- Melissa Larsen, General Editor, Action Sports
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Did it seem things in snowboarding were starting to wind down? Oh no, my friends. They're just beginning. Sebastien Toutant landed a backside triple cork 1440 this morning at a private Red Bull park session at Squaw Valley, California. The Winter X 15 Slopestyle gold medalist is now officially one of only three snowboarders in the world to land a triple cork, and the second to ever land a triple cork 1440.
"All season I've been thinking about different triple corks," said Toutant. "I knew I could do it but there have been so many contests. I've been waiting for a good jump to try one. The jump today was good. It was sunny. I practiced a couple back 10 double corks, and then it took me about three or four tries. I landed at the bottom of the jump and stomped it like it was a double. It felt really good."
Toutant is a powerfully focused snowboarder who rarely falls, much less drags a hand when he's riding at the top of his game. He came out of the competition gates on fire this season, winning an FIS Big Air pre-season comp in November, followed by the first Air & Style of the winter in Beijing, China and a win in slopestyle at the O'Neill Evolution. In January he showed up to his first-ever Winter X Games and posted the then-highest recorded score in X Slopestyle with his qualifying run, which he then followed with a decisive gold medal win. Triple cork innovator Torstein Horgmo won the WX Big Air with a triple back, but still only beat Toutant out of the gold by a narrow point margin. And the list of Seb Toots contest accolades goes on.
When bets were placed as to who would be the second person behind Horgmo to land a triple cork, Toutant's name was the one most frequently called. It was only a small surprise that his good friend, the very talented Mark McMorris, beat him to it last month, but still, it was a surprise.
So the news here really is: now there are three snowboarders with triple corks under their belts. Given the deep talent pool of this year's slopestyle A Team, there are surely more triple-cork contenders on the way. And since the competition season is over, they finally all have time to hit jumps for fun and practice new tricks. We still have two months left before the parks melt, so the race is on. What will they come up with next?
Asked how his triple cork differed from McMorris', Toutant explained: "It's basically a backside cork five to a double cork nine. Mark does it the same way, but not exactly. We have our own styles. Mine might have been a little more flippy."
The trick was shot on a Phantom camera, which shoots 1,000 frames per second. "It's crazy to see it in slow-mo," said Toutant. "No one can say it isn't three corks because you can really see all three, and in super slow-mo, how much spin there is."
Since Toutant feels confident that he can pull the trick again, he and Red Bull have plans to try to film alternate angles on it in the next couple of days. Look for the footage to be released early next week.
3mEthan Sherwood Strauss