for action sports. This was my 4th time competing at the X games so I knew what to expect and was really looking forward to it.
The course at the X games usually has bigger jumps and features compared to the world cup courses and this year was no exception with a 16 foot high gap jump mid-way down the course and a massive final jump. World number 1 and 4 times X games winner Lindsey Jacobellis fell on the final jump on the first training day and tore the ACL in her knee putting her out for the rest of the season.
The qualification day was pretty chaotic as it had snowed quite heavily the day before and slowed down the course enough that most of the girls didn’t have enough speed to make it over the gap jump. Considering that if you didn’t make it to the landing you would just slam straight into a solid wall of snow, understandably none of us wanted to go off the jump when we thought we make not make it! So after much discussion the organizers sorted it so we would do qualifications the next morning when the course had sped up a bit.
So we did one qualification run each the next morning, at the X games only the top 12 girls qualify for the heats and I qualified in 3rd! That’s the highest I have qualified in a world level competition since back in 2004 so I was super happy. The better you qualify the better lane choice you get in the heats and my qualification times is one of the main thing I am working on this season as now there are 6 people in each heat instead of 4 lane choice is even more important. I am happy with my qualification results so far this season as they have improved with every comp from 9th to 7th to 4th to 3rd.
After qualifications we had a short break for lunch before the heats started in the afternoon. My first heat went really well, I got into 2nd position near the start and stayed in that position all the way down, so I was through to the final!
In the final all 6 of us were out of the gate in a big group, everyone was jostling for position trying to get into the top 3 and onto the podium. I was in 4th position trying to pass into 3rd at the same time as the girl behind me was trying to pass me, all in the first corner! About half way through the corner I don’t know if I hit one of the other girl’s boards or if it was just a patch of ice but all of a sudden I was face down on the snow. I got up and finished the course but I was at the back because of my fall so finished the race in 6th place over all.
I was disappointed to not get onto the podium as I feel like I have been riding really well the last couple of competitions and it’s just out of my grasp, but on the other hand 6th isn’t a bad place to finish and with the size of some of the features on the course to be honest I am pretty relieved I got through it all injury free too.
I am in San Francisco for a few days now, my Brother Jon, his wife Tyla and my little very cute Nephew Zadin live out here so I have come to visit them for a few days before I head to Canada for the next two world cups of the season which are in Blue Mountain, Ontario on the 8th and Stoneham, Quebec on the 21st of February.