The most iconic event in action sports, X Games, returned to beautiful Aspen, Colorado at the base of Buttermilk Mountain over the weekend, where the sports of freeskiing and snowboarding were yet again pushed to new figurative and literal heights.

Photo by Meghan LaHatte

The three-day festivities kicked off on Friday morning with one of two new events at X Games, the GoPro Game of SLVSH. SLVSH, a production company co-founded by freeskiing trailblazers Joss Christensen and Matt Walker, sees two skiers go head-to-head in a game of calling and performing tricks, a la the game of HORSE, but in this case S-L-V-S-H.

Ferdinand Dahl. Photo by Meghan LaHatte

A tournament-style field of four men and four women faced off, and after the friendly, camaraderie-filled competition concluded, Norway’s Ferdinand Dahl and Canada’s very own Olivia Asselin were the inaugural X Games victors.

Troy Podmilsak. Photo by Meghan LaHatte

Later on in the evening, the Pacifico Men’s Ski Big Air took centre stage under the lights, and while a number of competitors had a bit of a tough go, American Troy “T-Pod” Podmilsak (and protégé of the legendary TJ Schiller) put it all on the line on his final jump, and stomped the bejesus out of a forward triple cork 2160 to win his first X Games medal, which just so happened to be gold, with two-time X Games Big Air gold medalist Alex “A-Hall” Hall one point behind him in second, and style master and X Games rookie Daniel Bacher in third.

Photo by Trevor Brown, Jr. / X Games

Men’s Ski Big Air Results

1) Troy Podmilsak
2) Alex Hall
3) Daniel Bacher
4) Miro Tabanelli
5) Mac Forehand
6) Sebastian Schjerve
7) Birk Ruud
8) Max Moffatt

Evan McEachran. Photo by Meghan LaHatte

The next day was a jam-packed one, with a total of five freeskiing events taking place, beginning with the Samsung Galaxy Men’s Ski Slopestyle. Under crystal clear skies and an exciting course comprised of a jungle gym of rail features, a hip and two massive tabletop jumps, Norway’s Birk Ruud hosed it down with some head-spinning trickery in the rail section followed by a right side double cork 1620, switch left side double cork 1620, and left side double bio 1800 to score his first-ever X Games Slopestyle gold medal, while 11-time X Games medalist Alex Hall picked up his second silver one of the weekend, and Forecast’s favourite park skier, Mac Forehand, rounded out the podium in third.

Photo by Meghan LaHatte

Men’s Ski Slopestyle Results

1) Birk Ruud
2) Alex Hall
3) Mac Forehand
4) Colby Stevenson
5) Andri Ragettli
6) Jesper Tjader
7) Evan McEachran
8) Max Moffatt
9) Henrik Harlaut
10) Ferdinand Dahl

Olivia Asselin. Photo by Joshua Duplechian / X Games

Following that highly entertaining and tone setting show, the second new event at X Games, the Thayers Women’s Ski Knuckle Huck, went down on the final jump of the slopestyle course. Ski Knuckle Huck is in its fifth year at X Games amongst the men, so it was high time for the ladies to have their go at it, and following an event that resembled more of a laid-back, fun-filled session than a competition, Olivia Asselin made it two-for-two with the win, while every female freeskier’s favourite freeskier Rell Harwood and the oldest woman competing at X Games Sarah Hoefflin rounded out the podium in second and third.

Photo by Trevor Brown, Jr. / X Games

Women’s Ski Knuckle Huck Results

1) Olivia Asselin
2) Rell Harwood
3) Sarah Hoefflin
4) Anni Karava
5) Tereza Korabova
6) Lisa Zimmermann
7) Taylor Lundquist
8) Alia Eichinger

Zoe Atkin. Photo by Meghan LaHatte

The event then shifted gears and venues to the stunt ditch for the Chipotle Women’s Ski Superpipe, where the favourite to win the event, Olympic champion, model and full-time University of Stanford student Eileen Gu—who has won 13 of the last 15 pipe competitions she's entered—did just that with an authoritative score of 95.66 thanks to a run that included big back-to-back left and right side cork 900s and a lofty flatspin 540. In second was last year’s gold medalist and fellow Stanford student Zoe Atkin, while Canada’s Amy Fraser, after years of hard work, deservingly earned her first X Games medal in third.

Photo by Meghan LaHatte

Women’s Ski Superpipe Results

1) Eileen Gu
2) Zoe Atkin
3) Amy Fraser
4) Svea Irving
5) Dillan Glennie
6) Riley Jacobs
7) Yujin Jang
8) Sabrina Cakmakli

Tess Ledeux. Photo by Meghan LaHatte

It was then time to migrate back to the bottom jump of the slopestyle course for the Pacifico Women’s Ski Big Air, where France’s Tess Ledeux kicked off a big weekend for her in a big way by winning her third gold medal in X Games Big Air and sending the crowd at the bottom into a frenzy with a massive double cork 1620 and switch double cork 1440. Meanwhile, Anastasia Tatalina made history by becoming the first athlete from Russia to win an X Games medal with her second place performance, and Rell Harwood steezed her way to her second medal of the weekend in her rookie appearance at X Games.

Photo by Meghan LaHatte

Women’s Ski Big Air Results

1) Tess Ledeux
2) Anastasia Tatalina
3) Rell Harwood
4) Ruby Star Andrews
5) Sandra Eie
6) Mathilde Gremaud

Colby Stevenson. Photo by Meghan LaHatte

Saturday’s intense schedule then concluded with the Thayers Men’s Ski Knuckle Huck under the lights, with the crowd favourite event playing host to a dizzying display of physics-defying feats that surely gave the judges a lot to debate. In the end though, American Colby Stevenson became the first repeat winner of the event thanks to a silky smooth tail butter double cork 1440, while every male freeskier’s favourite freeskier Henrik “E-Dollo” Harlaut showcased his groundbreaking and unparalleled style to score silver, and fellow past winner and aerial wizard Jesper Tjader flipped his way to the final step on the podium in third. What a day.

Photo by Meghan LaHatte

Men’s Ski Knuckle Huck Results

1) Colby Stevenson
2) Henrik Harlaut
3) Jesper Tjader
4) Quinn Wolferman
5) Cody LaPlante
6) Juho Saastamoinen
7) Alex Hall
8) Dennis Ranalter

Giulia Tanno. Photo by Meghan LaHatte

Mother Nature’s cooperation with the event continued on Sunday, which began with the Samsung Galaxy Women’s Ski Slopestyle. Riding high after her dominant showing in the previous evening’s big air competition, Tess Ledeux proceeded to throw down, without question, the greatest slopestyle performance in female freeskiing history on her first run, which saw her become the first woman in a ski or snowboard slopestyle competition to link a forward double cork 1260 to switch double cork 1440. And if that wasn’t enough, it also tied her with Kelly Sildaru for the most X Games medals (10) won by a female skier. Just behind her in second was Switzerland’s Mathilde Gremaud, who shook off her tough night in Big Air and scored some redemption in the process, while fellow Swiss skier Giulia Tanno, who has been forced to miss multiple years of X Games due to injury, roared back to bring home the bronze in perhaps one of the most feel good stories of the weekend.

Photo by Meghan LaHatte

Women’s Ski Slopestyle Results

1) Tess Ledeux
2) Mathilde Gremaud
3) Giulia Tanno
4) Rell Harwood
5) Sarah Hoefflin
6) Anastasia Tatalina
7) Ruby Star Andrews
8) Olivia Asselin

Hunter Hess. Photo by Meghan LaHatte

The biggest freeskiing event in the world then culminated in fitting fashion with the Chipotle Men’s Ski Superpipe under the lights in front of a raucous crowd. And what a show it was. In quite possibly the most exciting and memorable halfpipe competition in recent memory—which saw never-been-done tricks; fresh, style-based elements of the sport emerge courtesy of Nico Porteous’ bottom turn, Hunter Hess’ brand-new, misty flip-style rotation and Aaron Blunck’s wall slashing exploits; and decorated slopestyle skier Nick Goepper un-retiring from competitive freeskiing to try his hand at halfpipe while spreading a heartwarming message of accessibility based on his Midwest roots by skiing in jeans and a Carhartt hoodie—Aspen’s hometown hero Alex “Ferrari” Ferreira had to go and totally redeem himself after his violent crashes in last year’s event with a thrilling run that consisted of all four-way double corks (which included not one, but two double cork 1620s—the hardest trick of the night), a 17.5 foot air out of the pipe, and perhaps most crowd pleasing of all, his patented, celebratory pole spin at the end of his run. Rounding out the podium was the aforementioned display of style from Porteous and Hess, which capped off an incredible weekend of celebrating the past, present and future of competitive freeskiing.

Photo by Joshua Duplechian / X Games

Men’s Ski Superpipe Results

1) Alex Ferreira
2) Nico Porteous
3) Hunter Hess
4) Nick Goepper
5) Brendan Mackay
6) Aaron Blunck
7) David Wise
8) Jon Sallinen

Alex Ferreira. Photo by Trevor Brown, Jr. / X Games

Big thanks to the incredibly hard working team behind-the-scenes at X Games and all of the athletes for putting on such an entertaining show, and for more information on the event, be sure to visit xgames.com.

Back to blog