I don’t really know how to recap this. No hate to the riders, there was tons of talent in the field. But talent can only take you so far when a course is about as boring as they come. We don’t tune into X Games to watch a small park build that we can see anywhere in the country. We need a gimmick or some memorable feature for the riders to hit. Relatable snowboarding is great for the culture at community events and in plenty of realms but does a relatable setup have a place in X Games? This is about the best of the best proving to the world they deserve medals and cash. Sure, it is a soft launch maybe for something bigger, but let’s hope that something bigger comes soon.
We don’t want to be completely negative but even the GRIT rail jam had a basketball hoop. SOMETHING odd to be remembered. And overall, the riding was great. I will say on the women’s side Jaylen Hanson had a sick transfer on the flat bar to down rail, Grace Warner looked smooth as always and Iris Pham put down a few hammers. With probably the least amount of consequence all of these riders will face all year, Benny Milam, Luke Winkelmann, and Jesse Augustinus held it down for the Red Bull helmets. Pat Fava hit everything in a bike helmet (probably the only thing any of us will remember from this jam) and Zeb kept the crowd entertained as he always does. Alright, that is all the positivity I can muster.
My apologies, but shouldn’t the X Games be held to a slightly higher standard? They don’t provide a 30 ft. tabletop for Big Air or an 8 ft. minipipe for Scotty James, Ayumu Hirano and Chloe Kim. The street riders deserve comparable venues and that is solely on X Games to provide in order to give these riders the credit they deserve for all their hard work and dedication to street snowboarding. No names were even listed on the stream to identify riders and enjoy becoming a fan of someone. These men and women are extremely talented, please give them an arena that is fitting of their talent like they do with slopestyle, big air, and halfpipe so the general public would nod their heads yes when asked if they think snowboarders deserve a living salary to do this.
And now with all that being said, congrats to the winners. Still hyped to see new faces and glad more people can call themselves X Games athletes in the long run (which undercuts my hating)… and now Pat Fava and Grace Warner are X Games medalists. Maybe we are just being way too picky.