Simply put, Chase Josey didn’t know what to do. Nobody really did. The men’s snowboard superpipe session was a brand new event for X Games Aspen and figuring it out meant learning on the fly.
“We all came up here and were, ‘Man, what’s it going to be like?’ We didn’t know. We were experiencing it as it was happening,” Idaho’s Josey said. “The first run, I was just going to try and get a run under my belt, just kind of feel it out an watch what these other guys were doing. Then second and third run I tried to step it up from there.”
The inaugural contest Friday night was a 20-minute jam session where eight riders tried to impress the judges, but through more stylish and limited tricks than your typical superpipe run. Steamboat’s Taylor Gold took gold, followed by Eagle’s Jake Pates with silver and California’s Toby Miller with bronze. Josey was fourth, Yuto Totsuka fifth, Danny Davis sixth, Andre Hoflich seventh and Ryan Wachendorfer eighth.
“It was really fun watching everybody ride,” Gold told X Games host Jack Mitrani after the contest. “I honestly enjoyed it as much if not more than the actual contest (on Thursday), just because of all the creativity. Super different runs.”
The superpipe session was one of many new events and formats X Games is trying out this winter. On top of knuckle huck, which made its snowboard debut last year and ski debut this year, there will be a rail jam Sunday, using the rails on the slopestyle course.
“Tonight was just the opposite of that. Just fun, maybe more technical, stylish tricks,” Josey said comparing the session to Thursday’s more traditional superpipe final, won by Australia’s Scotty James. James had originally planned to compete in Friday’s session, but pulled out.
“It’s really cool how X Games is trying to mix it up a little bit, roll the dice and keep things fresh. I think the jam format worked really well pretty much for every discipline,” Josey said. “I see this happening in the future and I feel X Games is probably going to continue this format for the next little bit.”