X Games 11 Pro-DictionsJan 26 2007 / Aspen, CO
The stars of Winter X make their predictions
"I’m exciting to see people on the rails because lately I’ve just been seeing a lot of jumping and a lot of the contests have been decided on jumping. It’s good to have the rails to mix it up and hopefully style will come in on the rails too. Today was a little bit of an off practice day for me, but tomorrow should be better. I just want to be solid on the rails and have legit stuff and that’ll be good for me. Watch out for Andreas (Wiig) and Jussi (Oksanen), I think they are really going for it."
"I’m really looking forward to watching pipe. The pipe has jumped leaps and bounds over the last year. Everyone has started to learn how to ski in the pipe switch and people are learning double flips in the pipe so it’s gonna be insane. Tanner (Hall) is the most consistent, so he’ll dominate, but everyone else too. Candide (Thovex), Matt Phillipe. There’s a lot of guys out there and they’re all really good. With all the new technology that’s coming out some different stuff will happen. I have reverse camber rocker skis so they are actually not flat. I’m looking to do some presses on rails and some butters, stuff like that."
Jason “Earz” Smith
"There’s nothing new in Snowboarder X, but I am definitely looking to come off strong after my result from last year. I got taken out in the first round and I’m looking for the podium this year, feeling really strong coming into it. Definitely the US Team is always a threat, Nate Holland, Seth Wescott, Graham Watanabe. But then the French, the de le Rue brothers are also looking pretty strong."
"I think we’ll see 1260’s by Mathieu Crepel and Brad Martin. For women, Torah Bright has a super technical run. It’s kind of the same as last year but I think she’s got it down a little more solid. Gretchen has her nine on the first hit and is mixing her crippler up a little bit. I think everyone’s going to do some technical stuff, but just mix it up more. And now we’re looking for Ross Powers to kill it in the boardercross!"
"I don’t know if there’s anything new in the pipe. I’m sure someone will try something, but probably the usual: back to back tens, back to back nines. I’m actually going to try and stay as low as I can this year, because I am actually doing boardercross, not pipe. I didn’t get a pipe spot unfortunately, so I am doing boardercross. It’s fun, I’m psyched to do it. I hear the pipe is finally how I like it though, long and laid back."
"I’m just looking for a lot of people to be riding really smooth and with good style. It just really depends on who’s on that day I guess. I think Scotty Lago’s been riding really well, and the Burton boys. Tommy Chezchin has been riding really well too. The X Games gives it the recognition that snowboarding really deserves and all the stuff for extreme sports is pretty cool."
"I’m looking forward to all the little things they have to fix and hopefully will fix, so tomorrow we have a good course and actually can do what we can do on good jumps. Right now it’s a really hard to ride course, the speed is definitely an issue. It’s not very helpful if you want to step up the level because if you don’t land 100% perfect, you’re not going to make the next jump. If you don’t make a jump, you are pretty much done with the run. Hana Beaman rode really well today, not necessarily doing something that hasn’t been there before but she just cleared the jumps, landed really solid and that’s a big part for this contest, so I’m pretty sure she’ll do well. As for technical riding I cannot really say because today no one could really do something you’ve never seen before because you really needed to go for the speed. Hopefully, if the course is fixed tomorrow we’ll see who throws new stuff. If they make me a good jump, I’ll do a 900."
"Girls that are killing it right now are Hana Beaman, Silvia Mittermuller and Spencer O’Brien. Amazing. Those girls are really pushing the jumping to a while new level. I think we’ll see off the big jumps, which is super impressive for girls as it is because those things are so intimidating, I think we’ll see some spins, probably 7’s. Cab 7s, front 7s, back 7s, possibly even some nines. Then on the smaller jumps we’ll see some switch backside 5’s. Switch back 5s are the new black right now. What could be super interesting is if someone gives Shaun White a run for his money, because you know, he’s kind of like a machine. I think the course is all about speed and you have to stick everything, so I think everyone is sticking to what they can do, but then for the last booter we might see something crazy. I’m so excited to watch pipe. Pipe’s always just amazing to me because I can’t ride pipe."
"Definitely everyone’s stepping it up every single year. The X Games slopestyle course is really fluid. It’s a little slow and the jumps aren’t as big as we’d like them to be but we can definitely get all our tricks that we want to do off them. You’re gonna see a couple double flips, lots of spinning, lots of spinning on the rails. Mostly you’re gonna see guys go freaking huge and assault the crap out of everything. You should look out for myself, hopefully, Sammy Carlson, Jon Olssen, definitely watch Simon Dumont and Tanner Hall in the halfpipe because that’s gonna be craziness."
Mark Frank Montoya
"There’s gonna be more rail tricks this year, some more technical stuff, more spinning on to the rails and stuff like that. I know Andreas will kill that s***, Shaun (White) and Eddie Wall. Since there’s a lot of rails, the rail kids are going to do good. This is a tough course. There’s a great chance (Shaun will be able to defend his victory) but I don’t know, there’s a lot of rails on this course so we’ll see. He’s always capable of coming up with something at the last minute. If there’s a threat by someone, he’ll step it up for sure."
"I’m just looking forward to a lot of good riding. I think everybody’s stepped up their level this year and it’s going to be really good. The Americans are still dominant, but Xavier de le Re is back on his game and Marco Huser is an amazing glider and this is definitely a gliding course so I think he’ll do well too. I’m not going to count Seth Wescott on winning his first gold medal out, for sure."