This year at X Games was crazy for slopestyle. Doubles turned into triples and the all-around level of slopestyle riding was stepped up in a big way. I had no idea that these new tricks would become stock so fast and suddenly I felt like I was way behind. For the first time in my career, I felt like I did not have the tricks to win the event, and I didn't. It was time to turn the page and start to write the next chapter.
I was pretty bummed after the event, so I left for home with a new mission, pretty simple... triple corks. I have thought about doing this trick for a long time. I can’t tell you how many nights I have lost sleep thinking about them. When I got back to Tahoe I knew it was time to squash the fear and man up.
The first thing I did was go to Woodward. They have a jump into a foam pit there that simulates a snowboard jump; basically, you roll down a wood ramp on a snowboard with wheels and fly 45 feet into foam. I jumped the gun and rushed into my tricks...within three triple attempts I was sidelined with a sprained ankle. I completely screwed up my takeoff and missed the foam hitting the sideline of the pit. Just when I thought it could not get any worse, it did.
Frustrated and hurt, I left for San Diego to see my family and to rehab my ankle. Soon after I arrived, I got a call from my friend Chris Hargraves. Chris is a coach and a good friend and he expressed to me that he had a plan for me to get back in the game and learn the triple cork. I agreed with him that I need to start from the bottom and work my way up to the trick to make it happen. I healed fast and headed back to Tahoe after a week of down time.
As soon as I got home, I went to work with Chris. We worked on the fundamentals of the trick on and off snow. Every day there was a little progression and by the 10th day we both felt it was time to take the triple to snow. I had thought about doing this trick and been through so much up until this point that I have to admit it was pretty emotional. The next day I showed up at Northstar and there was a perfectly groomed jump that was built specifically for me and this trick. All the stars were in line for me to try the trick. The session got started and I broke my fear barrier. I finally tried the triple; it was such a relief just to try it. I attempted it about 10 more times and was pretty beat up and did not land it that day. The following day, I went back to Northstar and went right back to work and was throwing the triple within 10 hits. I probably threw the trick 15 times that day and ended the day with a pretty hard slam. I still had not landed it, but was working really hard on the progression. I woke up the next morning to another epic sunny Tahoe day and, despite being sore, I knew it was time to land this thing. I got to the mountain and got right back into my routine. Things felt good and on my fourth try I stomped a backside triple 1440. I finally did it and I was super stoked, relieved, and grateful. It had been a long road leading up to this trick so it was definitely emotional finally getting to the point where I had finally worked through the struggles and finally put the triple to my feet.
I cannot express enough thanks to my friends and family that supported me and my mission and I was stoked to make them proud. The page has been turned and it’s only up from here!! I have a few more contests this season and a lot more work to do in the training scheme of things and I am just happy to have moved on to the next chapter... the triples chapter.